It’s obvious the San Jose Sharks and L.A. Kings really don’t like each other. They showed that Thursday night, and it’s setting up like they might renew this rivalry in the playoffs.
The Sharks, thanks to second period goals from Brent Burns and Logan Couture, defeated the Kings, playing their second game in as many nights, by a final score of 2-1. As a result, the Sharks move to within one point of the Anaheim Ducks for first in the Pacific Division.
As per TSN, the Sharks clinch home ice in the opening round of the playoffs.
There wasn’t much room for either team to create in the offensive zone. But this game wasn’t short on intensity or emotion, something you’d come to expect from two California teams. Jason Demers of the Sharks was involved, called for tripping when he stuck out his knee on Kings’ defenseman Jake Muzzin and sent him flying through the air in the first period.
“I wanted to hit something tonight, that’s all. That was the game plan,” said Sharks’ forward Joe Thornton, as per Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area.
The physical toll in the game could have a negative impact for the Kings. They lost defenseman Drew Doughty in the first period with an upper-body injury, suffered when he attempted to throw a hit in the defensive end. He didn’t return to the game.
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.