In a battle of red-hot goalies, Semyon Varlamov got the win over Ben Scrivens, as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 in OT.
This marks the first shutout of a 2013-14 season that’s been impressive on the ice and turbulent off of it for Varlamov. He’s put together a three-game winning streak against three teams that have recently gone deep into the playoffs in the West: Chicago, Phoenix and Los Angeles (all on the road).
Varlamov is helping the Avs weather some time with Matt Duchene on the mend, bumping them to 17-5-0 on the season.
Jamie McGinn was the only player to score, as he found the net for the fourth time this season.
Scrivens put together another great effort, however, stopping 32 out of 33 shots. He’s made 150 out of 157 stops since taking over for Jonathan Quick, which would translate to a .955 save percentage. The Kings have managed points in all six of those games, although they’ve lost two in a row in overtime.
One would be foolish to beat up on the Kings’ surprisingly effective 27-year-old backup. The Kings only scored two goals in these two OT losses, so Darryl Sutter might want to go back to the drawing board offensively.
That being said, the Kings really aren’t that far off the mark as far as the West’s elite goes, as they’re now 15-6-3.
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.