If you happen to run into Oilers coach Dallas Eakins today, don’t bother asking how his weekend went.
Following Saturday’s 8-1 home loss to Calgary — a game in which someone threw an Oilers jersey onto the ice for the second time this season — Eakins admitted the last 48 hours were tough to swallow.
“I didn’t even leave the house yesterday,” he said, per Sportsnet. “I wanted to spend the day with my girls. You’re living in a depressed state.”
To say Eakins’ first year in Edmonton has been disappointing is a major understatement. The Oilers have a worse winning percentage (.410) than they had in either of the previous two years (.469 and .451, respectively), and are on pace to draft in the top-10 for the sixth year in a row.
The 8-1 loss came just two days after another brutal performance, a 3-1 loss at home to Buffalo — the only team in below Edmonton in the standings. Needless to say, losing by a combined 11-2 score to the Flames and Sabres — at Rexall, no less — has taken its toll on Eakins.
“I wanted to leave that [Flames] game behind,” he said. “However we have to deal with it today and then we’ll move on.”
Like Charlie Brown being followed around by that dang raincloud, Eakins just can’t escape the bad vibes. During Monday’s practice, he watched as goalie Viktor Fasth was run over by Anton Lander and was forced to leave the ice. Fasth, 2-0-1 in his brief time with Oilers, reportedly suffered a sprained neck in the collision.
Good times in Edmonton!
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.