The Chicago Blackhawks hit the midway point of their truncated 2013 season on Wednesday.
They have still yet to lose in regulation, 24 games into their schedule. On Wednesday, they defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-2, thanks to a goal from Dan Carcillo with 50 seconds remaining in the third period. Earlier in the period, Jonathan Toews scored short-handed to tie the game at 2-2.
That’s now 11 wins in a row, in case people have started to lose count. The Blackhawks’ undefeated streak dating back to last March is now at 30 games, and closing in on the NHL record of 35 games without a regulation loss held by the Philadelphia Flyers from 1979-80.
Chicago’s record now stands at 21-0-3.
And they defeated the Avalanche without the services of 34-year-old winger Marian Hossa, who was scratched from the line-up with an upper-body injury.
Prior to Wednesday’s game, Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville appeared on the Dan Patrick Show to talk about his team’s current streak and everything it encompasses.
There is even a debate about which streak – the Blackhawks’ now 24 games without a regulation loss to begin the season or the NBA’s Miami Heat’s 15 wins in a row – is better. Again, we ask: ‘Hawks or Heat: Who ya got?
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.