Ducks rookie Zegras responds to John Tortorella’s criticism of “the pass”

ducks vs red wings
Nov 16, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras (46) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Washington Capitals in the third period at Honda Center. The Ducks defeated the Capitals 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s “the pass” streamed all around the world.

Anaheim Ducks rookie Trevor Zegras has been the toast of the NHL since pulling off an amazing puck flip pass for a goal that has been viewed over 50 million times so far.

Although the play is still being heralded, ESPN’s John Tortorella criticized it as not being “good for the game.”

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Tortorella not a fan of Zegras pass

“I’m not trying to be difficult about it. It’s fun to watch, it’s really cool but I just think our game has gone so far away from what the game should be. A hard game, an honest game. It’s almost gotten to showman,” Tortorella said. “I know you need to have it, you need to sell the game but I’m from the ilk that an honest hockey game needs to be played.”

Zegras was behind the net on Tuesday night when he lifted the puck with the blade of his stick and flipped it in front to Sonny Milano, who slapped the puck into the goal.

“I had some time, so (Milano) was calling for a Michigan,” Zegras recalled after the game. “So I picked it up and passed it to him. It was pretty funny how it all worked out.”

The 63 year-old Torts, known for his public confrontation with players and press, noted that it really was a great pass. Despite the acknowledgement he simply doesn’t feel it’s the right way to play.

“It’s tremendously skilled,” he said. “My position, is it good for the game? I’m not so sure. If you did that back in 2000, late ’90s you’d get your head taken off. It’s cool to watch and all that, but I’m not so sure it’s good for the game. I’d have a talk with [Zegras and Milano] after the game.”

Zegras responds

john tortorella trevor zegras
zDec 2, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella looks on from behind the bench against the Washington Capitals in the second period at Capital One Arena. The Capitals won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletic asked Zegras about Torts’ comments and he found them to be “weird.”

“It’s one of those things where I’m not really too worried what (Tortorella’s) thinking or what he’s saying,” Zegras said. “I thought it was just weird that he would try and kind of — I don’t want to say shoot it down — but I feel like it did so much good for the game. Seeing all these little kids try the move.”

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Zegras even admitted that he got his inspiration from players like Patrick Kane, whom he watched perform spin-o-ramas growing up. In his mind, the play was safe. Before he tried it, he made sure no Sabres’ defender was coming at him behind the net.

“I didn’t really see where he was coming from. It’s just one of those things that he’s entitled to this opinion. I guess we got to just live with it,” Zegras concluded.