Cory Schneider had to be perfect. There was no other choice Thursday.
The New Jersey Devils goaltender made 26 saves in a 1-0 shutout victory over the Dallas Stars. As you can tell by the score, there was no room for error from Schneider, whose record isn’t great (6-9-5) but is sporting a 2.02 goals-against average, good enough for fifth amongst NHL goalies.
But a game like this one against the Stars wasn’t just an anomaly for Schneider. Take his last start on Jan. 4: He gave up only two goals to the Buffalo Sabres, but the Devils managed only one and lost in regulation.
Or on Nov. 15 against the L.A. Kings. Again, he allowed only the one goal. The Devils lost 2-0.
“He was great. Again, we don’t give him a lot of run support and he’s starting to get used to that … and he’s figured it out. He just has to pitch a shutout,” said Devils head coach Pete DeBoer, as per Tom Gulitti of The Record.
Michael Ryder scored the lone goal for the Devils on Thursday.
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.