Reporters got a flash of the old, irritable John Tortorella today in Vancouver, where his winless-in-five Canucks are preparing for a visit from the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.

The topic du jour was the shootout, something Tortorella’s team has won just twice in eight tries this season.

“It should be out of the league,” said Tortorella. “That gimmick should be out of the league.”

When a reporter followed up with, “It is part of the league though…,” Tortorella interjected with a curt, “Yes, I know,” before adding, “You cannot practice the shootout in practice, no matter how you do it. So write your story.”

Despite the coach’s doubts that it would do any good — “You just can’t simulate game situation that way” — the Canucks did indeed practice the shootout today.