Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella's pregame speech triggers comeback win

By Connor Grott

April 11 (UPI) -- Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella had a motivational message for his team before their Game 1 matchup of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night. Prior to the opening puck drop, Tortorella fired up his squad with a profanity-laced pep talk in the locker room.


"Forget about skills. Forget about X's and O's. It's a [expletive] mindset of [expletive] believing," Tortorella said. "It's amazing what can [expletive] happen. So you stand in there, and you don't take a [expletive] backward step, not for a [expletive] second.

"Stand face to face with them and take it right [expletive] to them. There is no one taking a [expletive] backward step here."

The Blue Jackets fell into an early 3-0 hole in the first period against the Presidents' Trophy-winning Lightning. Columbus, inspired by Tortorella's pregame words of not backing down, roared back to steal a 4-3 win.


Nick Foligno cut the deficit to 3-1 in the second period, while the Blue Jackets added three goals in the third to grab the Game 1 road victory. David Savard, Josh Anderson and Seth Jones scored the three third-period goals.

The Blue Jackets became the 27th NHL team to overcome at least a three-goal deficit to win a postseason contest in regulation.

Tampa Bay hosts Game 2 against Columbus on Friday night.

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