The Columbus Blue Jackets coach becomes the first American born coach to win 600 games.
The Columbus Blue Jackets needed some late dramatics to down the Central leading Nashville Predators 4-3 in overtime in Nationwide Arena on Thursday night. The thriller was especially notable as the win marked a massive moment for a certain Jacket.
The Jackets win was coach John Tortorella’s 600th career win as an NHL coach and a massive milestone. In hitting the 600 mark, he becomes the first American born coach to hit the notorious milestone.
Torts accomplished the feat on the night he faced off agains the Nashville Predators, coached by Peter Laviolette. Laviolette, also an American born coach, was sitting at 598 career wins coming into tonight.
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Having the chance to let Laviolette tie Torts wasn’t an option for the Columbus Blue Jackets and they willed the squad to a 4-3 overtime win after a collapse in the third period.
The two both grew up in suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts and have both won Stanley Cups. After the game the Columbus Blue Jacket TV crew put together a fantastic montage of kind words from NHL coaches and general managers including Barry Trotz and Mike Sullivan that Torts watched with Jody Shelly in the post game interview.
Torts was classic Torts deflecting all attention towards the “great people he has worked with in hockey” and saying that he cares more about the team “getting to 53 points tonight”. That may be true but we should all reflect on how great of a coach the Columbus Blue Jackets have in Torts. And especially considering the rich American history this team carries with it’s name and knowing that the winningest American coach of all-time is it’s current head coach.
So although he wont celebrate it, we will. Congratulations to head coach John Tortorella on win number 600 in your career. It’s an impressive mark and it’s worthy of acknowledgment, even if it makes you squirm.