For the second straight game, veteran winger Jamie Langenbrunner will watch the St. Louis Blues play in street clothes.
Head coach Ken Hitchcock decided to keep his lineup the same for Monday’s game against the Predators in Nashville, which is pretty reasonable after his team destroyed Detroit 6-0 in the season-opener.
Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he doesn’t think the jersey space-challenging forward will be a regular on the healthy scratch list, however.*
“We felt like if everybody came through healthy and we played that well, why change the lineup,” Hitchcock said. “You know, they’re going to play. I think sometimes you start over-thinking, like you don’t want to get guys too far away from it.
“But (Langenbrunner) knows the deal. He’s a veteran guy; he knows the deal. And I think when he gets in, he’s going to be a good player, and when he gets in he’s not going to get pushed out.”
Some might believe that the 37-year-old is nearing the end of the road, though.
He’s coming off his worst full statistical season in 2011-12. He averaged just 14:37 minutes per game while managing a middling six goals and 24 points. Langenbrunner isn’t that far removed from the days where he fell in the 60-point range, but it’s unlikely he’ll approach that level again.
Right now, he’s just trying to get back in the lineup.
* – And not just to save fabric and ink, am I right?
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.