James Reimer

Reimer practices, still at least a week away

The slumping Maple Leafs have to be looking for any good news they can find right now. Well, the good news is their promising young goaltender James Reimer was able to practice during an optional skate today. He may not be ready to return yet, but at least he’s back on the ice. Any progress is a good thing, right?

The Leafs still aren’t officially saying what’s ailing Reimer, but they previously said he was suffering concussion-like symptoms. If we assume those are the same problems he’s dealing with, then we know that any timetable for a possible return can be termed as “tentative” at best. Still, Ron Wilson gave fans a ballpark update to work with today.

“He won’t be playing for at least another week to 10 days if everything goes smoothly,” Toronto’s head coach said.

Again, hockey fans have come to learn that anything resembling concussion-like symptoms can take a while to recover from these days. Yet whenever Reimer is ready to return to the ice, the Leafs will welcome the netminder back to the lineup with open arms. After a quick start out of the gate, the Leafs have lost their last six games (0-4-2) and have been giving up a ton of goals in the process. Some will say it’s the defense taking a step back, but Reimer’s stellar play has a way of making any defensive corps look a little better. All we know is they’re losing and giving up a lot of goals in the process.

In the meantime, the Leafs will have a busy week without their prized goaltender. Will they be able to keep their heads above water as he recovers? They’ll have to figure out how to earn a few wins if they want that playoff berth in April.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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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.

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.