John Tortorella's Columbus Blue Jackets were a nice little story entering the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs, a tournament they barely snuck into the final few days of the season thanks to winning their final two games. Any time Torts makes the playoffs it's a good thing, because it will more than likely produce some postgame press conference gold from the head coach at some point.
However, on Wednesday, Torts changed it up with some pregame, wired-for-sound gold in the locker room. In a now viral speech, Tortorella dropped F-bombs left and right, which should come as a surprise to no one that's followed his career. It's simply part of his vernacular, but in between the F-bombs was an inspiring speech that will make you want to run through 10 brick walls. Have a listen, and don't be afraid to turn up the volume as the curse words are bleeped out (cowards!):
Torts' message was simple. The Tampa Bay Lightning are very good, more than good actually. They were historically good this regular season, making them an overwhelming favorite to win the Stanley Cup, which is an uncommon occurrence given the wackiness of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Just about any team in the dance can win, yet the Bolts seem to be the consensus pick to finally get the job done this year after knocking on the door in three of the last four seasons. But just because Columbus was a heavy underdog, on the road, didn't mean they should just lay down.
Early on, it looked like Torts' message had fallen on deaf ears, as the Jackets were getting run out of the building. They trailed 3-0 at the end of the first period, and with 40 minutes left to play in Game 1, the brooms were already out. Time to PACK IT UP, as Tortorella once famously said to one of his former teams.
Apparently, Torts either repeated his pregame speech at first intermission or got even more aggressive with his squad, because they came roaring all the way back, scoring one goal in the second period and three goals in the third to stun the Lightning 4-3 and take Game 1. Suddenly, all the momentum is now in Columbus' corner, which had Tortorella in a very good mood afterwards. And by good mood I mean he accused the entire press room of having B.O.:
Please, hockey gods, let this man win another Cup. Not only because he deserves it, but because we'll get another two-plus months of him in playoff form.