John Tortorella returns to the bench for the Vancouver Canucks for the first time in 15 days and six games after he was suspended for his role vs. the Calgary Flames that featured a line brawl to start the game and saw Tortorella confronting players outside of the Flames locker room.
In his absence the Canucks have gone 2-4 but enter Monday night’s game vs. the Detroit Red Wings on a three-game losing streak and with 63 points have a one-point lead on the Phoenix Coyotes for the eighth and final playoff spot in the loaded Western Conference.
“It hasn’t been a great two weeks,” Tortorella said Monday. “It’s been very embarrassing for my family, myself and more importantly everybody else around me that I’m supposed to represent.”
Tortorella’s temper getting the best of him and the resulting losing streak without him could result in Vancouver narrowly missing out on the playoffs and according to the Ottawa Sun, “If they miss the playoffs, Vancouver management will appreciate his stunt about as much as commissioner Gary Bettman did. … This whole incident has already looked bad on Tortorella but missing the playoffs could make it a lot worse.”
Tortorella will have to prove he has learned from his transgressions and avoid any more embarrassing incidents while getting Vancouver into the postseason to avoid potentially having to look for a new job.