On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers through brute force. Friday’s 3-2 victory over the Flyers required a more disciplined effort. Pittsburgh still took some bad penalties, but overall they were solid defensively and responded nicely during Philadelphia’s final push. Philadelphia still has two more chances to eliminate the Penguins, but they have to be feeling the pressure now.
Here’s some interesting notes:
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- Despite being down a goal through 40 minutes, the Flyers didn’t come out particularly strong in the third period. However, they did manage to put more pressure on Marc-Andre Fleury as the minutes ticked away.
- Philadelphia has tied its franchise record for the most power-play goals in a single series.
- The Penguins and Flyers have scored a combined 23 goals in the first periods of this series. That’s more goals than any other series had in total going into Friday.
- The team that’s scored first has yet to win a game in this series
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.