New Jersey Devils v Florida Panthers

PHT Morning Skate: Panthers are so hot, they’re stripping in practice

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Stephen Weiss would rather you not give a nickname to his line with Kris Versteeg and Tomas Fleischmann.They will do a strip shootout in practice though. (On Frozen Pond)

If the Ducks are going to turn things around, it’s going to be up to the players and not coach Randy Carlyle to make it happen. (OC Register)

Duncan Keith is owning his poor play so far this season in Chicago. (Chicago Tribune)

Steve Mason probably has a concussion due to Rick Nash’s shot off his head in practice. Maybe it’ll knock some good goaltending back into him when he feels better. (Puck Rakers)

Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia has some double-secret hockey skills as well as being a baseball pro. Someone should get the Maple Leafs on that. (Sportsnet)

Cam Fowler is also owning up to his mistakes. Any other defensemen out there want to say, “My bad?” (OC Register)

The Blackhawks’ Vegas vacation may be just the thing to make them forget about getting lit up by the Oilers. (ESPN Chicago)

Remember the red balloon in Washington we told you about yesterday? It’s got it’s own t-shirt and Twitter account now. Oh, Caps fans. (Russian Machine Never Breaks, @RallyBalloon,

Matt Carkner will be back soon and he’ll keep cracking jokes too. (Ottawa Sun)

Florida’s Shawn Matthias is lucky to escape the watchful eye of Sauron, I mean, Brendan Shanahan. (Fire & Ice)

Meanwhile, Shanahan is happy that players are adapting to the rules the right way. (TSN)

Finally, Toronto’s Matt Frattin made a pass to Joe Colborne to set him up for his first NHL goal was something ridiculous. (NHL)

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.