John Tortorella Suspended for 15 Days for Trying to Attack Bob Hartley in the Flames Locker Room (Videos)
If you’re not a huge fan of hockey but love the movie Slap Shot, you probably would have enjoyed Saturday night’s game between the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames. As soon as the referees dropped the puck at the start of the first period, a (good?) old-fashioned line brawl broke out. The result? Five fights, eight ejections, and 142 penalty minutes—in the first two seconds of the game.
So what the hell was this all about? Well, it was Calgary coach Bob Hartley who got the ball rolling here. In the NHL, the visiting coach sets his starting lineup first, and for some reason he put his fourth line out there to start the game. In hockey, that’s a universal sign that a team is looking for trouble.
At that point, Canucks coach John Tortorella could have responded by sending out his first line as usual, which would have sent the message, “nope, we’re not interested.” However, when this exact same scenario happened in a preseason game between Buffalo and Toronto—the Sabres sent out their goons and the Leafs sent out their snipers—there was still a ridiculous line brawl, and John Scott ended up going after Phil Kessel. So Tortorella didn’t take any chances. He sent his goon line out there, too. And this was the result:
Now, if it all ended there on the ice, Tortorella would have come out of this as the good guy. After all, it was Hartley who fired the metaphorical shots across Tortorella’s metaphorical bow. However, it did not end there. Instead, during the first intermission, John Tortorella went over to the visiting dressing room and tried to get a piece of Hartley, which nearly set off a brawl in the bowels of Rogers Arena.
Because of this, it’s Tortorella who comes off looking like the biggest idiot. And he’s definitely coming away with the biggest punishment. Hartley was fined $25,000 for starting this nonsense, but the league suspended Tortorella without pay for 15 days. Now his team will be without their head coach for a whopping six games.
Who’s looking forward to the next Canucks-Flames game on March 8?
Hat Tip – [ESPN]