It was a scary scene in Buffalo today, although I’m not sure what can be done about hits like this (video might come soon?).
Jason Pominville went up against the boards and was hit from behind/the side by defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson while Pominville was waiting to receive a pass. It’s always a bit risky to provide “instant analysis” of a dangerous check, but this didn’t seem like an outrageously vicious or an excessively “malicious” hit. That’s just my gut reaction, though, so feel free to share your thoughts on the collision in the comments.
Pominville was definitely in a prone position, so it makes sense that Hjalmarsson was kicked out of the game, but we’ll have to wait and see if the check is suspension-worthy. Hjalmarsson received a five-minute major penalty for the hit, so the immediate punishment might (might) help him avoid a suspension, but you never know with the league’s blindfolded dart-throwing justice system.
The best news, though, is that Pominville appeared conscious as he was being taken out on a stretcher. He gave the telltale “thumbs up” as he was being carted off to indicate to Sabres fans that he was OK (at least to some degree).
As always, we’ll keep an eye on Pominville’s health updates as well as any news on whether or not the league might fine and/or suspend Hjalmarsson for the hit. Hopefully Pominville will be healthy in the big picture and get back on the ice soon.
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.