Hockey and Hounds: Torts defends Bob’s play, Jones nearing a return

The head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets had his weekly visit with Carpenter and Rothman on 97.1 The Fan Wednesday for his Hockey and Hounds segment to assess the team’s play overall this season and the recent road trip in Florida.

“We’ve been up and down. We’ve been working on a lot of things. I don’t want to get into panic mode. There’s been a lot of crazy things going on in games and teams just trying to get themselves straightened out,” Tortorella said.

“Even in that 8-2 game (against Tampa Bay). It’s an 8-2 game on the scoreboard, I don’t think we played it as an 8-2 game. There were some good things that I saw that we can build on. We just gotta get some consistency.”

A lot of the scrutiny here in the early goings of the season lands on goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, whose future with the team has been a discussion all offseason. Bobrovsky’s contract expires at the end of this current season. Torts passionately defended his netminder and gave some justification.

“I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let anybody blame Bob for that 8-2 loss. Is Bob’s game totally set? No,” Torts said. “I think goaltending is a thing that they need to just play and find themselves. It’s different for them in the summer vs. the regular skaters. So Bob needs some time. Would we like to have a couple back? Would Bob? Sure.”

Another major point of emphasis with the CBJ is the return of star defenseman Seth Jones. And there appears to be good news on that front.

“I think the prognosis when he was hurt was 4-6 (weeks). I think that’s gonna be more at the floor end then the six. He skated the past couple of days. Had a good day yesterday and a very good day today.”

“I gotta talk to the trainers. As coaches we want him in right now. We’re five games into it with a very important player. We gotta make sure he’s set. But when he’s ready to go I’m not easing him in. He’s playing and he’s gonna play minutes.”

And Torts also addressed a situation that was brought up by SportsNet’s Nick Kypreos where he stated that forward Josh Anderson is clearly unhappy with his recent demotion. It was suggested that a trade request is just a matter of time. Torts swatted that one away like a nice kick save.

“Those guys throw things against the wall and see what sticks. Andy (Anderson) came into my office yesterday to talk about his game. I’ve taken him off the penalty kill, and I think he’ll be a terrific penalty killer. I’m more concerned about his 5-on-5 game.”

Torts then went more in depth into what was said in the meeting.

“I think Andy has been really good and then he has been really bad. We’re trying to get some consistency. If there’s one player that I talk to so much where I feel he can be so good. He can be that power forward with skill, it’s this guy. I see so many good things in him. We’ve kinda gotta get it figured out together what we’re gonna be. Are you gonna be that offensive guy that’s trying to tip pucks by guys and get on a breakaways with your speed, or are you gonna play the game the right way? We’ll get him to play the game the right way one way or another.”

Torterella says he hasn’t even had the conversation with Anderson about whether he wants to be in Columbus or not, saying the player knows he can talk anytime about that.

“We’re going full bore ahead with him because we see so many good things.”

You can catch John Tortorella every Wednesday on Carpenter and Rothman on 97.1 The Fan, and also tune in every Wednesday at 7pm for the latest in Blue Jackets hockey with the Inside Edge with Bob McElligot and Jody Shelley.