What a mess in Texas.
Today, the Stars announced that goalie Kari Lehtonen has been placed on injured reserve after suffering a groin injury in last night’s 3-0 loss to Phoenix. (Though depending on what source you link to, it could also be a right knee problem.)
By going on IR, Lehtonen will miss at least the next two games — Monday at Colorado, Thursday at home against Ottawa — and given his injury history, it could be a lot longer. Since the lockout, Lehtonen has missed almost 90 games with back, groin and ankle issues.
This is just the latest in a rash of killer injuries for the Stars. Captain Brenden Morrow (upper body) is also on IR, along with Adam Burish (broken hand) and Alex Goligoski (broken thumb). Defenseman Trevor Daley (back) and center Vernon Fiddler (groin) also were injured in the Phoenix game — after the contest, Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said Daley was considered unlikely to play Monday and Fiddler was considered day-to-day.
The question now is if the Stars can stay afloat — and early returns suggest they can’t. Dallas is 2-6-1 in its last eight and its lack of depth is being exposed. Richard Bachman and left wing Francis Wathier have been recalled from the Texas of the AHL, joining a roster that already features the likes of Philip Larsen (23:23 of ice last night), Tomas Vincour, Tom Wandell, Toby Petersen and Jake Dowell.
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.
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.