Game 1: Predators stun Hawks 4-1

It wouldn’t be the opening round of the playoffs if all the underdogs, real or story book, in the West didn’t get their just desserts and the Nashville Predators made sure to get their helping of Game 1 ice cream after knocking off the Blackhawks courtesy of a great third period effort 4-1.

The final score will look dominating, but this was for all intents and purposes a one-goal win for the Predators as J.P. Dumont’s two third period goals put the Predators in front for good. Steve Sullivan and Martin Erat would add empty net goals to provide the final outcome, but the decision in this game may have been handed down after J.P. Dumont’s crazy, floating backhand found its way into the net to tie the game at 1-1. Chicago’s foot came off the gas pedal and Nashville would take advantage after that.

Pekka Rinne made 25 saves in the win, Antti Niemi stopped 22 out of 24 shots in the loss. Game 2 of the series will be Sunday at 8:30 pm ET from Chicago.

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’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.