Last night’s Flyers-Islanders game in Philadelphia was especially festive with a host of game misconducts being handed out as well as fists thrown between Dan Carcillo and Zenon Konopka. With about a minute left to play in the game, however, things really boiled over between Islanders forward Frans Nielsen and Flyers forward Daniel Briere.
As the two set up for a face off in the Islanders zone, Nielsen had a few words to share with Briere. Once the puck was dropped, however, things got ugly fast as Briere cross checked Nielsen up high near his head. Dan Carcillo jumped in in case things turned into a fight, however Nielsen dropped to the ice. Isles goalie Rick DiPietro tried to intercept Briere but was quickly corralled by Chris Pronger. If my words weren’t thrilling enough for you, you can see video of everything that went down on YouTube here.
Word has come down thanks to TSN’s Darren Dreger that Briere will have a 10 am conference call with the league office on Monday to discuss what happened. The Philadelphia Flyers have confirmed the call will go down and you can expect that Briere will see some brand of punishment by the NHL for attempting to take Nielsen’s head off.
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.