The New Jersey Devils enjoyed a 8-1-3 start to the season — and have gone 7-13-7 since then.
They have had some bad luck along the way to be sure. Starting goaltender Martin Brodeur was hurt earlier this season and they’re currently playing without Ilya Kovalchuk.
At the same time they have now lost seven straight games for the first time since Jan. 24-Feb. 8, 1986, according to the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti.
“Frustrating,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer told Gulitti. “I was proud and how hard we worked, but again we leave points on the table. There’s been too many of those.”
The only silver lining is that for the fourth time in those seven games, the Devils picked up a point by forcing the game into overtime. On Sunday, Devils defenseman Mark Fayne buried a shorthanded goal to tie the game:
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The team ultimately lost in a shootout, but those four points over seven contests have at least kept them within striking distance of a playoff spot. They are just two points behind the eighth place New York Islanders.
The Devils will get two days off before attempting to end their losing streak against the Boston Bruins in NBCSN’s upcoming Wednesday Night Rivalry game.
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.