Coming off a dominant 4-0 victory over Toronto Saturday, the Vancouver Canucks will look to continue their dominance in the Arizona desert tonight versus the streaking Coyotes.
You have to go all the way back to March 21, 2009, for the last regulation loss Vancouver suffered at Jobing.com Arena. The first star of that game was Ilya Bryzgalov. Yes, a few things have happened since then.
These aren’t the same old Coyotes though. Long known for an inability to score, Phoenix (10-3-2) currently ranks fourth in goals per game (3.27) while boasting three of the highest-scoring defensemen in the NHL: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (3G, 8A), Keith Yandle (1G, 10A), and Derek Morris (4G, 6A).
The Coyotes have also won four straight, including a 3-2 shootout victory Saturday in San Jose.
But while tonight is technically a home game for Phoenix, expect to hear plenty of support for the visitors. The Canucks always have their share of vacationing fans in the stands when they play in Glendale.
Oh, and also, the last time these two teams played in Arizona, this happened:
Related: The Coyotes would like everyone to know how well they’re playing
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.