Three (News) Stars of the Week: Torts, Ovi on the bench, Raffi as Jay-Z

“Three (News) Stars of the Week” will run every Friday. It’s our way of acknowledging the week’s big NHL stories that gave us lots of page views, thereby increasing PHT’s attractiveness to advertisers.

Third star: Busy John Tortorella

The fiery coach’s frustration with his sluggish team peaked Saturday when the Rangers blew a three-goal, third-period lead at home to the Senators. Soon after came news Sean Avery was being recalled from the AHL. Yes, the same Sean Avery that Tortorella cut after training camp. But with Mike Rupp on the shelf, Torts had no other choice but to bring back Avery, who will make his debut Saturday at MSG. Tortorella also had strong words for San Jose captain Joe Thornton, who opined that the Rangers were soft after losing to said soft team on Monday. Tortorella in turn raised the fact Thornton hasn’t won a Stanley Cup, so maybe he should keep his mouth shut. Upon further reflection, Thornton agreed.

Second star: Bruce Boudreau doesn’t choose Alex Ovechkin

When the Capitals were trailing the Ducks by a goal late in Tuesday’s game, Bruce Boudreau played a hunch and didn’t send Ovechkin over the boards. This displeased Ovechkin, who was caught on camera saying something disparaging about his coach. Even though Boudreau’s hunch was correct and the Caps tied it up and won in overtime, the decision to leave one of the NHL’s most prolific scorers on the bench at such a crucial moment caught the attention of reporters, who asked the coach why he benched the superstar. But did he really “bench” Ovechkin? Boudreau doesn’t think he did. He simply chose to use other players at that particular moment. No big deal. Let’s move on.

First star: Raffi Torres is Jay-Z

The Phoenix forward went to a team Halloween party dressed as rapper Jay-Z. Not being a black man, Torres painted his face to look the part, and when teammate Paul Bissonnette tweeted a picture of Torres as Jay-Z, opinions were shared. Some said it was racist. Others said it wasn’t racist, but it was insensitive. Most said it was a great costume. People argued about morality on the internet for a while, then everyone forgot about it because there were games to be watched.

Panthers’ Crouse is going back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
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Lawson Crouse is going back to junior. The big 18-year-old winger confirmed it today on Twitter.

Crouse was drafted 11th overall in June by the Florida Panthers. Despite the club’s belief that Crouse could make “an immediate impact” on the roster, he finished the preseason with just two shots and one assist in three games.

Crouse will return to the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, with whom he’ll look to improve on his modest point totals from last season.

“I don’t think there’s any pressure on the kid,” coach Gerard Gallant said last week. “If he doesn’t make the team this year he goes back to junior … and will have a lot of success.”

Yes! Jagr’s bringing back the mullet

Ice Hockey - Day 6 - Czech Republic v Slovakia

The greatest mullet in sports history is making a comeback.

According to the Miami Herald’s George Richards, Jaromir Jagr says he’s bringing back the party in the back.

“I have to,” Jagr, 43, said.

Jagr’s teammate with the Florida Panthers, goalie Roberto Luongo, appears to have been the lead lobbyist in all this.

Anyway, this is fantastic.