Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul

PHT Morning Skate: Oh no, Kessel and Lupul haven’t scored in two games

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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.

Even if the Leafs are winning, which they didn’t do last night, fears over an oncoming slump linger. Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel not earning a point in two straight games only helps make that worse. (Toronto Sun)

Defense wins championships, or in the case of the Nashville Predators, it just helps them get back to winning games. (Tennessean)

Calling the Canadiens a “sinking ship” might sound like hyperbole, but could you argue against it? Not a chance. (Ottawa Sun)

The Ducks are getting confident, stupid. Thumping on the Oilers will help do that too. (OC Register)

Things could either go really well for the Jets over the rest of the season or take a typical Thrasher-like turn for the worse. (Winnipeg Sun)

Mike Cammalleri would very much like to forget about Montreal and get back to scoring goals in Calgary. (Calgary Sun)

Andrew Cogliano’s first game back in Edmonton as a member of the Ducks went about as well as he could hope. (OC Register)

If you’re a fan of nerding out over uniforms and uniform concepts, Uni Watch has some great NHL stuff to check out today. (Uni Watch)

Cam Barker is back to skating and that’s a good thing for the Oilers. (Edmonton Sun)

Finally, congrats to Steve Stamkos for being the first guy to get to 30 goals this season and for doing so with an absolute ripper of a shot. (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.