Beyond the Chicago Blackhawks offense, Michael Leighton has another thing to worry about: the potential return of Brian Boucher. Philly.com reports that Boucher might be ready to backup Leighton as early as Game 1 on Saturday.
“I think there is a chance, yeah,” Boucher said. “I think today was a day to get through, and it went very well. My goal is to be good enough to go for Game 1 and help in any way.”
Since returning to the ice, he’s had to overcome the mental anxiety of re-injuring himself and dealing with the pain at the same time – which doctors said will linger for “at least another month,” Boucher said.
“It’s very methodical. You’ve got to think about your movements. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you might hurt yourself. Today, there was less thinking and it was more just about stopping the puck and moving in situations where I would in a game.”
As you may remember, Boucher went down with knee problems the very game that Leighton came back unexpectedly early from a high-ankle sprain. Leighton helped the team come back against the Boston Bruins and then shut the Canadiens out in three of the five games in the series.
Both goalies have been great for the Flyers, despite not having the legacy of being high draft picks or regular starters for any team. Boucher is 6-3-1 with a 2.33 GAA and a 91.5 save percentage while Leighton is 6-1-1 with a 1.45 GAA and a 94.8 save percentage.
We’ll have a better idea of Boucher will actually back up Leighton as we get closer to game time on Saturday.
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.