John Tortorella admits he couldn’t get the Flyers to seal the deal following their late-season collapse

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Philadelphia Flyers (Credits: Cold Wire)

Flyers fans, hold off on those playoff plans. For the fourth year in a row, Philadelphia won’t be part of the postseason. It all came down to Game 82.

The Flyers surprised many by speeding up their rebuild process, but their sudden slump at the end was both confusing and disappointing for coach John Tortorella and GM Danny Briere.

Looking ahead to next season, making the playoffs isn’t the main focus. There’s still a lot of work to be done.

“We have a lot of areas to improve,” Tortorella said. “It’s going to take time.” Briere echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that the team still has a ways to go before playoffs become a realistic goal.

So, hold off on those season ticket purchases. The priority remains building a strong foundation for the future, even if it means being patient for postseason success.

Tyson Foerster. Cam York. Owen Tippett. Morgan Frost. Samuel Ersson. Not a bad beginning. But not enough for a Stanley Cup chase. “I believe we still need to bring more talent to our team,” Tortorella remarked.

At 66, Tortorella feels as energized as ever and is already thinking about the next season. He’s committed to staying on the bench and contributing to the team’s rebuilding process.

“I’m fully committed,” Tortorella affirmed, “unless Danny tells me otherwise.” That’s unlikely.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Philadelphia Flyers

Briere praised Tortorella’s efforts this season, leading the Flyers to meaningful games right up to the last one of the season. Despite low expectations, Tortorella managed to get the team to compete in a tough playoff race.

Throughout the season, the Flyers exceeded expectations, even amid challenges like the absence of goalie Carter Hart due to sexual assault charges and Cutter Gauthier, the 2022 No. 1 draft pick, forcing a trade.

However, the season ended in disappointment with an eight-game losing streak in March and April, dashing their playoff hopes.

Tortorella took responsibility for the collapse, admitting, “I couldn’t get the team to finish strong. It was my concern with about 25 games left in the season. I believe it’s my responsibility to see it through. The team played hard until the end. I just couldn’t seal the deal.”

But why? The reasons are quite clear at first glance. Ersson transitioned from backup goalie to a heavy workload and struggled towards the end due to the pressure of playing so much.

The team ran low on energy after facing tough opponents in early March. Maybe Tortorella, known for being tough, pushed the players too hard, expecting more than they could deliver.

“I’ve made some errors this year,” Tortorella admitted, “not the ones you might think.” One significant misstep — arguably — was benching Sean Couturier just 34 days after he became team captain.

Only those in the locker room truly understand the full impact of Tortorella’s decision in mid-March. But Tortorella spent nearly 10 minutes defending himself on Friday and stood by his choice.

Philadelphia Flyers

Though Tortorella acknowledged the timing wasn’t ideal, he added, “being captain won’t stop me from holding people accountable.”

Couturier expressed frustration with how he was treated at the time, and his agent criticized the team for poor communication.

Tortorella said Friday that the criticism “caught me off guard a bit,” but he defended his coaching style in the locker room, insisting that players always know where they stand.

He also criticized agent Erik Lupien, calling him “a little loudmouth out there boasting without knowing the full story between Sean and me.”

“I think it became a bit of a fuss,” Tortorella remarked. Drama from Torts? That sounds unusual. “You’ve got the wrong coach here if you’re expecting hugs,” Tortorella retorted.

Tortorella, who won a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004, showcased his reputation as a passionate, straightforward coach on a team still mostly composed of young players in their 20s trying to establish themselves in the NHL.

Briere supports Tortorella, and it seems the coach has the backing of the locker room, which mostly anticipates his return next year.

New York Rangers vs Philadelphia Flyers (Credits:

With the 12th pick in the draft, there isn’t much hope of landing a standout player, so the Flyers are primarily seeking inexpensive, short-term contracts — like the one-year, salary-friendly deal given to Marc Staal last year — to add veteran support.

“I still believe there’s more we need to do before we can move forward and start taking some more risks,” Briere stated. “We’re still at a stage where we need to think about the future, building the right way to give us the best chance to be real contenders for years to come, not just for a year or two.”


By Michael Smith

Hi. Hailing from Manila, I am an avid consumer of anime, gaming, football and professional wrestling. You can mostly find me either writing articles, binging shows or engaged in an engrossing discussion about the said interests.

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