The Nashville Predators chose to hand Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn matching one-game suspensions for violating team rules. They served their time on Wednesday, but because Nashville was able to earn a 2-0 victory on Wednesday without them, Predators coach Barry Trotz might decide not to alter his lineup.
Trotz already expressed his reluctance on Wednesday morning to mess with a winning lineup.
“It’s a privilege to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs, to play for the Cup, and those guys took advantage of the privilege of playing,” said Trotz. “That’s a sacred part of the playoffs. It will be very hard to change a lot from that group.”
Jordan Tootoo and Matt Halischuk were the players that got a chance because of the suspensions and Tootoo in particular was impressive.
“He was really good tonight,” said Trotz. “He was on the puck hard. He was detailed in the defensive zone, he was detailed all over the ice in terms of the reloads and finding people. That’s the way I expect him to play. When he’s hard on people and detailed, he can have an impact on a game. And I thought he did today.”
Scratching Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn for Game 4 would mean keeping two of their biggest offensive weapons out of the lineup. Although Radulov he might have done more harm than good lately.
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.