Down a goal in the third period, and moving ever closer to the brink of elimination, the L.A. Kings needed offence. They got next to nothing.
The Kings fired all of two shots on goal in the third period of Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. A win for the Kings, and the Western Conference final would’ve shifted back to Chicago all tied at 2-2.
Instead, the Kings, defending Stanley Cup champions, now face elimination, down 3-1 in the series.
And, they only managed two shots in the final 20 minutes.
Asked after the loss if there was a lack of desperation from his team, head coach Darryl Sutter was succinct.
“No,” said Sutter.
Reporter, according to the transcript provided by the National Hockey League: “At all?”
“No,” reiterated Sutter.
Marian Hossa scored to give Chicago a 3-2 lead just 1:10 into the third period, and from there the Kings had no answer for a stingy defensive posture from the Blackhawks.
“Yeah, I think once they scored the quick goal after the penalty kill, 10 seconds after, I think we had to go for it a little
bit, we were stretched out,” added Sutter.
“That doesn’t work that well against them. So I think they did a good job of plugging it off, defending the lead.”
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.