Ben Scrivens couldn’t keep his shutout streak going on Tuesday, but the Los Angeles Kings settled for a 5-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. You have to take the good with the bad, eh?
Scrivens stopped 19 out of 21 shots for his (and the Kings’) fourth win in a row. Los Angeles has also won six of its last seven contests. With 31 standings points, they make the bloated top of the outstanding Western Conference that much more congested.
Speaking of the West, a run through the superior conference hasn’t been too kind to the Stamkos-less Bolts. They’ve been outscored 11-5 so far in two losses and face two tough teams back-to-back (at San Jose on Thursday, at Anaheim Friday) to close out a grisly road trip. At this point, they’re probably just hoping they don’t fall outside of the East’s elite by the end of this jaunt.
All negativity aside, the Tampa Tribune’s Erik Erlendsson spotlights how steady the Lightning have been this season:
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.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: