Call it a side effect of the rigors of life as an NHL coach or just too much aspirin, but Chicago Blackhawks’ coach Joel Quenneville got a scare last week. He missed a handful of games behind the team’s bench due to an ulcer that was causing gastrointestinal bleeding, but the mustachioed bench boss returned to coach the team’s practice today.
CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers caught up with Quenneville to get his thoughts on coming back. It’s good to see the coach was in good spirits.
“I was on IR for a week. We’ll call it an upper body injury and we’re all good to go,” said Quenneville, who added he watched “every second” of all four games he missed.
The team played pretty well with assistant coach Mike Haviland in charge, going 3-1-0 during Quenneville’s hiatus. Still, the team will be glad to have Coach Q back as they are in a four-way tie for eighth place in the West at 68 points. Chicago’s next game is Thursday against the Nashville Predators.
Much like Dan Bylsma in Pittsburgh and Bruce Boudreau in Washington, the Hawks made a big leap when they changed to Quenneville. The team is 125-66-25 during his tenure.
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.