Ryan O'Reilly

Avs’ O’Reilly (shoulder) to miss tonight’s game vs. Sens

From NHL.com:

The Colorado Avalanche will be without right wing Ryan O’Reilly for the first time this season Wednesday when they play the Ottawa Senators at Pepsi Center.

O’Reilly sustained a left shoulder injury Monday in the Avalanche’s 4-3 loss to the Calgary Flames. John Mitchell will take his place on a line with Gabriel Landeskog and Paul Stastny. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon will move to left wing with Matt Duchene and Jamie McGinn.

Not the greatest news for a Avs team that’s trending in the wrong direction and coming off a loss to lowly Calgary. O’Reilly has 14 goals and 14 assists in 42 games this season.

Meanwhile, the streaking Sens, winners of four straight, will have captain Jason Spezza back in the lineup after missing four games with a hip issue.

Here’s Avs coach Patrick Roy talking about the importance of tonight’s game:

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 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.