St. Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Three

Blackhawks shut out the Blues, now trail 2-1 in the series


The Chicago Blackhawks were facing an uphill battle against the St. Louis Blues on Monday. Down 2-0 in the series, the Blackhawks were also without defenseman Brent Seabrook due to a three-game suspension.

But the Blackhawks, the defending Stanley Cup champions, prevailed by a final score of 2-0. The Blues still lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. Jonathan Toews scored the winner all the way back at the 4:10 mark of the opening period. His weak wrist shot from the slot somehow slid through the legs of goalie Ryan Miller, who was otherwise solid, making 22 saves.

This game didn’t have the same fireworks expected after what transpired in St. Louis two days ago, when Seabrook was tossed for his high, late hit on David Backes, who didn’t play because of injury. Further to that, emotions were expected to be even higher because of the alleged taunting toward Backes when he was struggling to his feet after the Seabrook hit.

Corey Crawford stopped all 34 shots he faced. It’s his third Stanley Cup playoff shutout of his career.

The Blackhawks had their chances to increase the lead, particularly in the second period when the Blues took four consecutive minor penalties, including this Maxim Lapierre hit-from-behind on Sheldon Brookbank. However, Chicago went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.