Hits to the head were a hot topic in hockey well before Sidney Crosby suffered from checks on consecutive nights (one from David Steckel, the next via Victor Hedman). You only need to turn to Crosby’s teammate Matt Cooke, who landed that controversial hit on Marc Savard, permanently altering the course of the talented passer’s career.
No doubt about it, the story went from a building concern to a locomotive once Crosby sat out half of the 2010-11 season after starting off hotter than ever, though. It’s hard not to think about what could have been tonight, as the Penguins take on the 2011 Stanley Cup finalist Vancouver Canucks. (Currently in progress.)
While his return date is still in the air, it seems like Crosby is making progress. The NHL is already attempting to improve the way it legislates questionable hits, including enforcing head shots in a more straightforward way. Still, it’s interesting to hear Crosby’s take on the situation.
Check out this video for Crosby’s thoughts on how the league can improve its procedures regarding questionable hits, as well as insight regarding his rehabilitation.
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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.