UPDATE: We've added the audio of coach John Tortorella speaking to the media after today's scrimmage. Over 5,000 fans attended and watched the simulated game, which was eventually decided in a shootout.
The fact that the Blue Jackets swept the Tampa Bay Lightning has left Columbus with some free time between Game Four and their second round series against the winner of the Toronto/Boston matchup.
They took a couple days off, and then they practiced Friday and Saturday. After those workouts, coach John Tortorella met with the media.
Some of the highlights...
- "It's a big challenge for the coaching staff. I'm concerned as we move forward here just to make sure [when] some guys haven't been involved in this situation before, a big part of our job as coaches is just to make sure we do this the right way as prepare for our next opponent."
- On whether Friday's practice made him any less concerned: "No."' Then Saturday? "So much better than yesterday."
- "A collective belief is a very dangerous thing. You can get a lot accomplished with a collective belief."
- "Our elimination game? It was a blast. It was. It was fun in the locker room, but we can't have fun all the time here...I thought about it [Wednesday], and I got nervous right away thinking about it, as far as our challenge ahead of us here, because we want to keep going. I can't put it any other way."
- "All coaches are is guidance counselors...This is the players' game. Our job is to guide them."
- On Matt Duchene: "I think he likes talking hockey. I watch him with the other coaches. I watch him before games go see [goaltending coach Manny Legace] and talk about the goaltender. I think he's a student of the game."
- On Sergei Bobrovsky's reputation of wilting in the playoffs: "I think Bob has basically, for one round here, given you the finger."
- "I don't watch the other games. I'm just watching the Bruins and Toronto, because that's our next step. The other games? They're on too late, first of all."
- Aaron Portzline: "Have you ever used an emoji, John?" John Tortorella: "Who?"