Skip to content

Tortorella calls out veterans: 'I see weakness'

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports

Outspoken Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella has no problem pointing the finger in his dressing room.

His club is in the midst of a 2-5-2 run in their last nine games and he boldly believes the cause for this poor stretch has been the play of his veterans.

"Let's call a spade a spade. It's embarrassing, and that's what we are," Tortorella told Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch. "I'm not going to tiptoe around here. That's how we play right now and I think I'm going to need to depend on the kids to get us out of this because I'm not getting squat from the top players as far as that stuff."

It's no real surprise Tortorella has been less than impressed with the play of his more experienced skaters, as he has proven as much having scratched the club's two leading scorers Scott Hartnell and Ryan Johansen at times this season.

"It's very frustrating," Tortorella said of Saturday's 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. "I watched how we played the first period and right on into the second. And I see weakness. I think we're weak mentally, and it's not the kids. I worry about the kids getting into bad habits by watching other people. That's frightening to me. That has to change."

If there is one thing to be optimistic about it is that Tortorella has been impressed by the play of second-year forward Alexander Wennberg.

"Really, for a number of games, (Wennberg) has been our best player, both offensively and defensively," Tortorella said. "And that's great for him. That worries me for the team."

Tortorella insists it might be time for the club's adolescence to show the veterans a thing or two.

"But again, I think some of our veteran guys can learn from our younger guys. That's promising, as you look to the future, but right now it can't be that way. It has to be reversed with us teaching those guys. You've played the game. You understand the leadership part of it. We have nothing there. Nothing."

Tortorella calls out veterans: 'I see weakness'
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox