by professor ggrib
I have yet to say anything directly about the Blue Jackets new coach, and it is about time that I do. After last nite’s game in Philadelphia, it’s time to make a few comments. John Tortorella as the Jackets coach is a bit hard to categorize. To the public, he protects his players, but seems to drop his protection just a bit when they truly deserve criticism by being honest. Supposedly in the room, he is honest and straightforward and open. As a result, he is probably never going to be known as a players coach, he’s tough and he wants to win.
But he seems to be a fan’s coach. Most fans are not in a pay bracket such as these professional athletes. Like millions of dollars per year. Yet we cheer for their performance and are agitated by their lack of. Is a coach who treats players based on both their potential AND performance a bad thing? I say no. And moves by the coach benching players and moving them up and down the lineup due to their performance sits very well with me. Sometimes it’s hard to see a favorite player “disciplined”, but it’s good for both the player [if he chooses to use it as constructive criticism] and it’s good for the team. So it sorta seems to me that John Tortorella is a fan’s coach, our representative, our advocate. And there is no question he is all about winning. Start of the season, during the season and post season, he plans to win.
Does all this work? Is the performance based recognition working. Let’s look at William, “Wild Bill” Karlsson. Early in Tort’s CBJ experience, he dubbed Karlsson as his “go to guy”. He was trusted with just about everything and he responded by performance. Now, if you note, not so much. And maybe “Wild Bill” has cooled off a bit. BUT the truth is, others on the team have risen the the level he was playing at. So he no longer is a stand out, he is now one of the crowd of better playing players. The other players have elevated their game.
There has been a lot of speculation re Tortorella and Johansen. Yet of late we have seen Johansen playing in critical positions/situations and making excellent defensive moves. Last nite we saw Tortorella giving Johansen a slap on the back after his first shift. The TV didn’t capture much of Ryan’s first shift, so the reason for the slap is unknown, but it’ s not like there’s a grudge between them and Ryan has elevated his game, winning over 60% face offs recently.
So, I’m offering probably a new facet and name for Torts, ……..a fan’s coach.