Toews admits he’s feeling pressure to score

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There are quite a few talented players on the “no goals in the 2013 playoffs” list, but Jonathan Toews ranks as one of the surprising ones.

The Chicago Blackhawks captain told the Chicago Sun-Times that he always feels some pressure to find the net, yet the heightened stage does escalate that anxiety a bit.

”I always do,” Toews said. ”Maybe a little added pressure given the situation. Right now I’m just not letting it build up too much in my own mind. Sometimes you start squeezing the stick and the rest of your game goes down hill. I’m not letting that happen. But I know that sooner or later something’s got to give. Hopefully I’ll be able to find a way to contribute in a big way for my team.”

The 25-year-old has fired 21 shots on goal in seven games, good for exactly three per contest. That’s basically the same amount that he sent toward goalies each night during the regular season, when he connected for 23 goals in 47 games.

So, yes, it seems like just a matter of time for Toews.

”I feel like I’ve been in situations before where I go a stretch of games without scoring and it’s tough,” Toews said. ”Anyone would start to doubt themselves a little bit. [But] there’s no time for that. There’s a lot of different ways I can help my team out. I’ve really focused on that and been patient. You just have to let it come to you to a certain degree. The more you try and force things, the rest of your game can deteriorate. Mentally, I just try to stay on my game and not let that happen.”

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.