Of all the teams that would lose their starting goalie, the St. Louis Blues seemed the most well-equipped to roll with the punches (with the possible exception of the Vancouver Canucks’ voluntary swap, as we’ll see tonight). Brian Elliott justified such a notion in Game 2 on Saturday, continuing Jaroslav Halak’s shutout bid once the Blues’ more well-compensated netminder went down with a mysterious lower-body injury. The Associated Press reports that Elliott will get the start as the series shifts to San Jose, too, although one can only speculate if that’s matter of performance or Halak’s ill health.
Considering the amazing numbers Elliott put together in his opportunities, Halak’s injury might push Ken Hitchcock & Co. to the best decision to give the team a chance to go deep. While it’s easy to see why Halak’s style seemingly gives him a higher ceiling, Elliott’s positioning and size might actually be a better fit for the Blues’ suffocating system.
That’s especially true against the volume-shooting Sharks, who might just end up having a tougher time against Elliott.
(Honestly, it’s hard to say with certainty, though. Both netminders put up great numbers and each earned two victories against San Jose this season. Feel free to weigh the pros and cons of the two in the comments, much like you surely did in this poll.)
H/T to Rotoworld.
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.