If anyone asks, you heard it here first.
Clear your schedules on Wednesday, May 8th. That’s when the Columbus Blue Jackets and Boston Bruins are to play Game 7 of their second round Eastern Conference playoff series.
That’s according to Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella, who guaranteed it after Columbus’ 4-3 loss to Boston at TD Garden on Saturday night. The defeat saw the Jackets fall behind 3-2 in their best-of-seven clash.
The 60-year-old bench boss was his prickly, post-loss self while speaking to the media following the back-and-forth contest. If there was a message that he wanted to spread, though, it was that he’s confident in the men within his dressing room.
John Tortorella's #CBJ guarantee: “Things happen for a reason. We have chances to tie it again, doesn’t [happen], things happen for a reason and I truly believe that. We’ll be back here for Game 7.”
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 5, 2019
Before he abruptly left the podium after only a few minutes in front of the microphone, he made reference to Game 7 once again when asked about the offensive contributions of Ryan Dzingel and Dean Kukan — both of whom scored their first playoff goals of the year in Game 5.
“We got some lines to get some offence, yeah,” he said, according to Matt Porter of the Boston Globe. “We found some lines that were going to give us some offence and we’ll get ready to play Game 7.”
“We will,” he stately bluntly when asked why he has faith that his team will be able to swing the series back to Boston. “Because we will.”
This isn’t the first time that a guarantee has been uttered during this postseason. After his San Jose Sharks defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of their first round series a few weeks ago, Tomas Hertl guaranteed that they’d be back for a Game 7 during a post-game interview.
Tomas Hertl, extremely happy child, guarantees a Game 7 pic.twitter.com/C1fBxfn9wn
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 19, 2019
Three days later, he scored the double-overtime winner in Game 6. And after some fireworks in Game 7, San Jose advanced to the second round in stunning fashion.
And whenever the topic of NHL playoff guarantees comes up, you have to mention Mark Messier’s ahead of Game 6 in the Eastern Conference final between his New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils in 1994.
We’ll have to wait and see if Tortorella’s vote of confidence comes through for Columbus this time around, because this tactic didn’t work out last year.
Best part about John Tortorella's prediction tonight, "We'll be back here for Game 7," is that he said the same thing after a 4-3 OT loss against Washington in Game 5 of the first round last year. Literally used the exact same words. Columbus lost 6-3 in Game 6 against the Caps.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) May 5, 2019
Game 6 of the Blue Jackets-Bruins series will be Monday night at Nationwide Arena.
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