Johan Franzen leaves tonight's game with "charley horse"

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Thumbnail image for johanfranzen1.jpgDetroit’s Johan Franzen left tonight’s game with what the team is calling a “charley horse” after a knee-on-knee collision with Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik. If you think that didn’t cause a fracas, you’d be wrong.

Then, after Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik committed a kneeing penalty at 18:17 on Franzen, Orpik and Todd Bertuzzi went at it. Bertuzzi was also assessed an instigator penalty and a 10-minute misconduct. Orpik was giving a game misconduct penalty.

Franzen was apparently hit in the same knee he had repaired last year so Wings coaches are hoping that a charley horse is all that’s wrong with The Mule. You can make up your own equine pun if you feel like it, I’ve done as much as I’ll do tonight.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock didn’t elaborate further after tonight’s game about the injury, nor did he have an opinion on Orpik’s apparently questionable hit.


Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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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.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

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’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.