The Boston Bruins must face the New York Rangers without key defenseman Dennis Seidenberg in Wednesday’s Rivalry Week match on NBC Sports Network, according to CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty.
“The Pain Sponge” is suffering from a lower-body injury. He didn’t divulge the details to Haggerty when asked earlier today:
“I’m a game-time decision,” Seidenberg said. “Top secret stuff. It’s not a big issue at all, but you don’t want it to turn into something that could become a two-week thing in such a short season.”
The 31-year-old German often gets overshadowed – one almost imagines literally – by Zdeno Chara, but the numbers indicate that he’s a crucial defenseman for Boston. He’s averaged right around 24 minutes per night the last couple seasons, regularly only less than the 35-year-old Czech’s time on ice.
On the bright side, Seidenberg said it shouldn’t be too serious, but he’s being confidential enough that it’s unclear if that means more games missed after tonight. (The other bright side: Brad Marchand is playing.)
You can check out how the Bruins fare in his absence as the game’s about to kick off as of this writing.
If you want to know why he’s called “The Pain Sponge,” observe this quick gallery of him absorbing punishment and/or laying on the ice:
(Also via AP)
(It’s believed those are his legs, via Getty)
Before you feel too bad about him, there’s also this photo via Getty:
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.