Via AP

Lehner insists he’s still just Senators’ backup

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After turning aside 30 of 32 shots in the Ottawa Senators’ 3-2 overtime victory over St. Louis last night, goalie Robin Lehner’s 2.38 GAA is nearly a full goal less than Craig Anderson’s.

Anderson was stunning last season, but he’s been inconsistent in 2013-14 while Lehner has been flourishing. The Senators have had high hopes for Lehner for quite some time and with the team looking to climb above their mediocre start, it might be time to put their support fully behind the 22-year-old netminder.

That’s not how Lehner sees it though.

“This year, I’m the backup, I’ve said that a bunch of times,” Lehner told the Ottawa Citizen. “I’ve played a bunch of games, but it’s been weird circumstances – to go take over, because it’s not that time yet.”

People have suggested to him that he’s ready to compete with Anderson for the starting job, but he doesn’t feel it’s his time yet.

It helps the team that he’s actively fighting against the developing goaltending controversy. It’s also particularly noteworthy given that he’s scheduled to become a restricted free agent for the first time this summer, so he wouldn’t have to wait long to see the financial rewards if he did win the starting job in the weeks to come.

Either way, he remains on course to eventually become Ottawa’s number one netminder. Anderson, 32, is signed through 2014-15 and after that, this could be Lehner’s team.

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.