Toronto Maple Leafs v Los Angeles Kings

Leafs defeat Kings thanks to Reimer’s relief appearance


James Reimer began Thursday night’s game on the end of the bench. By the end, he was being mobbed by his teammates.

Reimer was called into action to begin the second period between his Toronto Maple Leafs and the host L.A. Kings, due to a lower-body injury to Jonathan Bernier. And Reimer was spectacular, stopping all 30 shots he faced. He was under siege in the third period as the Kings first looked for the go-ahead goal and then the equalizer.

In the end, the Leafs prevailed for the 3-2 win. That gives Toronto two wins on their three-game road trip through California, which included games against the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks, in addition to Thursday’s meeting with the Kings.

For the Kings, it ends their winning streak at eight games.

There were some nervous moments before that, as Reimer was shaken up on a collision with Kings’ center Jarret Stoll in the second period.

Reimer was spectacular afterward, particularly in the third period. He robbed Anze Kopitar with the right pad on what looked to be a sure power play goal. Just seconds later, with Toronto on the penalty kill, Leafs’ forward Mason Raymond ripped a slap shot from his off-wing to give the Leafs a 3-2 lead.

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.