With the New Jersey Devils down 3-0 in the Stanley Cup finals, Devils coach Pete DeBoer needed to decide if he was going to make any significant roster changes. In terms of defenseman, he had Henrik Tallinder ready and waiting.
Tallinder had fully recovered from a blood clot in his leg, but he was potentially rusty after missing almost five months of playing time. The day before Game 4, DeBoer ultimately decided to go with defenseman Peter Harrold and Anton Volchenkov over Tallinder.
DeBoer went to deliver the news to Tallinder, who took the opportunity to makes his case to the Devils coach.
“Really, where I had a change of heart was in his reaction,” DeBoer said. “It wasn’t negative. He was just adamant he was ready and really thought that he could help and when a player puts his neck on the line like that I got a real comfort level, knowing he’s a veteran guy and knowing how good he was at the top of his game for us as a top two guy that he could help us.”
The move paid off. DeBoer said that Tallinder was “outstanding” and provided “a big boost” for the Devils in their 3-1 victory on Wednesday.
He is projected to remain in the lineup for Game 5 on Saturday.
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.