Tortorella: 'I know there's some work to do' to turn Flyers around
Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella admitted during his introductory press conference Friday that his team has a long way to go after a tough 2021-22 season.
"I'm not going to sit here and say we're going to be Stanley Cup contenders next year. I get that," he said. "I know there's some work to do. ... That's what I want to do, that's what coaches do. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
He continued: "I'm not afraid of what people are saying about the team. I get it's out there. It fuels me. ... I'm looking forward to getting to the bunker in that locker room with all the Flyers and (going) about our business."
Despite winning six of their first 10 games, the Flyers finished last in the Metropolitan Division with a 25-46-11 record under Alain Vigneault and interim bench boss Mike Yeo. Philadelphia missed the playoffs for the third time in the past four years.
Tortorella believes his first order of business is to improve the team's play around the puck to make life easier for young netminder Carter Hart.
"I think we need to give Carter a little more support as far as how we play around him, allow him to really get himself into the National Hockey League. ... This is how you go about it," Tortorella said.
The Flyers ranked in the bottom third of the league in shot attempts for (46.6%), expected goals for (46.5%), and scoring chances for (44.9%), per Natural Stat Trick. They also gave up the seventh-most high-danger chances at five-on-five this season.
Tortorella added that, though he isn't a fan of the term, Philadelphia's "culture" needs to change.
"Bottom line is, I want the team to be hard," he said. "I think we need to present ourselves, look harder coming off the bus, coming into buildings. I want other teams to say, 'You know what? We've got our hands full tonight.'"
A two-time Jack Adams Award winner, Tortorella spent the 2021-22 season as a studio analyst for ESPN.