Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks

Fast fights: Bieksa makes quick work of Giordano, Tinordi roughs up Torres

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Saturday had its fair share of minor themes, with near-comebacks and various retirements (quotation marks optional) being among the most prominent. As it turns out, there were also a couple blink-and-you’ll-miss-them fights tonight, too.

In one of them, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa didn’t appreciate a hit by Calgary Flames blueliner Mark Giordano, who seemed out of his element in this bout:

Getty Images has a great shot of the aftermath of the squabble:

source: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

The other fast bit of fisticuffs happened when Montreal Canadiens tough guy Jarred Tinordi took offense to a hit San Jose Sharks agitator Raffi Torres delivered on Lars Eller. Video of the fight hasn’t been uploaded in a form that can be embedded just yet, but RDS has a clip that can be seen via this link.

Video: Torres scores mere minutes into season debut

Torres
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San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres missed the first five months of the season due to a torn ACL, but he came back with a bang.

Torres was able to pounce on a juicy rebound in front of the Philadelphia Flyers’ net to score just 4:25 minutes into his return. Here’s the video of his goal:

In addition to this being Torres’ season debut, it’s also his first game since being suspended for hitting Los Angeles Kings forward Jarret Stoll in the head during the Western Conference semifinals. The Sharks felt the NHL’s actions were “grossly unfair” and then followed that up by inking Torres to a three years, $6 million contract.

If Torres can stay out of trouble, then he should help solidify the Sharks’ bottom-six ahead of their postseason run.

Sharks’ Torres ready to return following torn ACL

Raffi Torres
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San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres is just about set to return to action.

The rugged forward has been out for five months after tearing the ACL in his left knee in an exhibition game. As David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News shares, he’s about a week away from playing and can’t wait to get out there.

“I didn’t think I’d be able to get back this fast because my last time it took over a year to feel really good,” Torres said Thursday, crediting San Jose’s medical and training staff. “We’re only at five months and I feel great.”

Torres would plug in right away in the Sharks’ bottom six forwards and provide them with a physical and irritating player for opponents to deal with.

Last season, Torres had 18 points in 39 games with the Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes and only 17 penalty minutes. After years of controversial hits in Vancouver and Phoenix, Torres appeared to be turning his game around in the right direction with the Sharks.

San Jose will be hoping the energetic style of play will be back with him when he gets back on the ice for good.

Torres (ACL) could return to Sharks lineup before Olympics

RaffiTorres
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Sounds like Raffi Torres has a chance to make his season debut prior to the NHL’s Olympic break.

From CSN Bay Area:

Torres said he will “maybe” play before the Olympic break, and has skated every day for a week. Torres has not played this season, since undergoing right knee surgery after tearing his ACL in a preseason game on Sep. 20.

Torres, 32, inked a three-year, $6 million extension with the Sharks this past summer. He proved to be a valuable asset for the organization despite being suspended for the length of San Jose’ second-round playoff series against the Kings, after a high hit on L.A. forward Jarret Stoll.

Aside from that suspension, Torres was a key contributor. He had six points in 11 regular-season games after the Sharks acquired him from Phoenix at the ’13 trade deadline, and scored the Game 2 OT winner against Vancouver in the opening playoff round.

Torres hopes to return this season, but isn’t close yet

SAN JOSE, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Raffi Torres of the San Jose Sharks poses for a video shoot at the SAP Center on September 19, 2013 in San Jose, California.
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San Jose forward Raffi Torres has already missed three months since he sustained an ACL injury during a preseason contest, but he won’t be able to rejoin the Sharks in the near future.

“I’m just trying to stay around 60 percent,” Torres told CSN Bay Area.

The 32-year-old has been skating in addition to his off-ice exercises, but he can’t push himself too hard without being sore for days afterwards.

He’s one of the most controversial players in the league, but he excelled with San Jose after he was acquired during the shortened campaign. He had six points and 38 hits while only accumulating four penalty minutes in 11 contests with the Sharks last season.

Torres was handed another suspension for his high hit on Los Angeles’ Jarret Stoll during the 2013 playoffs, but the Sharks strongly defended him and still inked him to a three-year, $6 million contract.

He hasn’t played in a regular season contest since signing that deal, but he remains optimistic about his chances of playing this season.

“Today, yeah, I’d say I come back this year, for sure,” he said.

He just doesn’t want to make any predictions on when that might be.