News and notes from around the crease…
Bobrovsky out, McElhinney in
The Columbus Blue Jackets will be without No. goalie Sergei Bobrovsky tonight — he’s still sidelined with the flu — so Curtis McElhinney will get the start in a huge game at home versus Pittsburgh.
The Jackets are right in the thick of the Eastern Conference wildcard chase and points are at a premium. As such, they’re hoping the journeyman McElhinney — who has been okay this year, with a 9-9-1 record, .909 save percentage and 2.75 GAA — can get the job done in front of the Nationwide Arena faithful.
For Pittsburgh, Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start.
Anderson back for Sens
Craig Anderson will play for the first time in five games tonight when the Sens host the Blackhawks in Ottawa.
Anderson, sidelined by an upper-body injury since Mar. 10, has struggled this year and failed to find the form that saw him finish fourth in Vezina voting last season. He’s currently holding a 21-14-8 record, with a .908 save percentage and 3.10 GAA.
No word yet on who’ll start for the Blackhawks, though Corey Crawford appears likely.
Leafs at Flyers: Jonathan Bernier vs. Steve Mason
Preds at Stars: Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas; Pekka Rinne likely for Preds.
Rangers at Flames: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Karri Ramo
Ducks at Oilers: Jonas Hiller for Anaheim; Ben Scrivens likely for 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.