Pavel Datsyuk, Jonathan Toews

Get your game notes: ‘Hawks at Wings


This evening on NBCSN, it’s the Detroit Red Wings hosting the Chicago Blackhawks starting at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• Tonight, the Blackhawks and Red Wings will meet for the 726th time in the regular season and the first time since Game 7 of the 2013 Western Conference semifinal, when Brent Seabrook’s overtime goal capped Chicago’s rally from a 3-1 series deficit. The rivals will square off from different divisions for the first time since 1980-81, when the Red Wings skated in the Wales Conference’s Norris Division and the Blackhawks in the Campbell Conference’s Smythe Division.

• The Blackhawks – coming off consecutive wins over Anaheim and Boston and with points in 19 of their last 21 games (12-2-7) – go for their eighth consecutive regular-season victory over the Red Wings, having outscored Detroit 21-9 over the previous seven wins. Neither team in this rivalry has won as many as eight straight since Chicago took nine in a row between Oct. 15, 1970 and Jan. 30, 1972.

• The Red Wings, who hold the NHL record for most consecutive home wins in one season (23, set in 2011-12), are 7-11-7 at home this season, tied with Calgary for the fewest home wins in the NHL. Detroit is 2-7-1 in their last 10 home games, including their shootout loss to Toronto in the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.

• Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa, who has five goals in his last five games, has a +25 plus/minus rating this season (T-NHL best). Coming into tonight’s game, the Slovakian Olympic selection has been plus or even in 16 straight games. Only one NHL player has a longer active streak in that category: the Kings’ Matt Frattin (18), who averages more than fewer six minutes of ice time per game than Hossa.

• The Blackhawks, the NHL leaders in goals (179) and goals per game (3.51), are the only team with three players who have hit the 20-goal mark this season (Patrick Sharp 25, Patrick Kane 23, Hossa 20). However, Sharp (7 games) and Kane (10) are mired in their longest goal droughts of the season.

• The Red Wings (2.45 goals per game, T-22nd) have scored a total of three goals in their last four games (0-3-1, 2 shutout losses). Captain Henrik Zetterberg leads the Wings with 39 points, but he only has one goal and four assists in his last 13 regular-season meetings with Chicago.

• Chicago’s 11 OT/SO losses match New Jersey’s total for most in the NHL, with Detroit right behind with 10. Once regulation ends in a tie game, the Blackhawks and Red Wings have two of the league’s worst records: Chicago (5-11, .313 win pct. – 27th in NHL), Detroit (4-10, .286 – 29th)

• Tonight’s teams feature half of this season’s top 6 scorers age 35 or older; but while Chicago’s Marian Hossa is thriving with 5 goals and 7 points in his last 5 games, the Red Wings’ contingent (Pavel Datsyuk, groin; Daniel Alfredsson, back) will sit out tonight.

Player | age | team | G | Pts | *selected for Sochi Olympics
Martin St. Louis, 38, TB 25 50
*Hossa, 35, CHI 20 42

*Jaromir Jagr, 41, NJ 16 40
*Datsyuk, 35, DET 15 32
*Olli Jokinen, 35, WPG 13 31
*Alfredsson, 41, DET 11 30

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.