Jaroslav Halak, Alex Ovechkin

Halak even torments Ovechkin in video games


When you’re a dazzling goal-scorer on Alex Ovechkin’s level, it’s not often that a goalie has your “number,” so it’s easy to make note of the guys who defy you.

It’s likely that Jaroslav Halak ranks high on Ovechkin’s list. The Slovakian goalie was the main reason that the Montreal Canadiens topped Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals in the 2010 playoffs and Halak also spoiled Dale Hunter’s coaching debut as a member of the St. Louis Blues.

The frustration doesn’t stop in reality, though. The Washington Times’ Stephen Whyno reveals that the digital version of Halak gives Ovechkin fits, too.

“Actually, it’s funny story,” Ovechkin said. “Last night I was with my friend in my home and we play video game and Halak stopped [everything]. Halak was the first star of the day. And my friend just told me, ‘Jesus Christ, this guy just destroy in playoffs.’ I don’t want to talk about it.”

(Hopefully Halak’s performance didn’t force Ovechkin to chuck a controller in frustration, like a certain well-adjusted and totally mature hockey blogger.)

In case you’re wondering, Halak’s current NHL 12 rating is an 88 out of 100, ranking him high among polygonal puck-stoppers – and first place among Ovi irritants.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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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 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.