With Dubnyk (foot) hurt, Oilers turn to Bachman

The Edmonton Oilers announced that Devan Dubnyk is sitting out Sunday’s game with what’s believed to be a minor foot injury. Yet, instead of going with veteran backup Jason LaBarbera, the team is instead turning to Richard Bachman.

“From our reports, he’s been playing well down (in OKC),” Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said. “It’s time for him to have an opportunity.”

It’s interesting that former Dallas Stars prospect/backup goalie Bachman is getting the start instead of LaBarbera, who once played for the Los Angeles Kings (tonight’s opponent). Eakins had a pretty flat assessment of LaBarbera, as the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson reports.

“He’s been OK,” Eakins said.

(Some might translate OK to “substandard.”)

Bachman, 26, is pretty experienced against L.A., having logged 32 games with the Kings’ former divison rival in Dallas. If Bachman can play well tonight, one cannot help but wonder if he’ll elbow in on a few more backup reps for Edmonton.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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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.