Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella is not afraid to speak his mind. For example, he ripped into the Flyers team culture before coaching a single game in Philadelphia.
It came as no surprise when Tortorella made the news for something controversial. However, the cause wasn’t a comment on a player or his team. Rather, it had to do with technology.
Tortorella removed iPads from the Flyers bench on Wednesday. They did win their first game without them, 5-3 over the Washington Capitals, but the decision created some backlash.
However, in classic Tortorella fashion, he dismissed the criticism. “I don’t give a flying s— of how I’m perceived. I really don’t,” he told reporters Friday.
“If I’m in the business to try to make everybody happy and be perceived as whatever you want to perceive, I don’t know. That’s a tough way to live. I really don’t pay too much attention to it,” Tortorella continued.
The decision may stem from an image out of a Flyers loss to the Colorado Avalanche in December. Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk huddled with a couple of teammates over an iPad, seemingly going over their last shift.
“We took the video on the bench off the bench because we want them to just worry about their next shift,” Tortorella explained. “I think it’s a major problem with us, understanding momentums of the game. You can’t understand momentums of the game if you’re looking at the iPad all the time.”
While controversial, perhaps the move can spark the struggling Flyers. Tortorella’s team sits in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division. They own the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference, only ahead of the Montreal Canadiens and Columbus Blue Jackets.