Game 7’s are like Christmas in a dysfunctional family. On one hand, the night is full of gifts and perhaps even some honey baked ham. That being said, there are stressful moments (especially if the game goes into overtime or your crazy Uncle Peter relieves himself in the fruit punch again). These are the kind of games that people remember years from now when most of the day-to-day stuff is long forgotten.
We recognize how awesome and important this game is, so to honor such an event, we’re having a Live Chat for Game 7 and will include updates for the game (as well as Flyers-Bruins) throughout the night. Here’s a few Habs-Penguins links to whet your appetite. Otherwise, chat away!
A preview of tonight’s game (as well as Flyers-Bruins)
Crosby and Penguins need to put frustrations aside
Alex Ponikarovsky could be back in the Penguins lineup tonight
Hal Gill also should be back (but for the Habs, obviously)
Cammalleri says the pressure is on Pittsburgh
How much is Jaroslav Halak worth?
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.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: