It’s hard not to notice how well Lightning captain Martin St. Louis has played lately.
In his past eight games, he has eight goals and four assists including his four-goal game against San Jose on Saturday. That run of great play also coincides with him being omitted from Team Canada’s roster for the Olympics.
St. Louis tells Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times one doesn’t have to do with the other.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m motivated more now,” he said. “That’s far from the truth.”
“I don’t think I’m playing 10 times better now,” he said. “I played some pretty good hockey before then.”
That’s a fact. Prior to his hot play of late, St. Louis had 38 points in 42 games. Now he’s on a point-per-game pace with 50 points in 50 games and leading the Lightning in scoring. Those stats make leaving him off the Canadian roster all the more head-scratching, especially with his own GM, Steve Yzerman, picking the Canadian team.
With Steven Stamkos’ return on the horizon and Tampa Bay tied with Boston atop the Atlantic Division, making a run at the Stanley Cup makes for a decent backup prize.
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.