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Jackets' John Tortorella: 'Get rid of coach's challenge'

BOSTON -- Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said the NHL should get rid of the coach's challenge.

The Blue Jackets scored the first goal of a 6-4 win over the Boston Bruins at 10:52 of the first period Monday at TD Garden.

Then the Bruins quickly answered and tied the game at 11:07. Tortorella challenged that Bruins forward Loui Eriksson interfered with Columbus goaltender Joonas Korpisalo before the puck went in.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL hockey operations staff, the referee confirmed there was no goaltender interference before the puck crossed the goal line. Because the coach's challenge did not result in the original call being overturned, Tortorella lost his timeout.

After the game, Tortorella spoke his mind when asked about the call.

"Oh, gosh. You know what? Just get rid of the coach's challenge," he said. "Just get rid of it. The whole being of the coach's challenge is to get it right. If we can't get it right on that call, then get rid of the coach's challenge because all I did was waste a timeout. It's discouraging. That is a no-brainer call. If they vote again for it, no coach's challenge, as far as this organization is concerned."

Korpisalo said he couldn't have stopped the puck on Boston's first goal.

"There was no chance that I could have saved the puck because there was really no room for me to save the puck, so I don't really know what I should have done otherwise," he said. "I tried to save it, but [Eriksson's] skate was in front, so I don't know."

When asked if he would think twice before using his challenge in the future, Tortorella continued: "I think you should get rid of it. I think we should just get rid of it and let the refs make the call. If we spend two or three minutes and a coach wastes his timeout to try to get the call right, and we still get it wrong, why have it?

"I wanted my timeout back, quite honestly. Listen, I respect the referees. It is a really tough job, but I thought this was for that reason -- to make their job easier. It gives them a chance to look at it again, get some information from hockey ops, but to get that one wrong, it's just beyond belief to me."

Late in the third period, Columbus added to its lead when Brandon Saad scored his 22nd goal of the season for a 5-3 advantage at 14:29. Bruins coach Claude Julien challenged that the actions of a Columbus player interfered with Bruins goalie Jonas Gustavsson before Saad's goal.

On the play, Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg lost his stick and was trying to push the puck away from the top of the crease when Blue Jackets' Scott Hartnell attempted to shoot the puck but actually pushed the loose stick toward Gustavsson.

The Bruins' netminder quickly made his case to the refs, and Julien asked for a review.

Again, after reviewing all replays and consulting with the league's hockey operations, the referees confirmed there was no goaltender interference before the puck crossed the line.

While that play was being reviewed, Tortorella had no idea what to think about the possible outcome.

"I don't know what the hell is going to happen, quite honestly. I don't. I don't know. I was nervous about that," he said. "There's nothing there, and I think Claude does the right thing to make the call. Why not? Because it's a box of chocolates -- you never know what you're going to get. It's very frustrating that we can't get it right, and that's what this is all about, so get rid of the thing. Let's just get back to where we were before."

Tortorella was asked if he thinks the NHL's hockey operations should make the final decision on a challenge.

"I don't agree with taking the call away from the ref, but if hockey ops is helping and they see it the way it happened, how can't you get that call right? I totally disagree with taking it away from the refs. It's their job to handle the situation, but the way it's gone with some of the other ones that I've seen -- and I'm not trying to disrespect anybody here -- it's just frustrating for a coach and his team to spend the timeout, to take two or three minutes to look at that, and we still get the call wrong. That's frustrating."