Scott Hartnell is a man of mystery.
All right so maybe he’s not exactly that, but he has been studying the Flyers’ next opponent, the New Jersey Devils, and he says he’s learned a few things about them. Hartnell tells Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.com, however, that he’s not about to share what he’s found out. Sort of.
“I can’t reveal that information … the secrets that I learned [Thursday] night,” Hartnell smiled. “We know that they have a lot of skill. Their top line can score, their power play is dangerous … like every other team that made it to this point.
“They also have one of the best goalies who’s ever played the game. We’re going to have our hands full and it’s going to be exciting.”
OK so Hartnell is good at tossing a joke around or two. The laughs all come to an end tomorrow afternoon, however, when their second round series with New Jersey kicks off. From Ilya Kovalchuk to Zach Parise to Martin Brodeur, the Flyers will have a lot to worry about star-wise.
If Ilya Bryzgalov can bounce back and play the way he did against New Jersey this season (3-0-0, 0.29, .987), the Flyers might not have much the Devils doing all the fretting.
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.