Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella has never been a fan of advanced analytics in hockey. Back in 2015, he blasted advanced stats, claiming they were media driven and didn’t portray an accurate depiction of what’s happening in the NHL.

Now, Tortorella admits there is one “advanced” stat he follows, though his admission may create more questions from fans than answers. In summary, Tortorella doesn’t believe in defenseman-to-defenseman passing.

Of all of the possible stats to follow, that’s the one Tortorella selects?

Torts wants to see the Blue Jackets move the puck up the ice rather than play catch on defense. In theory, that’s a decent plan, but in practice it seems kind of silly if you’re following that strategy too rigidly. Sometimes you have to go d-to-d or you risk pushing the puck into dangerous areas.

Moving the puck between defensemen can be a necessary tactic before trying to move up the ice. Forcing things through the neutral zone can be a recipe for disaster, as the Blue Jackets learned against the Pittsburgh Penguins last season.

Maybe Tortorella needs a reminder on how effective creating triangles can be when it comes to passing? Said triangles can quickly move the puck around the opposition, even if it involves passing between defensemen.

Perhaps even more curious were Tortorella’s comments on line combinations.

If you love stats and analytics, turn away now.

Coaches are expected to draw from their experience and “gut” to make decisions, but the approach here sounds intentionally uninformed. Why not use a combination of both?

About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.