The crushing way the Capitals lost in Game 5 would be enough to test the psyche of anyone. With Game 6 on the way tomorrow night in Washington, it wouldn’t be outrageous to be worried about how rookie goalie Braden Holtby would hold up.
Turns out, no one else in his locker room is too nervous about him. Caps coach Dale Hunter says Holtby is “a resilient kid and a battler” and adding he’ll battle again as well. NHL.com’s Dave Lozo hears it from Karl Alzner about how they’ll do their part as a team to make sure his spirits stay up.
“Just reminding him that he’s playing great,” Alzner said. “There’s nothing really that he can do otherwise. It’s just him continuing to do what he does and we do a better job of burying our chances and keeping them away from the net as much as possible.”
Without Holtby the Caps are likely dead in the water in the playoffs and making sure he stays in a good frame of mind is key. He’s been hard-headed throughout the playoffs, however, and seems unflappable. Washington hopes that will still be the case tomorrow night.
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.