A couple of minutes after 2 p.m. this afternoon, John Tortorella will leave his team's dressing room at Madison Square Garden and find his way to the bench. It's a walk he's made hundreds of times the past few years. What will make this one different is that he'll be going to the visiting team's bench.
Tortorella returns to the Garden on Saturday as coach of the Vancouver Canucks, who continue a four-game road trip against the New York Rangers (2 p.m. ET, NHLN-US), the team that fired him last May. He was succeeded by Alain Vigneault, who had been let go by the Canucks.
Tortorella has tried to play down his first game back at the Garden.
"Quite honestly, we've beaten this thing up," he said Friday. "It's another game on the schedule. It's a very important game for us to try to gain some traction. We need to continue trying to gain traction. That's all this is about. We have enough things to worry about with our hockey club."
Vigneault won't have his homecoming until the Rangers visit Vancouver on April 1.
Here's a complete look at the NHL action Saturday: