Earlier this week, ‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford said he was “about as frustrated as you can get” with his hockey club.
Tonight, it’s easy to see why.
Goalie Dan Ellis was yanked after allowing three goals on 30 shots in Saturday’s game against the Rangers, the second time in three games he’s been given the hook for backup Justin Peters.
(Though technically, Peters is the third-stringer; No. 1 goalie Cam Ward was lost for the remainder of the regular season in March.)
(No wonder Rutherford’s frustrated.)
Tonight was the culmination of what’s been a forgettable week for Ellis.
On Tuesday, he allowed three goals on seven shots before getting pulled against the Capitals, a game Washington went on to win 5-3.
In his next game out — Thursday against Tampa — Ellis lasted the entire game, but was shelled for five goals on 30 shots in a brutal loss to the Bolts.
Tonight, it was back to getting yanked, and while Ellis got caught wandering on New York’s second goal, he was hardly all to blame.
Carolina looked awful defensively, gave up 30 shots through 40 minutes and allowed all three goals in a nine-minute span during the second period.
‘Canes head coach Kirk Muller might’ve pulled Ellis more as a wakeup call to his team than anything else. The fact this happened on home ice only adds to what’s been an increasingly frustrating year for the entire organization.
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.