While the Los Angeles Kings beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1 on Thursday night, they had to do it for most of the game without captain Dustin Brown.
Brown was given a five-minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct for his hit on Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl. Hertl left the game and did not return.
As could be expected, Kings coach Darryl Sutter didn’t agree with call and said as much following the game as Jon Rosen of L.A. Kings Insider shares.
“You lose a player for almost the whole game when you’re in this type of schedule – that is not the right call. Clear. No more questions about it. I saw it live and I saw two or three replays. It’s not the right call.”
Unsurprisingly, Sharks coach Todd McLellan didn’t share the same viewpoint but said it was up to the NHL Department of Player Safety to decide how bad it was.
Brown has a bit of a history with bad hits around the knee. His hit on then Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Michal Rozsival during Game 5 of the 2012 Western Conference Final left Coyotes players and fans alike furious over the lack of call or league discipline for the hit.
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.