We know the Rangers and their fans are bumming out hard today after seeing their team eliminated in the Eastern Conference finals by their rival Devils, but there is good reason to stay positive. It’s all about the future.
Chris Kreider made headlines coming right out of college at all of 20-years-old. Derek Stepan and Michael Del Zotto are both 21. Ryan McDonagh is 22. Artem Anisimov and Carl Hagelin are both 23. That’s a lot of future star potential getting their first big taste of the NHL playoffs and what it takes to win.
Coach John Tortorella tells reporters last night he’s really proud of them but knows there is more work to be done.
“We’re still a young club. We still have quite a bit to learn as far as the desperation, when you get to this third round. I just don’t want us to — and you hear it so much, and I won’t accept it. You know, you won a couple of rounds. You got into the third round. That isn’t good enough. We still have to find a way to win another round and get there.”
Luckily for Tortorella and the young Rangers, losing can help spur some players and teams on to greater things. For now, these growing pains hurt but it could mold the Rangers into having an even brighter future.
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.