Potential 2013 first pick Nathan MacKinnon is giving scouts every reason to hype him up after two impressive games to start his season.
He put up especially gaudy numbers against Prince Edward Island today. The young center collected two goals (including the game-winner) and two assists as Halifax pounded P.E.I. 8-1.
If blowouts don’t do much for you, MacKinnon also came up big in the Mooseheads’ season-opener, scoring an overtime game-winner to lead his team past Cape Breton.
He’s earning some all-around brownie points, too.
MacKinnon’s +6 rating can be explained away by weaker competition, but he’s also been dominant on draws. He won nine out of 15 today and went a stunning 21-7 in the faceoff circle on Friday.
(That’s just under 70 percent. Not bad.)
His five points aren’t good enough to lead the league in scoring just yet, though. Teammate Jonathan Drouin has two more points while Buffalo Sabres’ first-rounder Mikhail Grigorenko already has six points for the Quebec Ramparts.
MacKinnon scored 31 goals and 78 points in 58 games last season for Halifax. He seems primed for a much bigger campaign in 2012-13, although he’d have to make a huge jump to truly push the Sidney Crosby comparisons.
Crosby had a whopping 66 goals and 168 points in his second QMJHL season.
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.