Tortorella apologizes to team, league for outburst Staff

2/3/2014 12:18:59 PM

John Tortorella was contrite with the media in his first public statement since being handed a 15-day suspension by the National Hockey League.

"I apologize first and foremost to the players, to the organization and to the league," Tortorella told reporters in Detroit Monday morning. "It hasn't been a great two weeks."

Tortorella is slated to make his return to the Canucks bench tonight against the Detroit Red Wings after the League suspended him for his actions against the Calgary Flames on Jan. 18.

Angered by a game-opening brawl, Tortorella tried to confront Flames coach Bob Hartley – who iced his fourth line to start the game -in the Calgary locker room between periods.

Tortorella wasn't allowed to have any contact with his team during the suspension.

As for his team's performance of late, Tortorella was adamant that the Canucks will get better.

"We're off the rails on a lot of different aspects," Torotrella said. "Every aspect of our game is off. This team can and will play the right way.

"We had meetings this morning, we have a long list of things we need to improve at. We need to start over on the mental side."

The Canucks – who were seventh in the Western Conference before the now-infamous Calgary game – are now in eighth with just a one-point lead over the Phoenix Coyotes for the Conference's final wild card playoff spot.

They have lost three in a row and are just 3-7 over their last 10 games.

"We've let a lot of teams back into the picture here, we've got a job to do and we're going to face it head on," Tortorella added.

"We're in a tough spot right now. It's up to me to do my job and get this team back."