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Tortorella wants 'to get into some meaning'

Blue Jackets coach looking forward to next season

by Craig Merz / Correspondent

COLUMBUS - Frustrated by a long, difficult season, Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said Saturday he was not particularly looking forward to the Blue Jackets season finale against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"Just get it over with, and I'm honest," he said. "I'm not going to sit here and say, 'Yeah, we're going to play one more.' I want to get it over with. For the past couple of weeks, I've been thinking about next year and camp. ... I want to get into some meaning."

The Blue Jackets (33-40-8) lost their first seven games of the season and fired coach Todd Richards on Oct. 21 and replaced him with Tortorella.

The Blue Jackets responded under Tortorella, who missed several games in January after he fractured several ribs in a fall during an outdoor practice. But there will be no Stanley Cup Playoffs for Columbus, which left Tortorella wishing things were different.

"You want me to be rosy and positive up here," he said. "No, it [stinks] being in this situation, finishing up in the first week of April. That's not what we're supposed to be doing."

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