Alex Burrows is going to play through the pain.
The Vancouver winger, who suffered what appeared to be a serious hand/thumb injury last week against Nashville, will suit up for the Canucks when they take on the Wild in Minnesota this evening, per Sportsnet.
The move marks a startling turnaround for Burrows, who missed Sunday’s win over Buffalo with the injury and, initially, was reported to have not traveled with the Canucks to Minnesota. That report was later deemed inaccurate.
Burrows’ return could definitely bolster Vancouver as it clings to its playoff life. The 32-year-old had finally gotten his season on track over the last two weeks after going goalless over his first 35 games of the year and had nine points — five goals — in his last six games prior to getting hurt.
Of course, there are questions about how effective Burrows will be. He appeared to be in major discomfort after taking a heavy slash from Nashville’s Shea Weber and, when asked about the injury, Canucks GM Mike Gillis said it “didn’t look good,” and that “the preliminary analysis is not positive.”
You can see the slash here:
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.