Under correct and very specific circumstances, we’re sure that John Tortorella would be more than happy to take a selfie with a fan.
Apparently, during an NHL regular-season game against the Calgary Flames with massive playoff implications isn’t the correct time. That’s precisely what a woman sitting behind the Blue Jackets bench during Columbus’ visit to the Scotiabank Saddledome discovered on Wednesday night.
John Tortorella: not a fan of selfies 😂 pic.twitter.com/RiBaI9x718
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 5, 2020
Her reaction to the snub is priceless.
It’s as if there was no situation in her mind where he would turn down her request. And can you blame her? There are few things more harmless and less time-consuming than posing for a quick photo.
This is Tortorella we’re talking about, though — one of the most outspoken and longest-tenured coaches in the league. Known for being a little rough around the edges, the 61-year-old brushing her off isn’t that surprising. It’s also understandable. With his team involved in a close game and every point being so valuable in the Blue Jackets’ miraculous quest to make the postseason, he doesn’t have time for shenanigans while on the job.
As for the guy who decided to troll Tortorella afterwards by holding the coach’s profile picture on hockeydb.com against the glass? Brilliant.
Bad karma for Blue Jackets?
In hindsight though, the man with the 14th-most wins as an NHL head coach making the decision to refuse the selfie may have been what did his squad in. Based on what followed, he may have dropped a dump-truck-sized load of bad karma upon his team by breaking that woman’s heart.
Sportsnet’s broadcast of the game showed this sequence of events just before a face-off late in the third period. At the time, Columbus was up 2-1 on Calgary with just over two minutes remaining in the frame. With the draw taking place in the Blue Jackets’ defensive zone, the Flames elected to pull their goalie for the extra attacker.
Thirty seconds later, at the 18:17 mark of the third, Matthew Tkachuk’s tip found the back of the net to knot things up at two.
Things continued to fall apart for Tortorella and Columbus in overtime.
Following a period of extended puck possession and pressure for the Flames in the dying moments of the extra frame, TJ Brodie received a pass from Sean Monahan in the slot and ripped it past Joonas Korpisalo to complete the comeback.
By only collecting one point instead of two, the Blue Jackets move to 32-21-15 for 79 points after 68 games played. That has them sitting in the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot — for the time being, at least.
Entering Thursday night’s action, the New York Islanders hold the second wild-card berth with 78 points through 65 games (35-22-8). The Carolina Hurricanes (35-24-5), meanwhile, are just four points behind Columbus with four games in hand. The New York Rangers (35-27-4) and Florida Panthers (33-26-7) are also still in the mix. They’re five and six points back of the Blue Jackets, respectively, and both have two games in hand.
So, did Tortorella’s actions upset the hockey gods and result in his group missing out on a crucial point?
We don’t know.
Will we be looking back at this moment if Columbus narrowly misses the postseason?
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