Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard stops a shot during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Jimmy Howard suffers hip flexor injury


Jimmy Howard turned aside 43 of 44 shots to lead Detroit to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings, but just when things were finally starting to look up for him, his campaign was dealt another blow.

He sustained a hip flexor injury during the contest and won’t start in today’s game against Anaheim, according to Last night’s start was just his fifth since returning from a knee injury.

Howard still expects to serve as the backup, so his injury isn’t believed to be serious at this time. If that changes though, it could alter things for the Olympics. Howard is one of Team USA’s three goaltenders and if he’s not available then Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop will take his place.

Of course, Bishop has been sidelined lately too due to a wrist injury.

Even when he’s healthy, Howard has had difficulty finding his groove this season. His 2.67 GAA and .913 save percentage are a step behind what he’s accomplished in recent years.

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.