Hal Gill’s Predators playoff debut is still on hold.
According to Josh Cooper of The Tennessean, Gill won’t play in Tuesday’s Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena — he’s yet to participate in the Detroit series — though it sounds he’s showing signs of recovery from his lower-body injury.
“[Gill’s] improving every day, made some real good improvement,” Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said. “He’s not in tonight, but really good improvement, I thought he looked very good actually.”
Gill suffered the injury (believed to be a foot issue) blocking Sheldon Souray’s point shot in a 2-0 win over Dallas on Apr. 5. That’s the last game he played for the Preds, missing their regular season finale against Colorado and the first four games against the Red Wings.
The 6-foot-7 defenseman declined to comment through a team spokesman, but it’s clear both he and the team are anxious for a return. Gill’s two biggest strengths — shot-blocking and killing penalties — would certainly come in handy against the Wings, who have scored three times with the man advantage and averaged 32.2 shots on goal per game.
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.