News and notes from around the crease…
Gibson to debut
John Gibson, the Anaheim farmhand considered to be one of the NHL’s best young goaltending talents, will make his big-league debut tonight when the Ducks take on the Canucks in Vancouver.
Gibson, 20, will get the start after Jonas Hiller performed poorly in Sunday’s 4-2 loss to Edmonton (No. 2 Frederik Andersen is out with an upper-body injury). It promises to be an exciting time for both Gibson and the Ducks, as the club has high hopes for his future — the Pittsburgh native captured tournament MVP at the ’13 World Juniors, then performed equally well for the U.S. men’s team at the ’13 Worlds, backstopping the Americans to bronze while posting a 1.56 GAA and .951 save percentage.
Last May, Gibson’s goalie coach with OHL Kitchener said the then-19-year-old was “ready for the NHL right now.”
For the Canucks, Eddie Lack will start for the 19th straight time.
Flames at Devils: Karri Ramo vs. Cory Schneider
Wild at Jets: Ilya Bryzgalov vs. Michael Hutchinson (read more about Hutchinson and the Jets’ goaltending situation.)
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.