The Ottawa Senators will start goaltender Robin Lehner against the Edmonton Oilers today. Why? Because even with the Senators schedule fairly spread out, netminder Craig Anderson could use a breather after the barrage of shots he’s faced lately.
Ottawa has allowed an average of 42 shots per game this season. Not only is that the worst in the league, but there isn’t even another team that comes close to that mark. It’s almost double what the Minnesota Wild allow on a typical night.
Although the Senators have still won their last two games and are a respectable 3-2-2 this season, Senators coach Paul MacLean decided to make this issue a focus during Friday’s practice. As MacLean pointed out, a big factor is the fact that Ottawa also ranks near the bottom of the league in minor penalties taken with 40.
“The number of penalties we take certainly leads to us playing in our end too much and them getting shots at our net, and that’s never a good recipe, and there’s no chance of success if that continues to happen,” MacLean told the Ottawa Citizen.
That’s after MacLean classified most of their penalties on Thursday as “lazy.”
The expectation is that the Senators players will “get it sorted out,” and they’ll have a chance to do just that against the Oilers.
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.