It’s never a dull moment with John Tortorella on the bench.

Although the coach has a flair for the theatrical, wears his emotions on his sleeve, and doesn’t mind the viral aspect of whatever comes of his actions or comments, what happened in Tampa Saturday was ridiculous, and good on Torts for standing his ground as long as he did.

First off, the Flyers lost to the Lightning 7-0, continuing the recent tradition of Philadelphia teams giving up touchdowns in Tampa. As such, what happened with Torts was not the reason the Flyers lost.

But what happened between the Flyers coach and the officials, specifically in this case veteran ref Wes McCauley, was ridiculous.

It started off with a tripping penalty called on Flyers defenseman Ronnie Attard.

It wasn’t a penalty. But it was called one. Referee Brandon Schrader originally called it on Tampa Bay, but then had to correct himself, which annoyed Torts because not only wasn’t it a penalty, but then he changed his call.

A little more than 30 seconds later, Garnet Hathaway was dinged with a 10 minute misconduct for bumping a Tampa player as he was skating on the ice for a shift.

Torts was not pleased with this call either.

After the Lightning went up 4-0 just 10 minutes into the game, and while Torts was in the midst of changing goalies, he was letting the refs have it because he felt like the Lightning were getting a lot of calls and the Flyers weren’t getting any.

This happens all the time in hockey. A team is getting beat. They feel the penalties are lopsided, and then the coach vents to the officials.

Torts was giving Schrader an earful when McCauley came over to the bench to intervene. Torts said something that McCauley didn’t like, and he immediately whistled Torts for a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct and also gave Torts a game misconduct.

It’s almost as if McCauley was a fan of Snow The Goalie.

I kid, of course.

In reality, it was an overreaction. McCauley’s been a ref for a long time. He should know better that when a game is snowballing like it was for the Flyers, that sometimes you need to let the coach let off some steam. Maybe give him a warning if it’s excessive. To toss him from the game? That’s just wrong.

But it didn’t end there.

Oh, no. McCauley made the call, announced it to the arena, then stood completely on the far side of the ice ignoring Torts shouting at him.

The feisty Flyers coach refused to leave. He was standing his ground against this absurd ref show. Good on Torts. He never should have been booted from the game. A ref needs to wear the coach’s tirades from time to time. If McCauley needs any tips, he should DM me on Twitter.

But what was Torts shouting?

I’ll let you read lips yourself, but he wasn’t offering to share dessert recipes, that’s for sure.

(Note: The best part of this entire video is the 2004 Lightning guys watching Torts on the tube in their suite laughing at his reactions. Priceless.)

Eventually Torts stormed off, leaving assistant coaches Brad Shaw and Rocky Thompson to manage the team.

It didn’t get any better.

Tampa wiped the floor with the Flyers, who played the entire game with just five defensemen because Egor Zamula was sick.

The Flyers tried to get defenseman Adam Ginning back from Lehigh Valley in time for the game after sending him back to Lehigh Valley at the traded deadline, but Ginning had travel delays with his flights coming back to Florida from Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, where the Phantoms were playing, and couldn’t get to Tampa.

It was just the first frustration in a night that would be filled with them.

Although the orange and black maintained a four-point lead over the New York Islanders and a five-point lead on Washington in the Metro, both teams have three games in hand, which means the Flyers no longer control their own destiny. They also do not control their own destiny in the Wild Card race, as Detroit also has two games in hand and sits two points behind the Flyers.

It was a dispiriting loss for many reasons, and the Flyers need to lick their wounds quickly and ensure they get two points against San Jose Tuesday before a seven-game gauntlet against the beasts of the East that could make or break the season.

After the game, responses from players were short. Neither Hathaway nor Attard were willing to weigh in on the penalties called against them.

And Torts didn’t speak with the media. Instead, Shaw was tasked with answering questions about what happened between McCauley and Torts.

None of this was ideal for the Flyers.

McCauley is an entertaining referee, and he has a pretty solid reputation around the league. But, his histrionics have made him a show, when in reality, the referees should never be an attraction in the price of admission. There’s no reason to toss a coach for arguing.

But McCauley has a notoriously short fuse – and that tends to ignite whenever a poor call is made, which can’t happen. Period.

Just like losing by seven goals can’t happen in a playoff race. Period.