Oilers on the March toward Western Conference bottom


The Edmonton Oilers haven’t scored a goal in their last two games – obviously, not a winning recipe.

On Friday, one night after being shut out 3-0 by the Detroit Red Wings, the Oilers were soundly defeated 6-0 by the Nashville Predators.

The highly touted trio of youthful talent in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle was a combined minus-nine against the Predators. The Oilers have lost all five of their games to begin the month of March and are now one point ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets for last in the Western Conference standings.

“You just have to hate to lose that much and say, ‘OK, this has really got to happen,'” Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger told NHL.com.

“I have a feeling, I mean, if this one doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will. This has got to knock us really off our feet and say, ‘Enough is enough’ and ‘What are the elements that aren’t fitting and what are we doing that’s not enough?’

“Having been in close games for so long and then starting to lose a few has obviously broken our psyche with the last two scores — and the Minnesota [game] — so three of the last four games are unacceptable.”

The first period provided an ominous sign of what was in store for Edmonton.

Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk had a bouncing puck, shot in from the center ice by David Legwand, skip past him, giving Nashville a two-goal lead.

Dubnyk was pulled to begin the second period.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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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.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

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.