Tortorella on modern NHL: 'There's no hate, and I miss that'
Warning: Story contains coarse language
John Tortorella wishes there were more animosity between opponents in today's game, and not just from his Columbus Blue Jackets, but throughout the NHL.
"We've talked about it. It's gone through the league," Tortorella told reporters Thursday. "It's a little frustrating, quite honestly. The game has changed, and for some dinosaurs that are in it, it's very frustrating, I have to admit."
The Blue Jackets head coach made it clear that he wasn't kidding; he finds the trend genuinely bothersome.
"I'm not joking about it. It's really frustrating to me. On conversations on the ice amongst opponents on a faceoff, it's like a big hugfest sometimes. I don't know if they have so many meetings with the NHLPA and all that stuff that goes on, but there's no hate, and I miss that. It frustrates the shit out of me, quite honestly."
Tortorella added that he's gone as far as telling his players to simulate hating the opposing players.
"I ask my guys (to) pretend sometimes. Just pretend," Tortorella said. "I know I'm kind of beating my head against the wall as far as where I want the game ... (but) I miss some of the way the game was played. I think our game has made some great changes ... but damn, I miss the old school 'I'm coming at ya' (attitude). We'll have a beer after, but do we have to talk about it on the ice right now? That's sickening to me, quite honestly."
Not that penalty minutes are the ultimate indicator of a team's hatred for its opponent, but the Blue Jackets are the fifth-least penalized team in the league this season, averaging just over seven minutes in the sin bin through nine games.
Columbus is 5-4-0 and sits third in the Metropolitan Division.
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