Henrique wants to score more than just clutch goals for Devils

If it’s possible for an athlete to be “clutch” – and there are plenty of people who cringe at that term – then the label probably applies to New Jersey Devils forward Adam Henrique.

He told the Newark Star-Ledger that he’d like to sprinkle more mundane, run-of-the-mill goals in with that large quantity of game-changers, though.

“I want to be the guy that is counted on from start to finish through the season,” Henrique said. “When the team is down, I want to score the big goals to turn things around. I want to be that guy who is looked upon from the guys in here as a leader. I think it just takes time to slowly develop into that, but I think my progression has gone the way I’ve wanted it to in that sense.”

Don’t believe that a big chunk of his production is during crunch time? Just consider his career numbers.

Seven of his 39 career regular season goals are game-winners and three of his five postseason ones (all from the Devils’ run to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final) were GWGs. That’s about 18 percent of his career regular season goals and more than half of his postseason ones.

To give you an idea of how big a percentage that is, consider his teammate Jaromir Jagr. He owns the NHL record with 122 career game-winners, yet that represents a slightly lower percentage (17.5) of Jagr’s career tallies … and that’s the all-time leader in the category.

Scoring goals is difficult enough in the NHL that Henrique, 23, only has so much control over when he scores. Still, if he wants more opportunities to collect even more memorable tallies, the Devils need to get quite a bit better. Getting more from Henrique wouldn’t hurt that cause.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.

Blues send down four; keep young d-men Edmundson and Parayko

Magnus Paajarvi
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The St. Louis Blues have assigned two forwards, Magnus Paajarvi and Ty Rattie, and two defensemen, Chris Butler and Petteri Lindbohm, to AHL Chicago.

The moves mean that the Blues will have two young d-men, Joel Edmundson and Colton Parayko, on the opening-day roster, after both impressed in camp.

From the Post-Dispatch:

Lindbohm and Butler looked to be the sixth and seventh defensemen, in that order, at the start of camp, but the play of Edmundson and Parayko won them spots. Parayko had six assists in the preseason, putting him among the NHL leaders. 

Forward Robby Fabbri will also be on the opening-day roster. The 19-year-old is not eligible for the AHL; he can only be returned to junior.

Earlier today, the Blues announced the signing of forward Scottie Upshall.