Blackhawks chasing NHL playoffs record

I’m sure this record isn’t exactly at the top of their list of
“things to do on the way to the Stanley Cup” but the Blackhawks are a
win tonight away from tying an NHL postseason record with seven straight
road wins.

It’s been a staple of their playoff success this
season, with six of their nine victories coming on the road. Being able
to step into GM Place in Vancouver ang get a big wins was instrumental
in their constant frustrating of the Canucks. Starting their first
series of the playoffs on the road against the Sharks also allowed them
to continue their strong play away from home.

Now that they’re
trying to do the same thing, in San Jose, the Hawks maintain they’re
just focused on winning and it doesn’t
matter where the game takes place:

“I didn’t know
about the record but definitely it’s something that would
be great to achieve,” Marian
Hossa said after practice on Tuesday morning. “The most important
thing is to win the hockey game.”

“You can’t say, ‘Oh well, it was their building, we’ll go back
and win
in ours,'” John
Madden explained. “That’s not the way we approach games.”

The Sharks didn’t exactly have a bad game in Game 1
and hit a wall known as Antti Niemi, a goaltender who had previously
been known as more of leaking dam than an impenetrable force. He’ll need
to do the same in Game 2 if the Hawks hope to tie the record.

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.