Given all the bizarre plays the 2013 World Series has provided, it was fitting one of the goals in St. Louis tonight had a baseball-like flair.
Midway through the Jets-Blues game — with Winnipeg trailing by one — Jets forward Blake Wheeler batted home his second power play goal of the season, making solid contact with a pop fly off an Andrew Ladd shot:
Ladd’s shot appeared to ramp off Jaroslav’s stick, approximately 10 feet in the air. Crazy play.
Crazier, though, might’ve been that Winnipeg actually scored with the man advantage. The Jets came into tonight having failed to score a power play goal in its last eight games (0-for-25), a slump that caused head coach Claude Noel to voice his displeasure on Sunday night.
Video’s below, but here are the transcribed highlights:
“The power play’s getting old, but these are the same players that we had last year. I think what we’re proving is there’s a reason why we were last last year.
“At the end of the day, we don’t make the greatest decisions. We don’t execute, and this is the same stuff we lamented about before. We all know and you guys know it ended up costing us the game. We were 0-for-5. It cost us the game, because it’s a momentum-killer.
“It’s like shooting yourself in the foot over and over. It does a lot of things to you, and none of it’s positive. It demoralizes you, takes momentum away and it adds frustration.”
As mentioned, here’s the clip. The good stuff starts around 2:20.
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.