VANCOUVER, CANADA - DECEMBER 30: Steve Downie #9 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the Vancouver Canucks on December 30, 2013 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Lack of intensity lands Downie in press box


The Philadelphia Flyers won’t use forward Steve Downie against the New York Rangers tonight. Flyers coach Craig Berube wasn’t happy with the 26-year-old forward’s performance in Saturday’s 6-3 defeat against the Tampa Bay Lightning, so he’ll be a healthy scratch.

“His intensity level isn’t high enough on a shift-to-shift basis,” Berube told CSN Philly.

Berube added that he wants to see Downie play with an edge without being undisciplined. He had two minor penalties on Saturday.

The Flyers forward doesn’t think he’s dealt with intensity problems in the past, but he’s confident that this is a problem he can fix.

Downie returned on Dec. 28 after missing two games with an upper-body injury and there’s been questions as to whether he ever fully recovered. When pressed about it he admitted that he’s been dealing with “a couple issues,” but didn’t specify further.

“I’m not going to make excuses,” he said. “I haven’t played my best hockey, that’s obvious.”


Get your game notes: Flyers at Rangers

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Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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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.