John Tortorella Calls Out Devils Young Star For Not Knowing How To Take A Hit

Published December 2, 2023 at 7:23 PM

In a recent press conference Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella called out a New Jersey Devils star for not knowing how to take a hit.

Devils Star Gets Crushed Leading To An Ejection

A couple of nights ago the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers faced off. During the game Devils' defenseman Luke Hughes was skating back for a puck when he got crushed by Flyers' forward Garnet Hathaway.

Luke Hughes goes to the locker room following this hit by Garnet Hathaway.

Hathaway has been assessed a 5-minute major penalty and has been ejected.

Hathaway would go on to be ejected for the action against Hughes. Hughes would leave the game to be evaluated but eventually return. After the game we heard from Flyers head coach John Tortorella on his opinion of the situation.

Tortorella Calls Out Young Devils Star

In his media availability, Tortorella spoke about the play. After saying he hoped Hughes would be okay he went on to call out the player for not protecting himself.

"Our players in this league do not put enough emphasis on making sure you're protecting yourself from hits like that. Making sure you absorb
hits like that. We've kind of tried to turn this league into a no-hit league. Now people aren't ready to be hit.I think it's a lost art in how you take hits."

Tortorella is a coach who likes his team to play physically and use the forecheck to wear teams down. Hits being called penalties more often of course is going to make this strategy less effective.

I'm not trying to go way back, but you've got to learn how to take a hit and if you do have a big hit, you shouldn't have to fight someone two seconds later because it's a big hit. That's what I don't get. Not blaming anybody; I just don't like where that part of the game is going.

Tortorella acknowledges that the game has changed but believes there are parts of it that have gone too far. He understands that this is where the game is and he cannot change that fact but sounds as though he misses some of the more physical play from when he first came on the coaching scene.

This play was deemed a dirty hit by the NHL and its referees. John Tortorella feels it is on the players to protect themselves better. Who do you think is right?

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December 2   |   17 answers
John Tortorella Calls Out Devils Young Star For Not Knowing How To Take A Hit

Was this a dirty hit or did Luke Hughes just put himself in a bad spot?

Garnet Hathaway dirty hit635.3 %
Luke Hughes put himself in a bad spot1164.7 %
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