The five players that (probably) will give John Tortorella fits

Check Torts’ blood pressure

Errant cell phone press conference calls aside, John Tortorella has managed to maintain his temper so far in Vancouver.

But I think we all know it’s only a matter of time before he goes off (I’m thinking sometime on the seven game road trip in the middle of October).

Torts hasn’t even found his “Brooksie” yet. I’m really hoping it becomes long-time Province scribe Tony Gallagher. Torts would be wise to avoid the gaze of Gallagher, as it’s rumored that looking into his eyes turns one to stone (or was that Gallagher’s brother Skeletor?!).

While it’s the media that often publicly receives the brunt of Torts fury, over the years there have been players who just didn’t fit into his game plan. I’m looking at you Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Carl Hagelin and (probably) Henrik Lundqvist.

One of the more entertaining parts of this season should be discovering which players cause Tortorella’s blood pressure to skyrocket.

Here are my top five choices:

Andrew Alberts

Want dumb penalties? He can provide them. What about a lack of skating ability? He’s got that too. Alberts was one of Alain Vigneault’s boys and I just don’t see him playing much of a role on the Canucks this season. He’s too slow, takes too many penalties and has zero offensive touch.

Just remember, this is the guy that AV played instead of Keith Ballard on so many nights…

Zack Kassian

Kassian might be safe for the first month of the season after his tomahawk attack on Sam Gagner in the pre-season.

But that whole incident kind of sums up Kassian’s play on the Canucks so far – reckless, awkward and difficult to watch. What makes it even more frustrating is that Kassian was slotted to play with the Sedins and now he may have lost that role.

Torts already is questioning his fitness and that’s never a good sign. The power forward we’re waiting for is looking more like Jim Sandlak and less like Cam Neely.

Kevin Bieksa

I think Bieksa will be put under the microscope by Torts

Kevin Bieksa

Another one of AV’s boys, I think Bieksa will be put under the microscope by Torts and he might not like what he finds. Like Alberts, he takes far too many pointless penalties and was fifth amongst all Canucks d-men in blocked shots last year – definitely not enough for the amount of playing time he’s used to receiving. Y

ou can already see Torts leaning more on Alex Edler and Jason Garrison and moving away from Bieksa in the pre-season. It could be a much different year for #3.

Jannik Hansen

There’s one thing that is apparent about Hansen after five seasons in the NHL – he has no offensive touch.

He can skate, check, hit but he still hasn’t blossomed offensively (even while playing with the Sedins) and probably never will. To see a guy with that much talent but no offensive skill would be maddening for a coach and I’d guess Torts is no different.

Hansen is a third line, a checker and a penalty killer – nothing more. He’s also the perfect guy for Torts to develop into a shot blocker as he only blocked 10 shots in 47 games last season.

Roberto Luongo

A big portion of Torts first season is riding on a guy who doesn’t really want to be in Vancouver – Luongo. His numbers have only got worse over the past few years and he’s definitely not getting any younger.

Plus, we all know how much Torts hates Twitter and that seems to be Luongo’s best skill nowadays. And just ask Lundqvist how much he misses Torts…

But no matter how much the players drive him nuts, Torts can take solace in the fact that Point Roberts and it’s lack of media, hockey and people in general is less than an hour away from the rink.

Just don’t get in a shouting match with the border guards…


Follow our Editor "Q" on Twitter, and NWSB, 'Like' us on Facebook.
About Ben Lypka

Straight outta South Central Delta, BC, Ben's been a sports nut for as long as he can remember. With experience covering the Olympic Games and reporting on sporting events in BC and Alberta, he hopes to bring a unique perspective to the NWSB! You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Ben today!
Twitter: @BenLypka
NWSB Facebook FanPage
Subscribe To Ben's Articles Via RSS On NWSB
Like Something I wrote? Hate it? Hit me back today I want to hear from you!

North West Sports Beat

Sponsored Links


10 Articles To Your Inbox Daily! NWSB Daily Brew! Get It Now! Newsletter
NorthWest Sports Beat