Patrick Marleau’s hot start to the season is something we haven’t seen in a long time. No, not for him but for anyone.
After scoring two more goals in San Jose’s 5-3 comeback victory over the Phoenix Coyotes, Marleau has multiple-goal games in each of their first three games. According to Elias, the last time a player has done that was in the 1982-83 season when Peter Stastny did it for the Quebec Nordiques.
Marleau now sits atop the NHL leaderboard for goals with six and is one point behind teammate Joe Thornton for the league lead there. After the way the Sharks bowed out not-so gracefully to the St. Louis Blues in the playoffs last year, and the way Marleau took plenty of heat for it, perhaps the former team captain has found motivation to silence his critics.
Marleau scores twice vs. Flames after getting mocked by Calgary radio station
Marleau: “Just because I don’t jump up and down acting like a buffoon on the ice doesn’t mean I’m not into it”
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.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: