The Columbus Blue Jackets are no longer in the Central Division with the Chicago Blackhawks, yet their former divisional and conference foes continue to torment them when they can.
Far more was on the line for Columbus on Friday, yet Chicago won its 13th consecutive game against the Blue Jackets, and they did so in dramatic (and heartbreaking) fashion.
With about four seconds left, Ben Smith scored the game-winner, denying the Blue Jackets at least one standings point on Friday:
The Blue Jackets still hold the second Eastern wild card spot, but their grip seems a little looser now. With 85 points and five games remaining, they still hold a decent lead over the likes of the Toronto Maple Leafs (84 points and four games remaining), New Jersey Devils (82 points, five games left) and Washington Capitals (81 points, five games left), yet that margin doesn’t seem so imposing after this loss.
It remains to be seen if this ends up being the type of loss that might haunt Columbus; one may even say that they’ll need to be as resilient as a rat.
The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.
It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. For one thing, Torres is a repeat offender who once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.
Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.
This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.
"I’m looking forward to being in the same organization as my brother now and seeing what happens." – Dougie Hamilton on the trade