The St. Louis Blues locked up the fourth seed (and at least one round of home ice advantage) on Saturday, but some couldn’t help but wonder: who’s going to start in net once the postseason begins?
Head coach Ken Hitchcock told NHL.com’s Lou Korac that Brian Elliott is the man – at least at the moment.
“He’s our goalie right now,” Hitchcock said. “He’s the guy we’re going to go with.”
The Blues faced an unusual set of circumstances last postseason, as both Elliott and Jaroslav Halak were sidelined with ailments. Hitchcock believes that Elliott, 28, was strong in the 2012 playoffs before an ear infection sent things off the rails.
“He was very good when Jaro got hurt in the playoffs and then he had the inner ear infection and didn’t really play up to par,” Hitchcock said.
With Halak and Jake Allen waiting in the wings and a tough matchup in either the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings in order, Elliott knows he needs to avoid a sub-par outing.
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.