Florida coach Kevin Dineen still hasn’t announced his starting goalie for tonight’s game against the Devils, but if it’s Scott Clemmensen, you can bet there will be a motivated player between the pipes.
And not just because it’s the playoffs.
As the Star-Ledger reminds us, Clemmensen wasn’t exactly buddy-buddy with current Devils coach Pete DeBoer when DeBoer was coaching in Florida. And for that matter, nor were many of the other Panthers.
“There was friction between (DeBoer) and a lot of players. I just think that was his coaching style,” Clemmensen said. “There’s the pat on the back coach and the kick (butt) coach. I think he was the latter.”
DeBoer didn’t deny there was friction, though he rationalized it with the fact the Panthers were a losing team.
“We pushed people maybe beyond what they were capable of doing,” he said. “There was friction there. Not personal.”
Another player that had a tumultuous relationship with DeBoer was defenseman Keith Ballard, now with the Canucks.
“He was trying to push me, get more out of me and I’m the first guy to say he should have done so,’’ Ballard said after being traded to Vancouver two years ago. “We raised our voices behind closed doors. We’re competitive people. I’m not the first player to get into a shouting match with a coach and I sure won’t be the last.”
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.