After a poor outing in Sunday’s 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh, defenseman Jordan Leopold has been dropped from the Sabres lineup for Tuesday’s game against Winnipeg.
“I just haven’t got off to a good start,” Leopold told the Buffalo News. “I’m trying to keep the confidence up, trying to get into plays, trying to make things. It’s the little things, not big things that have been getting me a little bit.
“It’s not the first time I’ve sat and watched a game. You learn from it. It creates a fire underneath you and urgency to get better.”
According to the News, it’s the first time Leopold’s been a healthy scratch in his three years with Buffalo.
The 32-year-old rearguard’s had an erratic start to his season, recording just 1G-3A-4PTS in 16 games while posting a minus-7 rating.
He was blasted for some poor defensive zone coverage on this Pascal Dupuis goal during Sunday’s loss:
“That’s an easy read for me,” Leopold explained. “Having that one sneak by, there’s nobody to fault but myself. You look at it and learn from it. Lindy’s got to make his choices with lineup. We got 8 D here. Sometimes you find yourself out.
Ruff didn’t have much to say in explaining the decision to drop Leopold from the lineup.
“I expect more out of him. I expect more out of a veteran defenseman. He’s going to have to work hard to get back in,” the Sabres head coach said.
TJ Brennan will replace Leopold against the Jets, paired with fellow defenseman Mike Weber.
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.