John Tortorella is not one to shy away from bold proclamations.
The Blue Jackets are just one loss away from from an end to their 2018-19 campaign — and facing some dire consequences after mortgaging the future at the trade deadline in pursuit of one major Cup run.
But Columbus’ outspoken bench boss is feeling pretty positive — yes, positive — going into a do-or-die Game 6 against the Bruins Monday night.
“The biggest thing is I think we put a dent in (Tuukka) Rask, coming into Game 6 here,” Tortorella said. “That’s so important for offensive people.”
You could see his reasoning if you make a quick glance over at the box score — as Rask was looking awfully impervious going into the closing minutes of the third period.
Before a shot from Seth Jones deflected off of Matt Grzelcyk’s stick and tucked itself past Rask at 10:33 in the third period, Rask was in the midst of a shutout streak that stretched for 101:46 of ice time. Prior to that, the last goal surrendered by Rask was on that goal by Artemi Panarin in Game 4, in which the puck was somehow still live despite getting caught in the netting above the B’s goal.
And yes, while the Blue Jackets finally managed to break through against Rask in Game 5 with three goals in four shots — all over the span of 3:27 of game action — the Bruins, unsurprisingly, didn't exactly agree with Tortorella’s assessment.