For the second game in a row, the Vancouver Canucks decided to start Cory Schneider instead of Roberto Luongo in a high-profile match. Much like that Jan. 7 contest against the Boston Bruins, that overblown decision paid off as the high-profile backup nabbed a 3-2 overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks.
If the victory wasn’t a good enough argument for Alain Vigneault’s decision, this save says it all:
Ultimately it came down to a fantastic performance by Schneider (37 out of 39 made) and this great overtime goal by the Sedin twins:
(Interesting note: that tally makes Daniel Sedin the team’s all-time leader in OT goals.)
As far as the Blackhawks went, pot-stirrer Dave Bolland had a rough night with a -1 rating, zero points, and went 6-14 in the faceoff circle. Jonathan Toews (one assist, -1, five shots) and Patrick Sharp (zero points, even rating, three shots) seemed solid enough in their returns from injury as they played about 19:10 each.
Sure, it’s just two points for the Canucks and one charity point for the Blackhawks, but nights as excited as these have a nice way of breaking the monotony of an 82-game season. Did you take anything else away from that contest, though?
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.