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Analyzing the NHL’s Decision on the John Tortorella Suspension

Reviewing the NHL’s decision on the John Tortorella suspension for two games. Did they make the right call?

John Tortorella is one of the most engaging coaches to watch in the NHL. From the way he talks to the media, shows his temper, and calls out his own players. You never quite know what to expect from him. These reasons are why fans have love and hate feelings towards the Philadelphia Flyers head coach. And, while he’s getting support from his team for standing up for his guys in this latest instance, the NHL didn’t find what he did amusing. He’s been suspended for two games.

John Tortorella Flyers coach

A Night to Forget

Saturday, March 9 marked a crucial game for the Philadelphia Flyers. They are barely holding on to the third playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division. That matchup held the Flyers up against the Tampa Bay Lightning. This was soon a game to forget about for John Tortorella, as his team was down by four goals in the first period. After Garnet Hathaway took a game misconduct, Tortorella had some choice words for the referees.

Officials Wes McCauley and Brandon Schrader decided to give the head coach the boot for his unnecessary language toward them. Tortorella did not go quietly. He refused to originally leave the bench before having no choice. The Philadelphia Flyers lost the game 7-0 while Tortorella received a $50K fine and a two-game suspension.

Did the NHL Make the Right Call?

The suspension was a bit much for the Flyers head coach. His team is currently in a tight playoff race and emotions were running high on Saturday night. After falling behind by four goals and just over ten minutes into the game, of course, the head coach was not happy. I think some of Tortorella’s anger came from his team’s play more than the officials themselves. He just chose a bad time to let it out.

It’s not entirely clear what was said by Tortorella, but Elliotte Friedman believes that this is a situation where we should hear what the officials have to say as well. I agree that this would be necessary.

John Tortorella’s NHL Discipline History

Tortorella can have a bit of a temper at times. Ten years ago, he was suspended for fifteen days due to an incident during a game with the Calgary Flames. Bob Hartley and John Tortorella were ready to drop the gloves themselves. The game started with a line brawl and ended up having Tortorella — then head coach of the Vancouver Canucks — attempt to charge into the Calgary Flames dressing room. This gave the NHL coach a tough look.

Many people believed he showed poor sportsmanship and should be embarrassed for his actions. His intense history may have been a factor in the present-day suspension. Previous discipline often plays a factor in player suspensions and I think it wise to include it for coach suspensions as well.

Do you think the NHL made the right call?

Next up: Senators’ Josh Norris Out for Season After Third Shoulder Surgery

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Lawrence

    March 11, 2024 at 3:52 pm

    Why did you not mention the 3 bad calls by McCauley, which led to 2 goals on the ensuing powerplays. The third infraction was a 10 minute misconduct against hathaway on something that happens in pretty much every game, that doesn’t even bring a 2 minute penalty. It was a bad night for that ref, and Torts didn’t lose it until after he was ejected. Couturier said that what was said to the ref, didn’t warrant a ejection. Tell the whole story from both sides in the future.

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