The Winnipeg Jets’ defense just can’t get healthy. During the same night that Zach Bogosian is making his season debut, valuable blueliner Tobias Enstrom left Friday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins and won’t return, according to the Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe.
No, it wasn’t because of a Matt Cooke hit, but it was another hit that seemed innocuous enough. It looks like Enstrom banged up his right arm after a Pascal Dupuis check.
The 28-year-old blueliner has been a little fragile lately. He missed 20 games last season and 10 contests in 2010-11 after playing all 82 games in the first three campaigns of his career.
Enstrom’s been one of the league’s most underrated defensemen for a few seasons, but he’s been even more productive than usual. He’s currently atop all blueliners in 2013 with 13 points in 12 games, seeing more ice time (25:51 minutes per game) than he’s ever received before.
Winnipeg was forced to play a handful of games without Dustin Byfuglien and just got Bogosian back tonight, so their blueline has faced some tough injury luck so far.
The Jets just hope that Enstrom catches a better break than Erik Karlsson and the Ottawa Senators.
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.