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Video: Tortorella’s post-brawl presser

Jan 19, 2014, 2:35 AM EDT

Referees get in the way of Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella as he screams at the Calgary Flames bench during first period NHL hockey action at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia Saturday Jan. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward) AP

It’s fair to say Canucks coach John Tortorella was very emotional early in Vancouver’s 3-2 shootout victory over Calgary given that he, you know, actually approached the Flames dressing room during the first intermission to continue yelling at them.

He still seemed pretty raw when it was time for his postgame press conference, but he still offered his account of what happened.

When Tortorella saw that the Calgary Flames intended to start the game with their tough guys, he felt he had to respond in kind. He didn’t want to risk putting the Sedin twins out there to potentially get injured. That led to the massive line brawl at the start of the game.

“I’m not proud of it. I have apologized to everyone of the players involved in it,” Tortorella said.

If he could do one thing differently though, it would have been to keep rookie Kellan Lain out of the opening lineup. The 24-year-old was making his NHL debut and it only lasted two seconds because he was one of the eight players that received a game misconduct for being involved in the melee that ensued.

“That’s my biggest mistake … I’ll kick myself forever,” Tortorella said.

When the subject moved to his incident near the Flames’ locker room, he said that he wouldn’t “go there.” He was then asked if he thought he crossed a line.

“Please, don’t push me,” Tortorella responded. “I’ll answer your questions, I’ve tried to be honest as possible with (what happened at the beginning of the game), but I’m not going to go into the other stuff.”

Moving on from the fight, Tortorella added that he felt he had to take Henrik Sedin out of the game, who attempted to play through a rib injury. Sedin is day-to-day.

Here is the full press conference:


Flames-Canucks: 204 PIM, Henrik Sedin hurt, Vancouver wins in SO

Video: Canucks-Flames game kicks off with line brawl (Update: It got worse)

  1. homieshome - Jan 19, 2014 at 3:26 AM

    Torts’ Lawyor: “Well you really pushed it this time, to a whole other level, John.. I’m not sure i can bail you out again. “

  2. drone501 - Jan 19, 2014 at 4:04 AM

    just torts being torts. too bad he didnt get hit by a stray right cross.

  3. ruthlessandtoothless - Jan 19, 2014 at 4:44 AM

    Actually for once I watched a Torts press conference and thought he handled it pretty well. I’m usually the first to criticize him but he dodged the touchy subjects and kept it about the team and not his personal issues with the game. Gotta respect that.

  4. joey4id - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    I’m a big fan of Torts the hockey strategist, humanitarian, and dog lover, but his antics and confrontational attitude is bit much. The way his team has been playing lately is a little over the top, and it’s been costing them pts. And he’s publicly approving attacks on defenseless players.

  5. pavelfitzgerald - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    “Please don’t push me” – from the guy who just shoved a bunch of the Flames coaching staff/McGratton at the end of the first .. …
    Could you imagine if a reporter followed up the question with that? He may have tried to fight them too

  6. lonespeed - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    John Tortorella is generally a jerk to the media, but how can anyone blame him for any of this? I’m surprised he was as composed as he was during that press conference. It might have been different had they lost, but either way, I think his approach to questions was fair.

    That was a classless way to start a game for the Calgary Flames. How can you be a proud Calgary fan this morning? I certainly don’t see how. They stuck their goon line out there and instigated a line brawl, and then to make it worse, their cowardly coach just stood their like a pansy and didn’t even have the decency to address it.

    As a ‘Canes fan, I’m glad Kevin Westgarth is no longer in Raleigh too.

  7. hockeyflow33 - Jan 19, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    I was waiting for Kesler to come off the bench and start stripping off his pads while doing laps

  8. threechordmonte - Jan 19, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Good riddance from New York. Way to spoil HDIC John. No class, no control, that’s your boy Vancouver. Condescending Torts thinks he’s the only guy who’s ever been in a locker room. This guy is a disgrace and the embodiment of what’s wrong with the NHL as the dinosaurs speak out of each side of their mouth when it comes to self-policing. This league remains bush. The NHL is a disgrace to professional sports. Some Hockey Day in Canada. What a joke.

  9. interiorfan - Jan 19, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    While I think the scene during the intermission outside the Flames dressing room was unnecessary, I don’t think you can blame Torts for the opening game line brawl. Do people seriously think he should have started the Canucks stars after seeing who the Flames were starting? No, I think the blame for that rests on Bob Hartley’s shoulders (such as they are.)

  10. slysipops - Jan 19, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    TORTS SAYS: mess with my team …… you mess with me ………………

  11. threechordmonte - Jan 19, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Torts can’t have it both ways. Either the twins are tough or they’re not. Hartley may be low, but Tortorella proves he is always capable of sinking to greater depths.

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