Even though this may become my most controversial blog to date, my Blue Jackets progression article today discusses the upside that head coach John Tortorella has for this young club.
Tortorella is a proven winner. He is the winningest American hockey coach with 480 wins. He has won a Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004 with guys including Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, and Vincent Leclavier. He came close with the New York Rangers on multiple occasions. He instilled discipline and a defensive shot blocking mentality into the heads of Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi.
This year with Columbus, he wound up taking over a bad situation, and finished with an above 0.500 record. Per HockeyRefenerence, in 75 games with Columbus, he finished with a 34-33-8 record with a 0.507 winning percentage.
He is disciplined and can get his players to do the same. He has a very defensive system and it has worked in New York. His prodigy, Mike Sullivan, is showing how it works in Pittsburgh. He also got guys who were not producing benched. Does it weaken a team? It might, but it can work.
What are your thoughts on John Tortorella?
More to come…