Mikko Koivu celebrated his 500th career National Hockey League game in style.
Koivu calmly faked to the backhand, then went forehand, sliding the puck past a helpless Leland Irving for the shootout winner, as the Minnesota Wild got past the Calgary Flames with a 2-1 victory.
“It wasn’t pretty by any means,” Wild forward Devin Setoguchi said to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“That might have been one of the ugliest wins that you’re going to see. But we’ve found a way to get the win, and that’s all that matters.”
Irving was making his third straight start in place of the injured Miikka Kiprusoff.
He made 23 saves in regulation and overtime combined but was beaten on the only two attempts he faced in the skills competition.
“You get in shootouts and you get a couple of good moves, you get a couple of lucky moves, you get a save, you get a good goal and you get the win. But right now, we’re not getting it,” Flames head coach Bob Hartley told NHL.com.
Flames GM Jay Feaster is expected to address to the goaltending situation in Calgary some time today.
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.