Henrik Tallinder, Justin Williams

DeBoer’s “gut” says Tallinder, Josefson will return this series

Prior to Saturday’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, Peter DeBoer was asked about the status of injured Devils Henrik Tallinder and Jacob Josefson.

His reply? They could be back soon. Very soon.

“My gut is I think they’ll be available at some point in this series,” DeBoer told reporters.

Josefson — New Jersey’s first-round (2oth overall) pick at the 2009 draft — fractured his left wrist on Apr. 3 and has missed the entire postseason. Prior to getting hurt, the 21-year-old center appeared in 41 regular season games (2G-7A-9PTS) while recording a plus-1o rating.

“It was not fun at all,” Josefson said of the wrist fracture. “I felt good and it was almost playoff time and I was really looking forward to playing. Now I have a chance and I’ll do my best to get an opportunity to play.”

Tallider’s been out of action even longer than Josefson. On Jan 19, the veteran defenseman was diagnosed with acute thrombophlebitis (blood clots in his leg) and has spent the last three months skating lightly while trying to regain playing form.

He has yet to speak with reporters about his recovery. In March, he described the process like this:

“I have regular doctor checkups but there is no quick way to heal. It takes me the same amount of time as anyone else to heal. I feel good — no pain — but I can still feel it. It’s kind of like stiffness.

“[Recovery is] not too good. You think you can skate more, but you can’t.”

Evidently, things have improved significantly over the last two months.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

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.