On paper, Sunday seemed like a great chance for the Columbus Blue Jackets to jump back into the wild card ranks against the New York Islanders. Instead, the “little rats” ran into a trap named Evgeni Nabokov who stopped all 41 of their shots, beating Columbus 2-0.
If this didn’t seem like an upset in a vacuum, consider the fact that this is only the second time the Blue Jackets have lost to the Islanders in regulation in their franchise history. The Columbus Dispatch’s Shawn Mitchell reports that they’re now 11-2-4 against the Isles and went 45 games without being shut out.
With this, the Blue Jackets have now lost three of their last four games, only managing two points in four important games.
Here is a look at their place in the East standings as of this moment:
The Blue Jackets will root for a two-point game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils tonight and face a big game against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday. Columbus certainly isn’t out of this race, but losses like these could come back to haunt them.
It might mean more time for Putt-Putt, though.
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.