Roy calls Backes ‘gutless’ for altercation with MacKinnon


The Colorado Avalanche handled the St. Louis Blues to the tune of a 4-0 win on Saturday, but the ugly scene at the end of the game might fuel the two teams’ fire more than the score if there’s a rematch in the playoffs.

During one moment, David Backes and Nathan MacKinnon got into it, as you can see via this video:

Never known to back down from a confrontation, Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy called Backes “gutless” for the altercation with the Avs rookie.

While Backes took the high road after the game, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock provided some interesting comments about his rival bench boss.

Hitchcock didn’t send Ryan Reaves out there, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t fallout from the MacKinnon – Backes scuffle and Patrick Bordeleau’s hit on Kevin Shattenkirk, as you can see in this video:

Just take a look at the box score to get an idea of how much of a mess this situation was.

The good news for the Avalanche is that MacKinnon was able to return to action later on, so at least it doesn’t appear that an injury resulted from that skirmish (unless it appears that way after further inspection).

The Blues lose a player to injury, however, as Alex Steen won’t play on Sunday because of an upper-body injury. It’s unclear how serious that issue might be.

So, overall, the game ended in a frenzy and these two teams clearly aren’t best friends. At least we’ll have a few extra things to talk about if Colorado and St. Louis end up facing off in a second-round Central Division playoff matchup though, right?

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One
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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.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

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’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.