The Chicago Blackhawks faced some rare adversity on Thursday, as it was announced Patrick Sharp wouldn’t travel with the team to Denver for Friday’s game against the Avalanche.
What’s more, Sharp could miss up to three weeks of action with what appears to be an upper-body injury.
The 31-year-old forward was hurt during Chicago’s 3-2 win over the Avs on Wednesday night after he was driven into the boards midway through the third period by Colorado defenseman Ryan O’Byrne:
Sharp left the game immediately and didn’t return.
Following the contest, ‘Hawks head coach Joel Quenneville told reporters Sharp was expected to miss some time, but said the injury wasn’t season-threatening.
Sharp has been a big part of Chicago’s remarkable 21-0-3 start to the season. He’s tied for third on the team in scoring, with 18 points, and is second among all skaters with 13 assists.
In what appears to be a related move, the ‘Hawks recalled forward Brandon Bollig from AHL Rockford.
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.