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John Tortorella doesn’t give ‘flying shit’ about how he is perceived

The Flyers head coach does not care one bit what people think.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Earlier this week, Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella took the iPads that players use to watch what just happened in the game and look at other little mid-game tactics, away from the bench. Essentially banning the use of them for Flyers players.

His reason for doing so is that he found players not really getting to notice the ebb and flow of the game from the bench, and as 64-year-old man would say, these kids were spending too much damn time looking at these screens.

After practice on Friday, Tortorella explained his reasoning further.

“I think we need — if we want to keep on growing here — is to just get ready for your next shift,” Tortorella said. “We’re going to point it out. Sometimes we don’t have to see it. And I think it helps us because when you have the iPad, you’re pointing out everything during a game; it’s almost like you think you have to, and we overcoach. I think we get in the way sometimes where we’re clouding their head with just what happened instead of taking care of business in the next shift.

“Everybody thinks technology is great — sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. And I think this is a time where it isn’t.”

As the somewhat hilarious and absurd news of Tortorella making this decision dropped after Wednesday night’s game, it was met with some confusion but overall criticism for what could be perceived as an old-school mentality when it came to coaching.

The coach did just say that technology is great at times, but for his team right now, they’re getting a little too engaged with watching themselves on a little screen as the game is going by in front of them.

When Tortorella was asked how he felt about people reacting a little negatively to him doing this and his reputation as a more traditional coach, he was extremely straight-forward with his answer.

“I don’t give a flying shit how I’m perceived. I really don’t,” Tortorella said. “Because it is my job to coach the team. If I’m in the business of trying to make everybody happy be perceived as whatever you want to be perceived as, that’s a tough way to live.”

Tortorella then added that he doesn’t pay too much attention to the reaction to what he does outside of the rink and only does what he thinks is best for the team and best for the group of players he has.

You have got to think that some of the other 31 head coaches around the NHL would love to smash the screen of an iPad or grab it out of some distracted forward’s hands and throw it out on to the ice. The only thing is that Tortorella is the only coach that would actually say it out loud and ban those screens from the bench. Who are we to say that he’s doing something wrong when he’s the one that is actually behind the bench and interacting with these players during a game?

We’ll have to see how the first iPad-less game goes when the Flyers take on the Washington Capitals in the second game of a home-and-home.