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Flyers’ John Tortorella Refuses to Evaluate Kevin Hayes’ Game

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John Tortorella, Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers coach John Tortorella benched his leading scorer, Kevin Hayes, for the previous four periods before Tuesday night.

Hayes returned to the lineup Tuesday in the Flyers’ 5-3 win over the visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets. He had no points and was used on the third line.

So how did Tortorella think the center-turned-left-winger played?

He wouldn’t answer the question.

“I’m not going to have the Kevin Hayes update,” he said. “You guys are trying to pit him against me, and me against him, which is so ludicrous. So I’m not giving you any update on Kevin Hayes.”

Actually, the question was asked to find out if Tortorella thought Hayes¬† improved in areas of his game — defense, his play without the puck — that the coach didn’t like.

Hayes, 30, played left wing on a line with center Scott Laughton and right winger Zack MacEwen. Hayes had five shot attempts (three on goal) and an “even” plus-minus rating in 14:25.

On Monday, Hayes said he didn’t think his benching was deserved.

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