Canes shrug off injuries, win fourth in a row


The Carolina Hurricanes continue to get hit by injuries – Eric Staal’s out, Cam Ward was placed on the IR – but they’re putting together some of their best hockey of the 2013-14 season instead.

Really, Jeff Skinner’s Sunday might represent the image the team is trying to project. Many gasped when he took the puck to the face (the young forward has dealt with concussion issues, after all), but the 21-year-old came back and scored the game-winner.

Skinner now has an outstanding 20 goals in 32 games played this season.

Then again, the real key might be Anton Khudobin’s return from injury. The 27-year-old strated off strong for Carolina, but he was sidelined from Oct. 13 to Jan. 2 with an injury. He’s now 5-0-0 with an outstanding .940 save percentage and 1.99 GAA on the season, certainly making Ward’s injury situation seem like less of a concern. (It is the season of backups, after all.)

With this win, Carolina is now 18-6-9. One might say “Imagine what they could do if they were completely healthy,” yet the Hurricanes simply seem used to this. In the case of their goaltending, it might even be a blessing in disguise.

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.