Stars’ experiments begin with Peverley on top line

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It appears that Rich Peverley has taken Erik Cole’s spot on the Dallas Stars top line – at least for now – according to the Dallas Morning News.

The move spreads the wealth in Dallas’ offense, with a Ray Whitney – Cody Eakin – Alex Chiasson second line staying intact while Cole joins Shawn Horcoff and Antoine Roussel as the third combo. Peverley was even on the first power-play unit, too.

Head coach Lindy Ruff seems like he’s fond of the mix …

“I think it kind of balances the size out on the lines,” Ruff said. “I think it’s a look we are going to take a peek at.”

… Yet he’s also open to more experiments, especially away from the comfort of home.

“I think on the road, we’d like to see how players play,” Ruff said. “We haven’t played a road game for real yet. The road is different monster, and I want to see what lines are going to compete to be the better lines on the road.”

The Stars play three road games in a row and five of their next six away, so they’ll get a good glimpse of how their players respond to that “monster.” That trip begins tonight against Winnipeg (for more on that, click here).

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

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’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.