Alex Semin, Bruce Boudreau, Nicklas Backstrom

What gives with these roller coaster Capitals?


We’re not here to push the panic button for the Capitals, there’s enough fans of the team that are taking care of that already after the Caps’ uninspiring 4-1 loss to Winnipeg last night. For the third straight game, however, the Caps would score first in the game and then get outworked by a motivated opponent.

The Caps have dropped five of their last six and seven of their last ten. It’s a tough stretch that sees the Caps alternating between a team that can’t stop the puck from either going in their own net or putting it in their opponents net. Even owner Ted Leonsis is bemoaning their play of late saying that they’ve got a lot of work to do.

Alex Ovechkin isn’t scoring enough for some fans’ liking, Alex Semin isn’t consistent enough, Mike Green continues to be hurt and the team misses his presence, Michal Neuvirth and Tomas Vokoun aren’t looking as hot anymore, and Roman Hamrlik turned into a skating statue.

The Caps need more from everyone all around and they’re not going to get help from their own division. Tampa Bay and Florida are now looking like threats to the Caps in the Southeast and while Carolina and Winnipeg are struggling, the Jets showed last night that there’s nothing easy to be had.

The stress of success is showing a bit on the faces of the Caps. The joy looks to be missing in D.C. and while that might seem like some cheap narrative to tug the heartstrings, there’s something off about this team. Riding the highs and lows of the season shouldn’t be this hard.

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’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.