Connect with us

Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers’ Tortorella Points Finger at Himself After Latest Loss



John Tortorella, Philadelphia Flyers

After Saturday’s 7-0 loss in New Jersey, Philadelphia Flyers coach John Tortorella said he has to do a better job preparing his team, and getting his players to have a defense-first mentality.

Truth be told, Tortorella was taking a bullet for a team that is wrecked by injuries, has little speed, and can’t come close to the Devils’ talent.

Tortorella tried to deflect the talk about the Flyers’ latest defeat, their seventh loss in the last eight games.

“It’s not effort-based,” he said of the latest skid. “We just have to be smart. We have to have the mindset that we had in the two Edmonton games. We have to think about winning games 2-1, because we’re just not built to make a bunch of offensive plays right now.

“The effort is there. I just don’t think we’re using our head and understanding how we have to play,” he added. “I think that falls on me to make sure they do understand that.”

Tortorella said he was “frustrated for them. … Listen that’s a good team (in New Jersey); we’re not anywhere near that team. So you have to adjust your game to give yourself a chance to win. That’s what frustrates me for them. We were going along OK. First period we checked well, kept it simple. Second period, not as good. But we just can’t give them the two free ones to have them go up 3-0.”

He was talking about turnovers by Scott Laughton and Morgan Frost that led to a pair of New Jersey goals.

Weak attack becomes weaker

“We’re not scoring four goals. We’re not,” Tortorella said, bluntly, knowing a weak offense has become much weaker with Travis Konecny sidelined. “And we have to understand who we are and play to it.”

Tortorella said Konecny has been a “spark plug” all season, “so losing him is a huge blow. That should let us know that, ‘OK, we’ve got to button it down even more.’ I’m not sure we win the game if we button it down because I think they’re that good. But we wouldn’t be crawling out of this building like we are.”

Added Tortorella: “We’re going to keep working at it. I’m not worried about the room. We just need to sustain the mental thought about how we want to play. We were so focused in those two Edmonton games because we knew what was coming with (Connor) McDavid and (Leon) Draisaitl and all those guys.”

Tortorella said the Devils — who have benefitted greatly from high draft picks who have blossomed — have more offensive weapons than the Oilers. Edmonton leads the NHL in goals per game (3.83 per game), while the Devils (3.51) are fifth, but New Jersey gets more balanced scoring throughout its lineup.

‘That falls on me’

“I don’t know why we can’t think that. That falls on me,” said Tortorella about getting his players to be more locked in defensively against teams like the Devils. “I need to get them to understand who we are, and how we have to play this last quarter of the year.”

He wants his team to play with more defensive structure, and to take better care of the puck than it did Saturday.

“We’re not there with that team,” he said, referring to the young, speedy and talented Devils. “I don’t know how else to say it. It’s not a criticism of our team. We’re not anywhere near them right now.

“This,” he said about his  team, “was probably them a few years ago, when they were going through their process. I have to continue to understand that. I just want our guys to have some sanity in the last quarter by playing smart  when we play these games now, because we have a limited lineup.”

The challenge doesn’t get any easier when the Philadelphia Flyers are back on the ice Wednesday, hosting the high-scoring New York Rangers.

Get PHHN+ today!

Get PhHN in Your Inbox

Enter your email address to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.

Flyers Cap Info

Copyright © 2023 National Hockey Now and Philadelphia Hockey Now. In no way affiliated with the Philadelphia Flyers or the National Hockey League.