The Edmonton Oilers began the third period of Monday’s game against the New Jersey Devils trailing by three goals and in danger of losing their third straight to begin the new season.
And that’s when the comeback started. The Oilers scored four times in the third period to actually take a one-goal lead and then won the game 5-4 in a shootout.
“Like I’ve said before, all it takes is one shift, one period to get the season going. That’s all we needed,” said Oilers’ forward Taylor Hall, as per the team’s Twitter account.
The Oilers had lost their first two games to begin the 2013-14 season and had looked bad doing so. They had been outscored 11-6 coming into Monday, and their performance caused another public tongue lashing from new coach Dallas Eakins.
“The city and the fans should be angry, as angry as we are,” Eakins said following the Oilers’ loss in Vancouver Saturday. “It’s great that they care. Our team is upset too.”
It didn’t look like those words had much influence on his team Monday.
The Devils had a 2-0 lead after the first period and a 3-0 cushion after 40 minutes. Jaromir Jagr also scored his first as a member of the Devils in the opening period.
It didn’t look good.
But the Oilers managed to come alive in the second period, scoring four times in the span of seven minutes and 47 seconds.
Oilers’ goalie Jason Labarbera got credit for the win, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored in his return to the Edmonton lineup after recovering from shoulder surgery in April.
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.