John Tortorella calls Ryan Reaves ‘that animal,’ calls out his players

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Getty Images

The Columbus Blue Jackets aren’t going to win every game 10-0, mainly because Al Montoya only plays for Montreal. But also because NHL teams are by and large pretty good. Like the St. Louis Blues, who defeated the Jackets, 2-1 in overtime, on Saturday night.

The loss left John Tortorella dissatisfied with the efforts of his top players, and when John Tortorella is dissatisfied with the efforts of his top players, we usually get to hear about it.

But first, a player that John Tortorella was pleased with: Nick Foligno, who decided to fight Ryan Reaves in the second period:

Full marks to Foligno for the hockey fighting equivalent of running into traffic with a blindfold on.

“The thing that crawls up my ass is … I watched Nick Foligno fight that animal,” said Tortorella.

OK, moving on.

“I watch [Curtis McElhinney] play the way he did in net. I watched others do everything they possibly can to try to win the hockey game. And then I see a few of our top guys, they did not give enough. For this team to make the right steps to go where we want to go, as we continue building the club, we can not see that again from some of these guys, as far as the lack of give in certain situations. And I keep putting them out on the ice, and I kick myself in the ass now, hoping and, aw, it’s wrong. It’s wrong to see some guys give absolutely everything they have. And to see what Nick did, if I’m a teammate of his, I’m going to get behind him and do everything I can. And I did not see that,” said Tortorella.

Here are his comments:

I guess our only question is: If something has crawled up Torts’ ass, but he’s kicking his own ass, did the thing that crawled up his ass fall out eventually?

Related: Isn’t it great this is an actual postgame press conference from a professional hockey coach?

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.