Rick DiPietro

Islanders break slump in dramatic style


Garth Snow must be a happy man tonight. The New York Islanders ended their six-game losing streak in about the best way possible on Saturday:

1. They generated a 5-3 win against a legitimate Stanley Cup contender in the Washington Capitals.

2. The Islanders came back from a 2-0 deficit, showing some heart and toughness along the way.

3. Rick DiPietro earned his first win of the season, a fact that probably delighted Snow almost as much as the embattled goalie.

My guess is that win covered quite a bit of Snow’s wish list, although he might be a little pickier (especially since it’s possible to lay much of the blame on Tomas Vokoun, who tends to be really “off” in his rare off nights). The important thing is that the Isles kept themselves in the mix in the increasingly unpredictable East, a conference where no team is more than nine points from first place.*

So what’s next on the wish list? I’d nominate “earning their first road win of the season.”

* – As of this writing, at least.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

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.