Joe Thornton to Jarret Stoll: ‘Just keep your head up’


Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter called Raffi Torres’ hit on Jarret Stoll “careless.” San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton seems to think that Stoll was the one being careless.

Thornton, 33, told that he’s surprised the NHL wants to discuss the check with Torres.

“We were kind of shocked today to hear he has to fly to New York for the hearing,” Thornton said. “We didn’t see anything wrong on the play.”

The Sharks captain argues that the league is putting hitters in a tough spot.

“It almost seems like the player getting hit has no responsibility at all right now,” Thornton said. “In that case, I think Jarret probably wasn’t expecting to get hit, and it just looked like a clean hit. It seems right now that the responsibility is on the hitter, and not the receiver right now.”

Apparently he’s not very happy with that standard, then.

“No,” Thornton said. “The way I was brought up was to keep your head up. Just keep your head up. When I was six years old, I was taught that.”

He wasn’t the only Sharks player to support Torres. Logan Couture called it a clean, “shoulder-to-shoulder” hit. Joe Pavelski described it as a “hard call in our book” and head coach Todd McLellan didn’t even think Torres deserved to be whistled for a penalty on the play.

Either way, Torres’ availability seems unlikely (at best) for Thursday’s Game 2, so the Sharks need to move on.

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’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.