Panthers end nine-game slump, cool Ducks’ streak

On paper, it’s an enormous upset, and even early-season devils’ advocates would probably concur. The Florida Panthers came back from down 2-0 to beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in an unlikely win on Tuesday.

Chew on this:

  • The Predators came in with a nine-game losing streak and remain second-to-last in the dreadful East, ahead only the moribund Buffalo Sabres.
  • Anaheim carried a five-game winning streak and took eight of its last nine possible wins leading into Tuesday’s action. They remain on top of the NHL even after this loss.

If you’re going to give any single player credit, target Tim Thomas. He stopped 32 out of 34 shots to get just his second win of 2013-14. It’s been a turbulent season for the 39-year-old, but perhaps this will be something he – and his team – can build upon.

This also marks the first win for new Panthers head coach Peter Horacek, so the highly optimistic can hope this indicates that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Meanwhile, the Ducks hope it’s a mere blip on the radar …

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.