Nicklas Backstrom

Caps’ Backstrom leaves game after being struck by Green shot


Washington’s 3-1 loss to Ottawa tonight may have been more destructive than just hurting their hold on the Southeast Division.

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom did not take a shift from the mid-point of the third period on and the team announced he would not return to the game with an upper body injury. On his last shift of the game, he was struck in the arm by a shot from teammate Mike Green.

After the game, Caps coach Adam Oates said they would reevaluate Backstrom on Friday, meanwhile Green says he hopes Backstrom is all right.

“It caught him in the arm. He’s alright but definitely gave him a bruise so I hope everything’s ok,” Green said.

If Backstrom is hurt more seriously than is being let on, it’s a huge blow. He’s been their top playmaker this season and is second only to Alex Ovechkin on the team in points. While Ovechkin’s done it with goals, Backstrom is all about the assists with 38 of his 44 points coming on helpers.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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’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.