Roberto Luongo has returned to Canucks practice and says he’s feeling well, but it’ll be rookie Eddie Lack that’ll get the start tonight — his third in a row — when the Canucks host the Lightning in Vancouver.
Luongo, hurt on an Evander Kane shot in a win over Winnipeg on Dec. 22., said he was “feeling good” after taking the full morning skate. While he won’t dress against the Lightning, it’s possible he could be back this weekend, when the Canucks embark on a two-game California road swing through Los Angeles and Anaheim.
As for Lack, he’ll be looking to build upon what’s been a very solid first season in the NHL. The lanky Swede is 7-2-1 this season with a 1.84 GAA and a .929 save percentage.
From an Olympic perspective, Luongo being close to return comes as good news to Team Canada. Luongo is expected to be one of the three goalies named to the team and will be in line to challenge for the No. 1 gig when games get underway in Sochi.
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.