Blue Jackets GM thinks progress is being made under Tortorella

The Blue Jackets seem to be responding to John Tortorella. Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire

BOSTON -- The Columbus Blue Jackets are 8-7-0 since John Tortorella took over as head coach on Oct. 21, and it’s evident the players have accepted the organization’s new philosophy.

"I think our team is playing better,” said Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen, who attended Saturday’s game between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden. “We’re defensively tighter. Our penalty kill wasn’t very good before we made the change, and it’s gotten better. The power play was good even before, and it’s stayed pretty good. We’re just limiting the chances and turnovers. Our offense still has a ways to go, and we have the potential to play much better offensively, but at least we’re in every game now, and lately we’ve been getting some results."

After coach Todd Richards was fired, the Blue Jackets wanted Tortorella’s presence felt in the room; the GM is happy with the team’s progress since the coaching change was made.

"Our practices have been great, so our team is improving," Kekalainen said. "I see it change, and it’s obviously a different philosophy, but I’ve seen it change into a good direction.

"Yeah, the guys have bought in just by the way they’re playing. Guys are blocking shots and battling."