Washington forward Nicklas Backstrom returned to practice on Friday after being forced out of Thursday’s game against the Senators with an arm injury.
Backstrom, 25, was hit with a Mike Green shot and didn’t take a single shift during the final seven minutes.
“It caught him in the arm,” Green told the Washington Post following the game. “He’s all right but definitely gave him a bruise. So I hope everything’s okay with him.”
The Post reports Backstrom took part in all drills “without any hesitation” today, and should be ready for Saturday’s game in Montreal.
That news likely elicited a huge sigh of relief from the Caps.
Backstrom has been on fire as of late, often playing the role of primary set-up man as Alex Ovechkin moved atop the NHL’s goalscoring leaderboard.
The Swedish center has 44 points in 44 games this year and sits third in the NHL in assists, with 38.
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.