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Flyers’ John Tortorella Kicked in Face by Horse, But Able to Coach



John Tortorella, Philadelphia Flyers
File photo

John Tortorella loves animals, and has a farm in South Jersey that gives him lots of satisfaction when he is away from the ice.

One of his horses, however, accidentally injured the Philadelphia Flyers coach, according to ESPN analyst Brian Boucher, the former Philly goaltender.

On the Philadelphia Flyers-Columbus Blue Jackets broadcast Tuesday on ESPN+,  the camera zoomed in on a painful-looking red bruise on Tortorella’s left cheek and a bruised lip.

No, it wasn’t from a stray puck.

“It was a horse-kicking incident,” Boucher told the audience early in the Flyers’ 5-4 overtime loss.

Boucher talked to Tortorella about if before the game.

“He said he was awfully lucky — it could have been a lot worse,” Boucher said.

Said ESPN’s John Buccigross after a first period in which Columbus capitalized on a bad Philadelphia Flyers line change and built a 1-0 lead: “That was a bit of a kick in the face.”



Shortly after the Flyers hired him in June, Tortorella said he and his wife, Christine, were looking for a home for their four dogs (pit-bull mixes that were rescued) and three horses.

They found one in Burlington County.

Tortorella didn’t talk about his horses, but seemed to have an affinity for his “pitties.”

“I know they have kind of a (bad) connotation for what kind of animal they are,” he said at the time. “We kind of focus on those type of dogs because they’re stuck in shelters all over the world. They’re such great animals. We as people screw them up.”

Tortorella, 64, has said he sometimes wonders what is more important to him and his family — hockey or animals. He and his wife started the John and Christine Family Foundation for Giving Back. The foundation’s mission is to help improve the lives of children and animals and protect the environment.

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