The Chicago Blackhawks have had the Los Angeles Kings’ number for a little while it seems.
They bounced L.A. out in five games in last season’s Western Conference Final and this season they’ve gone 3-0-0 against them in the regular season. Marian Hossa knows that that kind of success doesn’t mean much when it’s playoff time as Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune shares.
“You know what, that’s regular season — playoffs are a little bit different,” Hossa said. “You can’t rely on what happened back a few months ago. The level is a little bit different.”
It certainly is different and if you were to judge either team by how they did things in the regular season compared to the playoffs, you’d be missing out on a lot of details.
Both Jonathan Quick and Corey Crawford have played great in the playoffs and are major reasons why their teams are facing each other now. Patrick Kane and Marian Gaborik have been the epitome of clutch while Jonathan Toews and Anze Kopitar have dominated on both sides of the puck.
The Blackhawks may be coming into the series as favorites, but it’s an even match-up if there ever was one.
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.