Welcome to Columbus, Patrik Laine!
There are only four games in his tenure in Ohio and the Finnish winger has already found himself in John Tortorella’s kennel. In the 3-2 win of the Blue Jackets against the Hurricanes on Monday evening, he only played 11 minutes and 14 seconds. He rode the jaw for the last 6:19 of the second period and the entire last frame.
“No, that will stay in the house,” Tortorella told reporters after the game about why Laine was sitting. “I know you’ll try to work me on it. No, it wasn’t because of the missed assignment. There are a number of things that come into play with this. That’ll stay in the locker room.”
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That missed task he mentioned was Brock McGinn’s decisive goal in the second half – just over two minutes after Cam Atkinson gave the home team the lead with a penalty. The video shows Laine chilling in the right circle of the goal, not trying to pick up the open Hurricanes player. Tortorella made it clear, however, that it was more than just this one moment to earn the bank.
“Torts expects us to play as hard as possible,” said Atkinson after the game. “It doesn’t matter who you are and I think everyone knows that. If you don’t give 100 percent and look like you’re trying, he’ll put you. It’s no secret.”
Now in its sixth season in Ohio, Tortorella expects a lot – at a high level – from its players every night. While he said after the game that benching a player is “the last thing I want to do,” the lively, longtime bank manager has a penchant for seated boys when he’s not happy. He did it to Pierre-Luc Dubois before sending him north to the Winnipeg Jets for Laine and hometown kid Jack Roslovic on Jan. 23. He did it on Monday after Laine.
“We have a day off tomorrow. I’m sure Patty and I will have a chat,” Tortorella said when asked how he thinks his recently acquired 22-year-old winger could play more than half of the game off the bench will watch. “I know you think it’s a big deal. I think it’s part of a process to understand our team concept, how we do things here, the discipline of being a pro, it all comes into play . “
Tortorella added, “Through hell or the floods, I’ll try to find a way to get us into this tightness with lots of new bodies coming in here and understanding the standard and culture that we want here.”
On Monday evening, Laine had three goals in three games and an average of just under 20 minutes a night. The “other guy” in the deal, Roslovic, has seven points in seven games with the Blue Jackets, including the beauty of a game winner.
As for the Laine Bank, Twitter was of course everywhere.
So Patrick Laine was put on a bench before Pierre Luc Dubois played a game?
– Jeff Blair (@SNJeffBlair) February 9, 2021
Holy smoke, Tortorella has Patrik Laine already put on the bench? !!
– Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) February 9, 2021
Tired: Cakes that put someone on the bench who requests a trade and gives up in the middle of the game
Wired: Torts that have their new valuable possession on the bench after 3 goals in 4 games
– Zachary Armel (@NWHLWhubble) February 9, 2021
If Torts had trained Edmonton in the 80s, he might have put Gretzky on the bench.
– Jerod Smalley (@ JerodNBC4) February 9, 2021