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Flyers’ Tortorella Apologizes for Felix Sandstrom Reaction: ‘It was wrong’



Philadelphia Flyers news
Flyers head coach John Tortorella apologized on Tuesday for his reaction to a question about Felix Sandstrom after Sunday's loss to Florida. (Photo: AP)

Addressing the media prior to Tuesday night’s game against the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella apologized for his reaction to a question asked about goaltender Felix Sandstrom and his performance against Florida on Sunday night.

Tortorella’s reaction was a speechless one; the grizzly coach simply stood there, threw his arms in the air twice, and walked away a few seconds later. It appears that both he and the Flyers quickly picked up on how negatively this reaction was perceived.

“I made a terrible mistake with you guys the other night when. . . my body language was wrong. I tried to communicate with you guys after. He’s trying. Sandy’s trying,” Tortorella told traveling media in New York. “Things happened this year that put our goaltending situation into a little bit of a state of flux. Sandy did not deserve that from me.

“He did not deserve that from me. It was wrong.”

Sandstrom, the Flyers‘ current backup goaltender, allowed three goals on 14 shots against Florida on Sunday, playing a large part in the eventual 4-1 loss.

For most of his time in Philadelphia, things haven’t gone the 27-year-old’s way. In three seasons with the Flyers, Sandstrom has a record of 4-18-4 and a save percentage of .880.

This season, Sandstrom is posting a career-worst .823 save percentage. According to Moneypuck, Ottawa’s Mads Sogaard (-2.195/60) is the only goaltender, with a minimum of five games player, that has a worse Goals Saved Above Expected per 60 minutes than Sandstrom (-1.389/60).

And, as his comments indicate, Tortorella did not intend to throw Sandstrom under the bus. His reaction was to avoid stating the obvious, and inadvertently made things much, much worse. In real time, Tortorella’s reaction looked more like ‘You know the answer’ than anything else.

It’s water under the bridge now.

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