A Fine Laine

Well, it didn’t take long for Columbus Blue Jackets star forward, Patrik Laine to exprience the #TortsEffect. On Monday night, Patrik Laine saw his minutes of ice-time go from seven to four to zero by period. He ended the night a minus-1 and had no shots recorded.

It was hard to ignore this image during the game – a disappointed, somewhat unfazed, Patrik Laine sitting on the bench during the 3rd period with his team down 3-2 after losing a lead twice in the game.

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What Happened?

According to the commentators in the video below, this shift in particular appears to show Laine looking lost, out of position, and lacking in hustle to recover the puck in the attacking zone. Although according to an often coy coach John Tortorella, this was not the reason for the benching.

When asked about it during the post-game presser, Tortorella indicated his reasoning would not be shared as it was for him and those involved to know and would not leave the locker room.

That’s gonna stay in-house. I know you guys are going to try to work me on that. It wasn’t beause of the missed assignment. There’s a number of things that come into play with that. That will stay in the locker room.

John Tortorella, Columbus Blue Jackets head coach

He went on to say it’s what he felt he needed to do and that the last thing he wants to do is bench a player, referring to the team as being “disjointed in all areas,” and suggesting “it’s an easy thing to bench a player.” He also mentioned he didn’t know how Laine would handle this as the team had a day off today. He indicated he and Patrik would talk and insisted that “it’s part of a process of being a pro, all that stuff comes into play.”

However, after watching the video above, that shift would most definitely have to have been a deciding factor in benching Laine. It’s difficult to believe that anything outside of that shift would have given Torts a reason otherwise. Over the past few seasons, John Tortorella has been praised for his hard-nosed work ethic and decisions – however, I’m starting to feel this may have gone too far; especially after this being the similar situation that occurred with the now departed, Pierre-Luc Dubois.

After the off-season acquisition of Max Domi (5pts in 14GP) combined with the trade to land Laine, you would think there was a plan here that GM Jarmo Kekalainen would have in place. Perhaps they did, but it appears at this point that the two may not be on the same page when it comes to that plan. That being said, John Torotorella is definitely the most successful coach in Blue Jackets history as be brought them from the bottom to a more respectable team. I guess only time will tell how this all unfolds – but for now, the saga continues.

Image result for jarmo kekäläinen and john tortorella

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