Datsyuk (lower body) skips Saturday’s game vs. Stars

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The Detroit Red Wings are gradually getting healthier, but that process isn’t without hiccups. In Saturday’s case, it means going without Pavel Datsyuk against the Dallas Stars, as Fox Sports Detroit’s John Keating passes along word from Mike Babcock that the star has a lower-body injury.

The positive aspect of this tough loss is that the 35-year-old will get a nice amount of time to heal up from that (and possibly other issues). The Red Wings won’t play again until Thursday, so he’ll get more than week off with his most recent appearance being the 2014 Winter Classic.

While the abstract view is to point to the Red Wings’ superior road vs. home record and call this beginning of a five-game road trip a positive thing, it’s still a tour that poses some potential problems. That’s especially true beginning Thursday, as Detroit faces the three imposing California teams in a four-day span.

So, yeah, there’s plenty of motivation to sit Datsyuk. Of course, it’s just as possible that he’ll be out for some of that trip, too.

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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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 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.