Mikael Samuelsson

With no Abdelkader, Samuelsson bumps up to Wings’ top line


Veteran forward Mikael Samuelsson will be skating with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on Detroit’s top line when the Red Wings host the Ducks in Game 4 of their series (Anaheim leads, 2-1) tonight at Joe Louis Arena.

Samuelsson will replace the suspended Justin Abdelkader.

“It is a good opportunity. I’m excited about it,” Samuelsson said, per NHL.com.

“I’ve been here before and I’ve played with good players. I know what they’re capable of and I’ll try to find some open spots.”

Samuelsson has been hampered by injuries (groin, pectoral, broken finger) this season, but the 36-year-old does have 58 points in 100 career playoff games.

Here’s how all four Wings lines look:

Henrik Zetterberg – Pavel Datsyuk – Mikael Samuelsson

Valtteri Filppula – Johan Franzen – Daniel Cleary

Gustav Nyquist – Joakim Andersson – Damien Brunner

Patrick Eaves – Cory Emmerton – Todd Bertuzzi

Related: Wings’ Abdelkader laments ‘unfortunate’ hit

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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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 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.