Tortorella not worried about job security with Blue Jackets

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John Tortorella said he is not concerned about job security after the Columbus Blue Jackets lost a fifth straight game, 3-1 to the Nashville Predators on Sunday.

“You know what … I never worry about that,” Tortorella said. “I do my job the best I can. If people want to make decisions on me, that’s their decision. I never worry about that. I go about my business, and I’m going to coach this team the best way I possibly can.”

Columbus (8-10-5) is 1-5-2 in its past eight games and is in fifth place in the Discover Central Division. It has scored two goals in the past three games.

Tortorella is in his sixth season with the Blue Jackets. He is 217-149-47 with them and guided them to the first Stanley Cup Playoff series win in their history, a four-game sweep of the No. 1-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2019 Eastern Conference First Round.

Tortorella benched top-line center Pierre-Luc Dubois in the first period of a 3-2 overtime loss to the Lightning on Jan. 21.

“I’ve told you many times, I really don’t make decisions as far as minutes, it’s up to the player to show me,” Tortorella said after the game. “And if there’s one thing I’m pretty easy to read on is the minutes. You’re going to get out there, if you play and if you play the proper way you’re going to get back out there. The onus is on the player and all players, not just the player we’re talking about here that sat. It’s all the players, and I’m not a hard guy to read as far as that’s concerned.” 

Dubois was traded to the Winnipeg Jets two days later.

On Feb. 8, forward Patrik Laine, one of the players acquired in the Dubois trade, was benched in the second period of a 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes. It was Laine’s fourth game with Columbus.

“It’s what I feel I need to do,” Tortorella said after the game. “The last thing I want to do is bench a player. It’s an easy thing to bench a player. Honestly, that’s the last thing I want to do, but if I think I need to do it, then I need to do it.”

Tortorella is 663-525-125 with 37 ties in 1,350 games as an NHL coach with the Blue Jackets, Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers and Lightning. He won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004.

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