Leafs edge Habs 4-3 in opener


The action between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens took a backseat to concerns about George Parros’ health on Tuesday, but the Buds ultimately won 4-3.

If there’s a theme, it’s that the box score argues in favor of Toronto’s dynamic offseason for at least one night:

  • Fresh off that eight-year, $64 million extension signing, Phil Kessel made a nice pass to set up James van Riemsdyk for a power-play goal.
  • Tyler Bozak didn’t score as many points as Mikhail Grabovski did tonight, but he still scored a goal.
  • Nazem Kadri grabbed an assist on a Dion Phaneuf goal.
  • Finally, bargain signing Mason Raymond scored the game-winner.

It would’ve felt like a clean sweep if Jonathan Bernier was in net instead of James Reimer, but GM Dave Nonis is probably not complaining.

Montreal lost, but the Habs got a great night from Lars Eller, who scored two goals and an assist.

Understandably, fans are probably more concerned about Parros than they are about the loss or excited about Eller.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara
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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.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: