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Torts sees positives in loss, uses Johansen sparingly


Christopher Pasatieri

New Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella doesn’t think moral victories are going to help his squad when their record stands at 0-8-0, but you can still chalk Thursday’s 3-2 loss to Minnesota up as one.

“I thought we played hard, won battles,” Tortorella told the Columbus Dispatch. “We played the way I think we’re going to have to play to get us out of this.”

In the midst of a literally historic season-opening losing streak, any reason for positive thinking needs to be latched upon. That’s not to say that Tortorella’s debut went swimmingly for every Blue Jackets player though.

One point of intrigue was Ryan Johansen, who was taken off the first line as the game progressed and didn’t play at all in the final 6:10 minutes of the tight contest. The Blue Jackets star forward logged just 13:57 minutes, which was the fifth lowest total on the team.

“With Joey in the middle of that line, I didn’t think it was that effective,” Tortorella said. “I tried to stay with it during the game ... (but) we switched the centers. When Dubi went and played there, I thought it was much more effective as far as getting pucks to the net and spending more time in the end zone.”

That’s right, Brandon Dubinsky, who has a storied past with Tortorella, was moved to the top line and led all forwards in ice time in the first game with the bench boss.

Of course, Tortorella did say that he needs to lean on Dubinsky.