Ryan Johansen confirms 'not in shape' benching by Tortorella

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Ryan Johansen confirms 'not in shape' benching by Tortorella
Ryan Johansen confirms 'not in shape' benching by Tortorella

There seems to be some early disconnect between Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen and new coach John Tortorella.

Johansen didn’t play the final 6:10 of Tortorella’s first game as the team’s new coach, an Oct. 22 contest at the Minnesota Wild. 

This led to a report by the New York Posts’ Larry Brooks that Tortorella benched first-line pivot because Johansen was "not in shape."

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Johansen confirmed the report to the Columbus Dispatch on Friday, but was perturbed as to how the information was leaked. 

"That was something that was said in the room," Johansen said. "That's something that shouldn't leave the room. You always hear (about) those codes from teams and players around the league: what's said in the room is said in there, and that's between us. Whatever me and coach talk about is between me and him." 

Tortorella has denied Brooks’ report.

Johansen left the team’s roadtrip after the Minnesota game with a mystery illness. It was reported by the Dispatch that the 23-year-old Johansen was feeling tired during third periods this season and returned to Columbus for additional testing.

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Judging by quotes from the Dispatch between Tortorella and Johansen, there appears to be disagreement between the fiery new coach, who has been with the team since Oct. 21, and his star player as far as Johansen’s fatigue level.

Johansen is expected to be in the lineup Friday when the Blue Jackets take on the Washington Capitals. Johansen has missed Columbus' last two games. The quotes are in regards to a Thursday practice. 

Said Tortorella, “He struggled through the practice yesterday. Hopefully he'll feel better (today) after getting a practice under his belt. We'll see how it goes as the game goes on."

Said Johansen, "I didn't think practice was that tough." He added, "No, I felt pretty good." 

The center said he's "100 percent" though wouldn't elaborate on the nature of the illness.  

Johansen has six points in eight games played this season. He notched 71 points last season, which was a career high. 

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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