When it was reported that Alexander Ovechkin wouldn’t be playing for the Capitals this weekend on their road trip to Ottawa and Montreal, we knew it was going to be a blow to their offense. We weren’t expecting them to get shutout by the NHL’s third worst team heading into their game in Ottawa. But that’s just what happened.
Craig Anderson stopped all 31 shots he saw in earning his second shutout of the season (both with Ottawa) while the Caps were shutout for the tenth time this year. The Caps offensive struggles this year are well known, but in playing without Ovechkin against the more defensively disciplined Senators and with a motivated Anderson in goal, it was a recipe for offensive disaster for Washington. Semyon Varlamov stopped 21 shots in the loss for the Capitals as they sort through their goaltending logjam.
Erik Condra and Colin Greening scored the goals for Ottawa to provide the Sens with all the offense they’d need on the night while the Caps failed to take advantage of the Flyers loss last night to make up ground in the race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Making things a bit more uncomfortable is Pittsburgh’s shootout win over New Jersey tonight giving the Penguins as many points as Washington. Luckily for the Caps, they lead their division, but if Pittsburgh continues to win, the Caps may have to worry about dealing with them in competition for the number one seed overall in the East.
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.