Vancouver Canucks coach on Canada's gold-medal game: 'I hope Sweden wins'
FEB 23, 2014 2:45a ET
Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella certainly won’t win any fans in Canada with his decision to cheer for Team Sweden in Sunday’s gold medal game at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
With goaltender Roberto Luongo and defenseman Dan Hamhuis representing Canada and forwards Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and defenseman Alex Edler on Team Sweden, Tortorella could have pleaded the fifth when asked where his royalties lie in the big game, but of course he didn’t do that.
In a not-so-shocking turn of events, Tortorella got a little heated when asked about Sunday’s game. The Boston native launched into a rant about not having his players who aren’t seeing significant ice time in Sochi at Canucks practices, while explaining that a Sweden win would be better for his guys when they return to Vancouver.
“I hope Sweden wins because I don’t think Hammer (Dan Hamhuis) is going to play judging from what’s happened and I don’t think Louie (Roberto Luongo) is going to play,” Tortorella said, via the Vancouver Sun. “So I don’t give a (expletive) right now because they’re not playing. I just want them back here. I hope Danny (Sedin) scores two goals and (Alex) Edler gets three assists and Sweden wins so they come back feeling good about themselves because it’s going to help us. That’s all I’m concerned about right now.”
The Canucks sent a total of seven players to Sochi, including forward Ryan Kesler, who was a part of Team USA’s disappointing showing in the Winter Games. Tortorella might be worried about how the gold medal game will play out in regards to his Canucks, but he isn’t concerned about the effect Finland’s 5-0 rout of the U.S. will have on Kesler once he returns to the team.
“I know Kess will be a horse for us,” Tortorella continued. “He’ll be ready to play. It’s the other two guys who are important guys for us and we need to get them going. So I hope they fill the net and feel great about themselves.”
Tortorella was an assistant coach for Team USA when it earned silver after an overtime loss to Canada in the 2010 Vancouver Games.