John Tortorella is back from his two-week mandated winter vacation, returning to a Canucks team that didn't fare too well in his absence. Vancouver went 2-4 during his suspension, including three straight losses headed into Monday night when he'll return behind the bench.
But on his first day back with the team, the first thing Torts did was address his actions that led to the 15-day suspension from the NHL.
"I apologize first and foremost to the players, to the organization and to the league. It hasn't been a great two weeks" - Tortorella— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) February 3, 2014
That wasn't all that Torts had to say as he described his actions.
Says he wasn't just off the rails when he charged down that corridor he was "off the country"— Jason Botchford (@botchford) February 3, 2014
Torts didn't take questions but said that it was his stupidity that cost him and called it embarrassing while admitting the suspension was worthy.
It sure seems clear the message got through to Tortorella that he crossed a line that can't even be toed in the NHL when he confronted the Flames and coach Bob Hartley in the hallways after a game-opening line brawl. He certainly sounded contrite.
Now more importantly, Tortorella has to work on getting the Canucks back on the rails of the winning track, starting with the game in Detroit on Monday night. He put some of the fact that the team is "off the rails" right now on his absence and he says it's up to him to try and fix it.
With the three straight losses, the Canucks' lead in the wild card race is down to one point over the Coyotes and now the trio of the Stars, Predators and Jets aren't far behind, four points back.