PHT Morning Skate: How the Oilers can make the playoffs


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Adrian Dater’s touching take on Jessica Ghawi’s funeral. (Denver Post)

Kevin Allen takes a look at some unresolved issues that could very well change the balance of power during this offseason. (USA Today)

Bobby Orr talks up Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson. (Senators Extra)

Ten things the Edmonton Oilers need to do to make the playoffs next season. (Edmonton Journal)

New Jersey Devils fans provide a “tribute” to Alexei Yashin. (In Lou We Trust)

Zach Parise and his “new wife” got the Kiss Cam treatment at a Minnesota Twins game. (Star Tribune)

Speaking of new Minnesota Wild players, Hockey Wilderness rolls out the red carpet for Ryan Suter. (Hockey Wilderness)

Davis Payne introduces himself as an assistant with the Los Angeles Kings. (Kings Insider)

The St. Louis Blues could be the beneficiaries of all the changes in the Central Division. (STLtoday.com)

Matt Carle expects his second run with the Tampa Bay Lightning to be more productive. It won’t take much for it to last longer … (Lightning Web site)

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.