For some Twitter snarksters, Dec. 3, 2011 carried a certain somber sadness. Sure, the jokes won’t go away altogether, but Dustin Penner finally scored a goal on Saturday. That one tally leaves/ties him at 510th place in the NHL, so it’s not like Penner gained respectability in one afternoon game against the Montreal Canadiens. Still, it’s undeniable that some of the humor will lose its luster after he finally found the twine.
Here’s video evidence of that not-so-historic goal.
(I must admit I’m a little disappointed that Penner opted against using Steve Young’s “monkey off my back” pantomime after scoring that goal.)
So it wasn’t a highlight reel goal by any means, but that’s actually the type of work that the Kings hope they’ll see more of: Penner in front of the net, cleaning up the garbage.
The best Kings humorists will still find a way to mine gold from Penner’s decrepit stats, but again, some of the innocence (or maybe guilt?) was lost in that unspectacular goal. Before we go, allow me to submit a stat that’s a lot sadder than it is funny: Penner scored 100 percent of the Kings’ goals on Saturday.
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.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: