Jimmy Howard lucky to have Chris Osgood behind him

OsgoodHoward.jpgThe Detroit Red Wings know how to win. They’ve been doing it for 20
years, with different coaches and different players and the formula is
almost always the sam
e; great defense, incredible skill up forward,
tenacity and crispness and solid, veteran goaltending.

This season the Wings have strayed from the formula a bit.

Detroit will head into the post season with Calder and Vezina Trophy
hopeful Jimmy Howard in net, the rookie goaltender who has done much
more than just be a solid force in net. All season long he’s been the
glue that has held the team together, putting them on his shoulders when
injuries threatened to keep the team out of the playoffs.

For Howard, it’s a brand new experience with a ton of pressure.
Lucky, he has Chris Osgood to help him out. From Ansar
Khan of MLive.com:

“He’s always the same, he’s on an even keel, he doesn’t
get too upset or too rattled,” Osgood said. “He kind of has the same
demeanor I do, pretty relaxed, just goes and plays. He’s confident.
When you have those things and work hard good, things will happen.”

don’t know how he does it, but he can tell when I’m a little tense and
he’ll always come up with a one-liner that will make me laugh,”
Howard said. “In the playoffs, I’m sure it’ll be no different.”

Never before has Detroit entered the playoffs with such inexperience
in net, and it’s an incredible thing to have such an accomplished backup
behind him. How many teams can boast the ability that if, they’re
starting goaltender falters, they have a two-time Stanley Cup winner
ready to step up?

Nevermind the fact that he’s been wholly
mediocre this season; it’s still a luxury everyone would love to have.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

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.