In news that’s sure to raise eyebrows across the league, the Colorado Avalanche announced captain Gabriel Landeskog will be held out of Monday’s game against Edmonton with head and neck injuries.
The eyebrow-raising part?
The injuries stem from a hit by Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart during Saturday’s loss in San Jose.
Landeskog left the ice immediately after the collision, but — in what will be scrutinized given today’s developments — returned to the game three minutes into the second period.
The 19-year-old ended up playing 16:23 all told.
Stuart wasn’t penalized for the hit and didn’t face any supplemental discipline from the NHL.
He defended his actions to CSNBayArea.com’s Kevin Kurz, saying “[if] you take those hits out of the game, you change the game.”
Landeskog also defended the hit.
“I haven’t seen [the replay] but I think it was a clean hit, or felt like a clean hit,” he said. “No elbow, but it was hard, I’ll tell you that much. I was kind of reaching for the puck and didn’t brace myself enough and he stepped up.
“That’s the way with hockey, you give some and you take some, and tonight I took a pretty big one.”
Conversely, Avs head coach Joe Sacco didn’t like the hit, telling Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston it was “a direct blow to the head.”
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.