Buffalo Sabres pugilist John Scott could be facing further discipline from the National Hockey League, after he was given a major penalty for a hit to the head of Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson on Wednesday.
The incident occurred early in the third period. As Eriksson went to dump the puck in the Buffalo zone, Scott caught the Bruins forward with a hit up high, and was assessed a major penalty for charging.
Eriksson left the game and did not return to the bench, according to NHL.com. Bruins head coach Claude Julien did not have an update on Eriksson after the game, as per the club’s Twitter account.
Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid stepped in to fight Scott, and was handed an instigator penalty for his efforts.
Scott has already been involved in an ugly incident this season. He tried to grab the much smaller Leafs forward Phil Kessel and fight him during a pre-season game. That immediately led to a line brawl and Kessel delivering a pair of two-handed slashes to Scott.
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.