The bright side for the St. Louis Blues is they’ve won six of their last eight while surrendering just 11 goals.
On the other hand, they’ve lost two in a row and scored just five goals in their last five games.
Here’s how they accomplished those dueling narratives:
Tonight, the Blues host the Vancouver Canucks in a potential first-round playoff preview.
“I don’t think we can dwell on any of the past games,” said captain David Backes after Sunday’s 2-0 loss to the Blackhawks. “One of the things about the condensed schedule is if you start to dwell on your past or how good you’ve been, how bad you’ve been, quickly it can bite you.”
If the Blues can take a positive from their consecutive losses, perhaps it’s the fact they outshot both Columbus (32-19) and Chicago (30-26).
But if there’s a major concern, it may be the once-lethal power play, which is scoreless in five games and has just two goals in 13 games.
“We’re playing pretty well 5-on-5, our penalty killing really gives us a chance every night, but whether it’s top players scoring or whether it’s a little more contribution from the power play, whatever, that’s the edge,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We have to find that edge.”
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.