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Hockey players talking about hockey would make hockey coach pee himself

Photo Credit: Heather Barry Images

The Philadelphia Flyers are ready to get back into action after the All-Star break, and perhaps no one is more excited than head coach John Tortorella. 

The Flyers had a wee struggle heading into the break with five straight losses which may have left Tortorella a bit pissed off. That came after a winning streak of five games as the toilet seat continues to go up and down this season — as does the toilet talk.

The team should be re-energized and rejuvenated after a full week off to reset. The Flyers were clearly a bit worn out in late January and certainly needed a rest to relieve themselves.

Tortorella has been letting the faucet of his brain run wild with line combinations and defensive pairings in recent weeks and had two California boys together for Monday’s practice in Cam York and Jamie Drysdale.

York and Drysdale both have the potential to be a number-one defensemen and the idea of them talking about hockey off the ice would make Tortorella go number one, he revealed.

“I would like to think that maybe when they’re having dinner together — and I’m not sure if this happens — they might talk hockey. I don’t know,” he said. “If I ever heard that that’s what’s going on I’d wet my pants.”

Tortorella’s quote about becoming incontinent over his players talking about hockey off the ice obviously made the rounds, but he also had some insightful comments on the young defensemen.

“When you bring in a player as a coach and you teach him over a desk or on a whiteboard, it’s not as effective as skating around the rink or two players having lunch together and saying ‘You know what, this is kind of what I’m thinking.’ That’s so much more effective,” Tortorella continued. “I hope it’s happening, I’m not sure if it is, but if it does, it’s so much more effective than coming from the coaching staff.”

While some may view York as more of an offensive defenseman, Tortorella had high praise for the blueliner’s defensive game.

“I think Cam York is one of our better defenders. I think Jamie has a ways to go to learn that part of the game. Quite honestly, I’d like to see Cam York teach him,” he said. “Cam York, where I think he’s progressed as we’ve gone through here. Remember at the beginning of the year, I didn’t think Cam York was a National Hockey League player. I wasn’t sure judging from his last quarter of the prior year. Cam is probably one of our better defenders.”

Tortorella said that he’ll likely go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen again on Tuesday night in Florida with Marc Staal being the odd man out. So while York and Drysdale will play together a bit, it won’t always work out that way given the odd number.

He liked how they handled themselves in practice and wants to see that translate to game action.

“I watched Cam go over to Jamie and talk to him a little bit. I think that’s very important for that communication to happen instead of me beating him over the head with my stick trying to teach him,” Tortorella said. “It’s better coming from a teammate… Cam doesn’t speak to me much, he never has. I don’t know why. I went to him, too, because I wanted to let him know because there was one play where he handled it very well. And I asked him, make sure Jamie understands that too. 

“I want to be a conduit between the players talking with one another and helping one another instead of always coming from a coach. I think it’s so, so much more effective than hearing from the coach every day. I think that’s a big part of young guys growing up.”

To be fair, the idea of a York-Drysdale pairing for years to come could make some fans feel a tinkle in their loins. The two young defensemen could be a big part of the Flyers’ next Cup-contending team.

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