From CSN Bay Area:
Tommy Wingels offered Dustin Brown a chance to drop the gloves on Monday. Twice.
Both times, Brown declined, according to the Sharks’ forward.
“I guess he doesn’t want to own up to it,” Wingels said on Tuesday. “There’s many other opportunities, right?”
Wingels was seeking revenge for the hit Brown laid on Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl on Dec. 19 — one that sidelined Hertl with a knee injury and put the remainder of his season in jeopardy. On Monday, San Jose said Hertl’s in the “infant stages of rehab” after undergoing surgery.
Brown was tossed from the Dec. 19 affair and the two sides didn’t meet until last night — a 1-0 L.A. win — so Wingels had plenty of time to think, and discuss, the incident.
“Intensified [the rivalry] a bit, I think,” Wingels explained. “We weren’t happy, and I certainly wasn’t with the way things were handled, and the play itself.”
Following the game, Brown said the referees got the kneeing major call wrong, which prompted Sharks GM Doug Wilson to say he was “disappointed” in Brown’s lack of concern for Hertl.
This is just the latest chapter in what’s become a very heated rivalry between the California clubs. The two engaged in a spirited seven-game series last postseason, which included a number of barbs (see here and here) and Raffi Torres‘ huge hit on Jarret Stoll, one that got Torres suspended for the duration of the series.
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.