Nicklas Lidstrom

Lidstrom could be back by Saturday

Good news on the injury front for the reeling Red Wings – captain Nicklas Lidstrom skated for the second straight day today and could be back in action by the weekend.

“We’re hopeful he might be ready Saturday [at home to Carolina],” said coach Mike Babcock, as per The Detroit News.

Lidstrom’s missed the last 10 games with a bruised ankle that’s taken longer to heal than first expected. The Wings are 3-6-1 during that stretch, and while they’ve had numerous other injuries to contend with, it’s clear they’re not the same team without their 41-year-old defenseman. Which doesn’t bode particularly well for their future, but they’ll worry about that later.

“We can’t sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. We’re not going anywhere that way,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said yesterday after Detroit fell, 5-3, at home to the Capitals. “We have to find a way to come together as a group and move forward, still try to think positive, see things positive.”

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’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.