The Buffalo Sabres played in First Niagara Center lately, so why not let their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans take advantage of it?
The Americans are doing just that and on Friday, they will set a new franchise attendance record in their game against the AHL Lake Erie Lake Erie Monsters. As of Thursday afternoon, only one of 19,070 seats was still available for the contest, according to the Buffalo News.
Their previous attendance record was 17,898, set during the last lockout when they similarly decided to play a late December game in Buffalo.
Rochester’s roster has been enhanced due to the work stoppage with Cody Hodgson and Marcus Foligno among those that were expected to play in the NHL this season.
This will mark the second time that Rochester has played in First Niagara Center this season. In the Americans previous contest in Buffalo, they earned a 3-1 victory in the presence of 10,936 fans. At the time, that was Rochester’s largest crowd since the 2004-05 lockout.
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.