The New Jersey Devils have a 0-1-2 record after surrendering a three goal lead in the third period of last night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that coach Pete DeBoer has shaken up his lines a bit.
Defenseman Mark Fayne will be inserted into the lineup for tonight’s game against the Vancouver Canucks while 20-year-old Adam Larsson will be a healthy scratch. Larsson has a minus-four rating in three games, which is tied for the worst on the Devils with another player that will be sent to the press box; forward Ryan Carter.
For Larsson, this is an all too familiar spot. Since being taken with the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Larsson hasn’t been able to firmly establish himself as a regular with the Devils. He had six assists in 37 games last season.
“It is (frustrating to be in this situation again), but I’m not going to hang my head just because of one game,” Larsson told the Star-Ledger. “We’ll see what happens the next game. We’ll, see but I’m not happy about it.”
Before the 2013-14 campaign started, Larsson predicted this would be an important year for him. This certainly isn’t how he would have liked to start it, but the silver lining is that there’s still plenty of time left.
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.