The Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks are in the Stanley Cup Final, yet both clubs faced their own separate demise in these playoffs.
The Bruins trailed the Toronto Maple Leafs by three goals in Game 7 of the first round, and the Blackhawks were down 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings in the second round.
Yet, here they are, in what has become a best-of-five final, with the series tied 1-1 following the Bruins overtime victory on Saturday.
In fact, this series has been a testament to the difficulties of playoff hockey, and the perseverance needed to win. Both games have needed overtime to determine a winner, with the first game going three extra periods.
“Well, I think the championship teams, usually when there is adversity, they embrace it, they have fun with it. They’re just
looking for the challenge,” Blackkhawks forward Michal Handzus told reporters.
“I think you need that. It’s a long road to win the Stanley Cup. It’s four games. You get a lot of adversity, tough moments. You have to have fun with it, look at it as a challenge.
“I think that’s what you need to go forward.”
Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp
It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.
Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.
Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.
The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension
The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.
It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.
Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.