Bruce Boudreau was on 93.7 The Fan earlier today in advance of
tomorrow night’s EPIC matchup between the Penguins and Capitals, and
among a wide variety of topics he discussed the reputations of both
Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Specifically, he was asked whether
Ovechkin’s suspensions have tarnished his reputation at all.
Via Dan Steinberg’s DC Sports Blog:
Pittsburgh, maybe,” Boudreau cracked. “Look, we all love him here in
Washington. I don’t know. He plays hard. And when you play as hard
every night as he does, things are gonna happen. He got suspended and
reprimanded and everything, but the same thing can be said about Sidney.
I mean, you look a the end of last night’s game, which happens a lot.
[Crosby] competes so hard, I mean, he ends up in that scrum at the end. I
don’t think his image of being a great player is tarnished by the
amount of little feuds he’s gotten into in the course of this year. But I
mean, Ovi’s suspensions are again nationwide, or two nations
wide, and you hear it all the time. It may have, I have no idea. Not to us,
that’s all I know.”
Over the past few weeks I’ve
found it interesting how Penguins fans have turned Ovechkin’s suspension
into a battle cry that Crosby is that much better, much more of a
classy player. Crosby plays the game with just as much emotion as
Ovechkin and he plays it right there on the edge as well — as evidenced
by his endless cross checking of Henrik Zetterberg last night.
would go on to discuss regional bias and how it affect’s one’s views of
Crosby and Ovechkin. Has Ovechkin’s reputation taken a hit nationally
because of this latest suspension? I’m sure it hasn’t helped, but I
doubt a number of neutral hockey fans suddenly turned tail and ran over
to Crosby’s side of the playground.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.