John Tortorella’s team is on one heck of a roll these days.
The unheralded Columbus Blue Jackets are nipping at the skates of the Washington Capitals for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and home ice advantage in the playoffs.
As the grueling death march of the NHL’s postseason nears, the journeyman coach and his battling bunch are well positioned for a deep run, possibly even to sip champagne out of Lord Stanley’s cup.
Tortorella found himself in the media spotlight last year as a welcome relief to entitled, oppressed millionaires like Colin Kaepernick when as coach of the USA team in the World Cup he declared that he would bench any player who refused to stand for the national anthem. Tortorella then refused to grovel and beg for forgiveness after being savaged by the liberal media for what was a very serious crime in the eyes of the political correctness police.
While the USA squad was ousted early, the fiery Tortorella has done miraculous work on his real job as coach of the Blue Jackets and as a former Stanley Cup winning coach with the 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning he knows what it takes to win it all.
The Jackets are led on the ice by goalie Sergei Bobrovsky who has not only been their most valuable player but also is a contender for the coveted Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender. Any deep playoff run largely rests upon Bobrovsky’s shoulders because a hot goalie in the playoffs is a formidable advantage and a must for any prospective champion.
As it sits this morning, the Blue Jackets are just four points back of the Capitals with a huge game tonight against Washington that could close the gap to two with only a week left to go.
Big game tonight at @NationwideArena.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) April 2, 2017
Whether or not Tortorella’s team is able to overtake the Caps remains to be seen but there is a good chance that they may meet in the playoffs with more at stake than the President’s Trophy.