Well, that escalated quickly.
In last night’s Blue Jackets (6-5-3) 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes (7-3-0) which saw a highlight reel goal from Jack Roslovic, head coach John Tortorella benched Patrik Laine.
From the late second period on, Laine didn’t see another shift. “That’s going to stay in-house,” John Tortorella said. “It’s what I feel I need to do. The last thing I want to do is bench a player.” Torts also clarified it wasn’t based on one play.
“I know you guys are going to try to work me on that,” Torts continued. “No, it wasn’t because of the missed assignment. There’s a number of things that come into play with that. That’ll stay in the locker room.”
NHL Scores: Vancouver Canucks lose again, Lightning roll, and more
The Canucks (6-10-1) lost for the 5th straight time against the Maple Leafs (10-2-1) 3-1. At the end of the second period, Vancouver dominated in shots 27-7 but the score was 1-1. Then in the third the team couldn’t keep it together and Auston Matthews scored his 11th on the season to win it. Leafs outshot them 12-5 in the final stanza.
“It’s a good game, but not good enough,” Elias Pettersson said following the loss. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore. It’s frustrating. I hate losing.”
In the way-to-easy Central Division, the Lightning (8-1-1) are rolling over opponents. They knocked off the Predators (5-7) 4-1 on the strength of two goals by Anthony Cirelli.
Over in the East, the Islanders (5-4-2) took out the Rangers (4-5-2) on two third period goals 2-0. Semyon Varlamov is the first goalie in Islanders history to shutout the Rangers twice in the same season. The remaining action saw the Coyotes (6-5-1) edge the Blues (7-4-2) 4-3 in a shootout and the Oilers (7-7) beat the Senators (2-10-1) 3-1.
NHL Quotes: Cam Atkinson on Torts benching Laine
Cam Atkinson explained, with Torts it doesn’t matter who you are – just work.
NHL Celebrates Black History Month
A profile and interview with HHOF’s Angela James.