The New Jersey Devils managed to eke out a victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday to end their six-game slide, but they’re clearly not out of the woods yet.
The Devils collapsed against the Carolina Hurricanes and suffered their ninth defeat in 11 contests. With Saturday’s 6-3 loss in the books, they’re in jeopardy of slipping below eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
With Martin Brodeur still dealing with a back injury, New Jersey goaltender Johan Hedberg made his eighth straight start. He ended up allowing five goals on just 18 shots before being yanked after two periods.
It was the second time that Hedberg has been pulled in his last three games, but he will start yet again on Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets, according to the Star-Ledger’s Rich Chere.
If New Jersey loses that game in regulation, then the currently ninth place Jets will have caught up with the Devils in the race for a playoff spot.
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.