Are the Washington Capitals headed for yet another 7-game series?
It’s one of those dim-witted but interesting stats: they’ve never made it easy – either for themselves or for their opponents – in the Alex Ovechkin Era. In their first run in the playoffs, they lost a Game 7 at home against the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round. During last year’s first round, they squeaked by the New York Rangers in a Game 7 after being down and out. Most hockey fans are aware of their epic series with the Pittsburgh Penguins that culminated in a Game 7 drubbing … also in DC.
Naturally, it’s hasty to say that the Capitals are going to a fourth consecutive do-or-die game, but the Montreal Canadiens are off to a good start. Free agent pickup Michael Cammalleri continued his hot streak with two first period goals to give the Habs a 2-0 lead at home. That being said, NHL ’08 will remind you that a two-goal lead is “the worst lead in hockey” and the Ottawa Senators might tell you that a three-goal lead isn’t too great either.
Meanwhile, in Boston, the Bruins hold a 2-0 lead over the trailing Buffalo Sabres in the early second period. Could this be the end of a great year for Ryan Miller? Expect updates as these two games go along.
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.