Hockey coaches come in all shapes, sizes and styles. One of the most unique is Philadelphia Flyers bench boss John Tortorella, who once again imposed his way of thinking.
His latest crusade was against the use of iPads on the bench, which players and coaches use to watch games in real time. iPads and other tablets have become commonplace behind the benches in the National Hockey League, instead of having to wait between periods to do any video analysis.
Their inclusion in the league received generally positive reviews, but not from Tortorella, who finally removed them from the Flyers’ bench.
“I think it’s a big challenge for us to understand the driving force behind the game,” Tortorella said. “You can’t understand the driving force of the game if you’re looking at the iPad all the time. We removed them and we are not even going to use them so that they watch the game and see what will happen next.
“If we’re going to keep growing here, just get ready for the next shift.” Tortorella added on Friday. “… With an iPad, you point at everything while you play; it’s almost like you should (as a coach) because we just saw it. And we train. I think sometimes we get in the way and cloud their head with what just happened instead of trying to take care of things the next shift.”
When asked if he’s worried that his recent obsession will solidify the “old school” moniker he’s known for, the 64-year-old was perfectly clear.
“I don’t care how they perceive me,” he replied. “Actually, no, because my job is to coach the team. If I’m in business to try and make everyone happy and be accepted (positively), it’s a difficult lifestyle – and I really don’t pay too much attention to it. .. I’m kind of locked into what’s best for the team and I have to make those calls.”
By the looks of it, this decision has led to some positive developments, as Philadelphia have won six of their last seven games. Although they remain second to last in the highly competitive Capital Division, this newfound focus has already brought a career year to striker Travis Konechny, who is well known at the club for regularly turning to devices on the bench. .
“Everyone twittered to me because I always look at them, but I don’t care.” Konecny joked after scoring a hat-trick in the Flyers’ 5-3 win over the Washington Capitals.
“He may have been upset that the iPads were missing tonight,” striker Scott Lawton said of his teammate. “He looks at it pretty well after every shift.”
The Canadian center has every reason to shrug off those comments, with nine goals and five more assists during Philadelphia’s solid performance.
Whether this will help the Flyers secure a place in the second half of the season remains to be seen, but if they continue to get in shape, then we could have one of the greatest turnarounds in recent memory.
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