John Tortorella has the support of Vancouver Canucks fans despite an outburst that landed him a 15-day suspension by the National Hockey League.
According to a new poll by Angus Reid Global , 57 per cent of fans or supporters say it was a good idea to fire Alain Vigneault and replace him with the fiery bench boss.
But those numbers don't necessarily mean a blanket endorsement of the coach's well-known volatile style. Tortorella blew up at the Calgary Flames outside their dressing room after a line brawl during a game earlier this month, earning him the suspension.
Over half of respondents — 53 per cent — who identified as big Canucks fans said the punishment was just right, while 38 per cent said it was too harsh. Fifty per cent of more casual supporters said the suspension was fitting, while 28 per cent said it was too much.
They also find themselves at odds with hockey commentator Don Cherry who said that two games would have been enough.
The fans' support for Tortorella also doesn't mask their pessimism about the Canucks' post-season prospects. Even among those who identified as "Big Canucks fans," only nine per cent believed it was "very likely" the team will advance past the second round.
More than half of those diehard fans — 56 per cent — agreed that the team needs to make a major trade ahead of the post-season.
Angus Reid Global did the online survey with 802 adults in B.C., with 62 per cent calling themselves big fans or supporters. The poll was conducted on Jan. 23 with a margin of error of +/- 3.46 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
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