From the Carolina Hurricanes’ perspective, Jeff Skinner’s game-winning goal was an example of resilience, as the young forward shook off a puck to the face. On the other hand, the Nashville Predators might see it as a disaster.
Predators head coach Barry Trotz didn’t sugarcoat how he felt about the goal that Carter Hutton allowed on Sunday, as the Tennessean’s Josh Cooper reports.
“You have to save those. That wasn’t much of a shot at all,” Trotz said. “That’s not good enough for this league. He wasn’t strong at all.”
Here’s the goal in question:
To be fair to Hutton, he only allowed one other tally on Sunday, as the Carolina Hurricanes won 2-1.
Hutton, 28, came into the 2013-14 season with exactly one game of NHL experience (when the Chicago Blackhawks sent out their replacements against the St. Louis Blues). He fell to 7-7-2 on the season with mediocre individual numbers (.902 save percentage and 3.01 GAA).
The loss and Trotz’s venting make it tough to ignore what Predators GM David Poile told the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman about life without Pekka Rinne last week:
“He’s like the Mastercard commercial, priceless,” Poile said. “We have two young goalies who have played well. Every night, you go through the situations [and ask yourself], ‘Would Pekka have stopped that?’ We don’t play the same without him.”
Would this be an awkward time to mention that Poile had a chance to sign Anton Khudobin, the undefeated Hurricanes backup who beat his Predators tonight, with Rinne’s offseason hip surgery in mind? Yeah, it might be.
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.