Thrown ‘into the fire’ vs. ‘Hawks, Bryzgalov gets first Oilers start on Thursday

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Ilya Bryzgalov’s Oilers debut was inauspicious, but he’ll quickly have the chance to put it behind him.

Bryzgalov, who came on in relief Monday night in an eventual 5-1 loss to Chicago, will get his first start on Thursday when the Oilers take on the Preds in Nashville.

“It wasn’t the best way for us to throw [Bryzgalov] into the fire,” Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said of last night’s game, in which Devan Dubnyk was yanked after allowing four goals on 14 shots.

Despite Eakins’ comments, throwing the Russian netminder into the fire ended up a decent move. Bryzgalov wasn’t perfect, but he did stop 12 of 13 shots and said he felt “pretty good” in his first NHL action since April.

Eakins agreed.

“I thought [Bryz] went in and played very well,” the Oilers coach explained.

The Oilers will hope Bryzgalov can continue his string of success against the Predators. He’s 9-6-3 vs. Nashville in his career, boasting a .913 save percentage and 2.54 GAA, with one shutout.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

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.