The Flyers will take a page out of the Sabres’ history book on Wednesday.
Philadelphia will ice a modern version of the French Connection line — made famous in Buffalo during the 70s by Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin and Rene Robert — by putting Sean Couturier between Daniel Briere and Simon Gagne to face the Devils in New Jersey (on NBCSN).
“I like it,” Couturier told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We can speak French and get some strategy going without the other team knowing it.”
Couturier, 20, is from Bathurst, New Brunswick — a city where over 50 percent of the population speaks French only. He’ll be the baby-faced (or, visage poupin) center for the 33-year-old Gagne (from Sainte-Foy, Quebec) and the 35-year-old Briere (from Gatineau, Quebec).
“Hopefully, with the other two French guys, we can start to do something,” Briere told the Inquirer. “I played with Simon quite a bit before, so at least it’s someone that I know, and we’ve got some young legs with us.”
Gagne and Briere were occasional linemates during Philly’s run to the Stanley Cup in 2010, combining for 42 points as the Flyers lost in six games to Chicago in the finals.
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.