Winnipeg Jets fans have been loud and ruthless with their chants this season. They’ve taunted Ryan Miller (Silver medal!) , Alex Ovechkin (Crosby’s better!), and just about every other star that’s rolled through town.
Last night they gave it to Carolina’s Eric Staal by chanting “Jordan’s better!” at him saying his brother Jordan Staal is the superior of the four Staal boys. As it turns out, their best efforts to get under Eric’s skin only fired him up as he scored twice in helping the Hurricanes beat the Jets 4-3.
So how’d Staal feel about being taunted all night? He tells Chip Alexander of the News & Observer that he’s just fine with it.
“I enjoyed it,” Staal said of the game. “It’s our playoffs for us right now. It was that type of atmosphere and our guys responded with a great effort and great third period, and it was a good win. Our guys showed a lot of resilience.”
And about that chant?
“Jordan’s good but I don’t know if he’s better,” Eric said, smiling. “They probably regretted the chant as the game went on.”
Losing one of their few remaining home games while they’re in a hunt to get in the playoffs would be a good reason to be regretful. Hey, maybe Tanner Glass was right about having the fans chill out with the personal taunts.
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: