Flyers vs. Devils: The fans are getting into it

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With the New Jersey Devils surprised — and honestly outplayed — by
the Philadelphia Flyers in game one on Thursday night, there’s a bit of a
rift forming between the two opposing fan bases. Not that that’s much
of a surprise when it comes to the NHL playoffs (San Jose Sharks fans
absolutely loathe the Dallas Stars and their fans, because of playoff
games), but what’s interesting is the subject this debate is about.

how many Devils fans were there at the game on Thursday?

Hughes and Ben Rothenberg at Broad Street Hockey have
pointed out a number of times
the past few days about the alarming
number of empty seats at the game, and how it seemed that Flyers fans
were overwhelming the Devils fans in their own arena. It started
with a look at how tickets
to the first two playoff games at
Prudential Center were selling below face value.

This has led to
some jabs fired back at the Flyers fans, and in particular BSH,
from John Fischer at the Devils blog In Lou We Trust:

few quick thoughts about tonight’s game after jump. If you want Flyers
coverage, go to Broad
Street Hockey
. But don’t trust them with anything about, say, the
crowd at the Rock. I’ll be there in my seat. They won’t.

the crowd was any indication on Thursday, there were certainly a number
of Flyers fans in attendance. ILWT is playing it off as the crowd
“booing” Brian Boucher when he touches the puck, but anyone who’s been
to Flyers game knows that “BOOOSH” call when they hear it; it certainly
seemed to this third-party observer that there was a strong contingent
of Flyers fans in attendance.

You can’t fault John for getting
defensive; after all, who wants their fanbase attacked in the midst of a
playoff series? But it certainly seems there’s some merit to the
Flyers’ fans point about the lack of Devils fans, and straight out
denying it all comes across as a bit petty.

But I wasn’t
physically there so I can’t vouch for the atmosphere. Travis
Hughes will certainly be there tonight
(as a Flyers fan) and will
have a first-hand report on the fan situation.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.

Blues send down four; keep young d-men Edmundson and Parayko

Magnus Paajarvi
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The St. Louis Blues have assigned two forwards, Magnus Paajarvi and Ty Rattie, and two defensemen, Chris Butler and Petteri Lindbohm, to AHL Chicago.

The moves mean that the Blues will have two young d-men, Joel Edmundson and Colton Parayko, on the opening-day roster, after both impressed in camp.

From the Post-Dispatch:

Lindbohm and Butler looked to be the sixth and seventh defensemen, in that order, at the start of camp, but the play of Edmundson and Parayko won them spots. Parayko had six assists in the preseason, putting him among the NHL leaders. 

Forward Robby Fabbri will also be on the opening-day roster. The 19-year-old is not eligible for the AHL; he can only be returned to junior.

Earlier today, the Blues announced the signing of forward Scottie Upshall.