You can never accuse Tom Renney of not having a grasp on how things are going in Edmonton. While the Oilers have been skidding lately, the one player who has kept it all together has been none other than rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Renney has busted Nugent-Hopkins out in big situations and has seen him respond great all the same. That includes double-shifting him on the team’s power play unit against Colorado. Renney’s response to how he’s handling all of it? According to Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun, it’s pretty simple.
“But he’s a pretty good player. I just found that out,” Renney joked. “One thing that we did notice is that it works.”
Nugent-Hopkins is proving to be the one consistent player in Edmonton and with Taylor Hall still out of action, he’s essentially been the straw that stirs the drink. Not too bad for a kid fresh out of junior hockey. Looks like the Oilers cashed in awfully well on a No. 1 pick in the draft yet again.
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.