As long as John Tortorella keeps showing Ryan Johansen tough love in Columbus, trade rumors will swirl uncontrollably. One game after benching Johansen an entire third period, Tortorella scratched the young center at Arizona.
To his credit, Johansen handled it maturely, at least publicly.
“It’s been brewing for a while,” Johansen told the Columbus Dispatch. “Since the last game in Dallas, I made a few mistakes [that] we’ve been going over as a team, things we have to erase from our game. Full responsibility. My fault. When you’re not doing your job, you have to learn from it.
“I’m going to use it as a positive and take this day to watch the guys and realize that I don’t want this to happen again.”
Said Tortorella: “It’s just a reset for him, in understanding — trying to have him understand — what we’re looking for, not just in the points but in the play. … You can’t look at this as punishment; it’s part of the process for him.”
We’ll see. This relationship, not just between coach and player but player and organization, seems fractured, Count on the Jackets to continue to get phone calls about the potential No. 1 center. One team undoubtedly keeping an eye on this is the Wild.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has one goal — an empty-netter — in 26 games. He’s now on the fourth line.
“I’m just as mad at myself, if not worse than anybody else,” he told the Orange County Register. “If I can keep playing the way I’m capable of playing and the way my body feels right now, I feel like at the end of the year we’ll be laughing about it. That’s the mind-set I have to be in.”