Things happen in the NHL sometimes and you have to be prepared. In the case of the Montreal Canadiens, their wont to get deeper on defense was confirmed today when Jaroslav Spacek met with world famous doctor to the athletes Dr. James Andrews and found out he’ll need arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and miss 4-6 weeks.
Spacek has been steady on the Habs blue line and a solid veteran contributor. To make up for the loss of Spacek and to fill their own needs from within by acquiring Paul Mara from Anaheim and Brent Sopel from Atlanta. Those two guys are all about straight defense in their game and Sopel made a name for himself in the Stanley Cup playoffs last year as a shot blocker extraordinaire for the Blackhawks.
Spacek has better abilities to move the puck than either Mara or Sopel, but with the added toughness to the Habs blue line, expect the already frustrating Canadiens to be even more annoying to deal with while Spacek is out.
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.