The news was already grim for Bruins forward Nathan Horton when it came to whether or not he’d play in the postseason as early inclinations said he’d be a “long shot” to find his way into any games.
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli ended all the speculation and announced Horton will not play at all during the 2012 playoffs. Horton has been out since late January with a concussion suffered against the Flyers when Tom Sestito caught him in the head with a hit. Sestito was not punished for the play.
Horton’s concussion history has been high-profile in Boston as the hit he suffered at the hands of Vancouver’s Aaron Rome during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals knocked him out for the rest of the series. After seeing Horton return to action at the start of this season, many wondered if Horton was fully recovered as the hit from Rome was a crushing blow.
The Bruins have been doing well without Horton of late but keeping that going through the postseason and trying to repeat as Cup champions is going to be a lot harder to do without him as Horton was one of Boston’s more clutch performers last season.
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.