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John Tortorella will be the one to fix the Philadelphia Flyers

Ever since John Tortorella became head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, there have been detractors. Some say he is too rough on players.

Some cite his previous stints in Columbus and New York to show he isn’t cut out for coaching. He can be rough with players and even rougher with members of the press.

However, if you look at his two-year tenure in Philadelphia, he has done well. This team went from 25 wins in 2021-22, to 31 wins in 2022-23, to 38 wins this year.

Likewise, the Flyers increased in goals scored from 211 to 222 to 235, while simultaneously dropping from 298 goals to 277 last year to 261 this season.

Fundamentally they are getting better and better. However, the power play is still pretty much a disaster. The good news is that the criminal homicide unit has gotten much, much better.

What does this have to do with tort? For starters, he’s a man big on fundamentals. He wants his players to play smart hockey.

His focus thus far has been on trying to get this team to play smarter so they can transition from the defensive end to their offensive game without coughing up the puck or giving up a big play.

One of the things he wants is responsibility in his players. He wants them to be the best they can be because he sees the potential for greatness that they have.

Sometimes this comes out when he calls out his players, as he did when talking about their poor play against the Islanders earlier this month. At the year-end press conference he said:

“I don’t take anything back from that. It wasn’t a complicated situation. I wanted our guys to understand – and they still do – that there’s a whole different level of toughness that comes with it as you get better as an organization. you’re the wrong coach if we’re going to hug and say: we’re here boys, you played there for a period and a half, but that’s okay.’

Johannes Tortorella

He wants his guys to play well. At the same time, he also stands up for them. When there were concerns that he was playing Sam Ersson in net too much, he said.

Remember, this is the same coach who was suspended for arguing with a referee. This is also the same coach who publicly defended former Flyer Kevin Hayes even though they didn’t get along last year.

As the Flyers began to slide toward the end of the season, Tortorella took responsibility for the way the team played and took issue with the notion that the Flyers did not belong in the contending team conversation.

“They’re young, they shouldn’t be here. We’re here. We’re here. Face it. And let’s be better. And I don’t think we’re ready to be better and that’s my problem. And it is my job. I didn’t do a good enough job to get them over the hump. After playing those seven games, and if it goes on, we still have six left. I did a good enough job to let them. understanding that we have to be different now, we have to be on a different level. That’s my frustration with myself and that’s my frustration with the team.”

Johannes Tortorella

He is a coach with passion. He is passionate about the way his players play. He is passionate about this game. This team has been in contention for most of this season.

It’s a shame they missed the postseason towards the end of the year because they really deserved a chance. There are many factors causing this collapse and they will all be discussed in due course. However, one thing is certain: it is not the coach. He’ll take this team back to the playoffs next year.

A coach who takes responsibility for the team is a coach who will gain the respect of the players. A coach who defends his players against outside criticism and directs it at himself, or throws it back at the media, is a coach who has the respect of his players.

Those players will fight for him. You’ll see this team turn it around for him next year.