If you’re not into the Edmonton Oilers or the Phoenix Coyotes you might be left feeling a bit disappointed in tonight’s schedule. There’s just one game in town and it’s in Glendale, Arizona. Not to be a jerk here, but we’ve got a feeling that tickets will still be available.
9:00 pm ET
Edmonton @ Phoenix
The Coyotes are on a roll and they’re looking to win their seventh straight game. They’ll have to deal with the Oilers and suddenly hot goalie Devan Dubnyk. These two just met up on Friday night in Edmonton with the Coyotes earning 4-3 win in the shootout. That game saw the Oilers get ahead 3-0 only to see Phoenix storm back in the second and get a late goal in the third to tie it up. Ray Whitney did the heavy lifting that night and his improved play of late has helped to awaken the Coyotes offense. Ilya Bryzgalov, on the other hand, has been eye-poppingly good of late.
The key for the Coyotes will be to make sure the game doesn’t go to overtime or the shootout. Phoenix’s win on Friday over the Oilers was their only OT/SO win in six tries this year. If you think missing out on those extra points won’t hurt down the road, think again. With the standings as tight as they are, every point matters. Getting those charity points by making it to overtime will help.
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.