With the score suddenly lopsided in the third period, things could’ve gotten ugly, very ugly, between the San Jose Sharks and L.A. Kings in Game 2 of their Western Conference quarter-final.
This one was close at one point, until the Sharks completely took over early in the third period, beating the Kings 7-2 to take a 2-0 series lead. The bad blood between these two teams is evident. The Kings outhit the Sharks 47-26 on Sunday.
But with this one out of hand on the scoreboard, it could’ve gotten out of hand on the ice. Behind the mayhem was San Jose’s fourth line, including Raffi Torres and Mike Brown, who also got the Sharks going offensively in the second period, but were the catalysts for physical play as well.
A number of scrums broke out post-whistle, and a total of four misconducts were handed out in the final six minutes. Kings’ forward Mike Richards was handed a double-minor for spearing Logan Couture.
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.