NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 02: Jordan Nolan #71 of the Los Angeles Kings and Stephen Gionta #11 of the New Jersey Devils go for a loose puck during Game Two of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Prudential Center on June 2, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

DeBoer thinks Devils were “50% better” in Game 2

The New Jersey Devils have suffered back-to-back 2-1 overtime loses to the Los Angeles Kings. However, while the result was the same, the Devils did look significantly better in Game 2.

“I think when you reflect for a day, when you look at the tape, we did a lot of good things,” Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. “Obviously there’s some areas we have to do a better job at. But I really liked our game.

“Game 1 to Game 2, I thought we were 50% better. I still think we have some more in the tank.”

The fact of the matter is they’re still down 2-0 in the series. Still, it does give them a ray of hope, especially seeing as the Devils have usually gotten better in the latter half of their 2012 playoff series.

“We got down to Philly, rattled off four wins in a row,” DeBoer said. “Got down to the Rangers, rattled off three in a row. We know we have that, that we’re capable of doing that. It’s a matter of getting it done.

“This isn’t an easy task. They’re a very good team. They’ve shown that. But we’re a confident group. There will be no laying down by our group.”

The Devils are a franchise that have seen their fair share of turmoil over the past two years. From their horrid start to the 2010-11 campaign to now, the Devils have battled through trial after trial and they’re still here. That counts for something, but it might not be enough given the enormity of the mountain they have to climb.

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.