Following season-opening losses to Buffalo and Pittsburgh — in which they scored just three goals — the Philadelphia Flyers are shaking up their lines in advance of Tuesday’s game in New Jersey. (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Here’s what head coach Peter Laviolette has come up with, courtesy Philly.com:
* Claude Giroux centering Scott Hartnell and Jake Voracek. Voracek has replaced Brayden Schenn on the top line.
* Sean Couturier centering Ruslan Fedotenko and Matt Read.
* Schenn centering Tye McGinn and Wayne Simmonds. Schenn and McGinn were linemates with the AHL Phantoms this season.
* Scott Laughton centering Max Talbot and Eric Wellwood.
The least familiar name is probably McGinn’s, Philly’s fourth-round selection at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He’s a big kid — 6-foot-2, 205 pounds — that showed some good scoring touch in Adirondack this season, posting 15 points in 33 games.
Hartnell, one of the veteran presences of the group, said he understood why Laviolette was altering his lines just two games into the season.
“We’re looking for a little bit of a spark,” he said. “It’s not like we weren’t getting chances, but I think switching things up will get everyone a fresh start.”
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.