The San Jose Sharks have looked rather machine-like in how they’ve beaten teams to start the season and it’s a rookie that’s helping them do it.
2012 first-round pick, 19-year-old Tomas Hertl is showing the team he’s ready to be a factor now. In Saturday night’s win over Phoenix he scored his first two career goals. Through the Sharks first two games he has three points and is quickly earning the respect of his veteran teammates.
As Kevin Kurz from CSNBayArea.com shares, coach Todd McLellan likes what he saw against the Coyotes.
“It’s a big night for him, an exciting night, and one that he’ll remember for a long time. And, one that we’ll all remember as well,” he said. “We were part of his first goal, and second win. More importantly, the group played really, really well.”
Rookies getting off to a big start are always good for attention grabbing early in the season, but Hertl’s play so far has some thinking he’ll be a factor all year long.
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.