Buffalo lost some experience but gained some youth on Tuesday.
The Sabres put veteran defenseman Henrik Tallinder on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, paving the way for 22-year-old Marcus Foligno to make his 2013-14 debut against Tampa after missing the first three games of the season with a shoulder ailment.
Foligno will play on a line with Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford, a trio that achieved great success during the 2011-12 campaign. That year, Foligno burst onto the scene by scoring 13 points in 14 games.
“He can provide a lot of energy for us, so we’re looking for that tonight and a physical element out of him,” Sabres head coach Ron Rolston said, as per NHL.com. “It’s just finding the chemistry on lines, and I think [Foligno]’s a guy that can make space for guys for us and get to the net.
“Those are some of the things we’ve been struggling with.”
In other lineup moves, Buffalo will put Steve Ott on the top line alongside Cody Hodgson and Thomas Vanek.
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.