The Ottawa Senators began the game with such a burst I couldn’t help but ask: “Are the Penguins receiving a visit from The Ghost of Keith Primeau?”*
Ottawa Senators 1, Pittsburgh Penguins 0
Penguins lead series 3-2
For newer hockey fans (or those with hazy memories), then-Flyers forward Primeau scored an overtime game winning goal against the Penguins in one of the longest playoff games ever. That goal changed the series completely, taking a Penguins lead and turning it on its head.
Am I saying that Ottawa winning that game directly parallels the Primeau-fueled Flyers turnaround? Not necessarily. After all, the Pittsburgh Penguins still have a 3-2 series lead. Besides, a one-goal lead isn’t exactly insurmountable. I’ve been pretty hard on Marc-Andre Fleury lately but he had a great first period. The only goal Fleury allowed was on a Matt Cullen breakaway. The former No.1 draft pick saved 10 out of 11 shots while Pascal Leclaire went 10-for-10.
There might be some controversy regarding a near-goal that needed to go to a replay. It seemed like the Twitter consensus was that it was actually a goal – some went as far as to joke that Leclaire’s black pads helped obscure the puck – but it stayed 1-0. Then again, there has been a lot of hand wringing over officiating in this series, so perhaps it’s just twisted justice?
It’s obvious that the Senators aren’t going to roll over and die while the Penguins seem like they have their game back together. Expect updates as this game goes along.
* – Note, I’m aware Primeau is alive.
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.