Let's all blame the Olympics for the Ducks' slump

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I’m not going to blame the Olympic break for the losing streak that
the Anaheim Ducks are going through (0-4-1 since the Olympics), but it’s
certainly tough not to look at the break as a big factor. The Ducks
were 5-2-0 leading up to the break and were making a push for a playoff
spot after a disappointing start to the season.

Yet now the Ducks
can pretty much write their playoffs hopes off, ten points back with 14
games remaining. What’s led to the slump, after such a strong February?
Well, Ryan
Getzlaf playing horribly doesn’t help much.

got to do a better job of moving his feet,” [Ducks coach Randy] Carlyle
said. “I think
in the games that his effectiveness is where we’re accustomed to, he
has the puck and he’s moving with it. And I find he’s standing still,
trying to make too many plays.”

Getzlaf is the team’s
leading scorer yet he’s making too many negative plays for someone who
is supposedly the captain-in-waiting. Was his time in the Olympics to
blame for this letdown he’s going through now?

“You go
from a high level of hockey where you’re competing for a gold
medal and then you come back and now you’re competing for the playoffs,”
he said. “It’s not a letdown. If anything it’s another pickup and it
just keeps going and going.”

It’s one heck of a
coincidence, the way his play has declined since coming back from
Vancouver. When mentioning why having the NHL players in the Olympics is
a detriment to the league, these sorts of drops in playing level is one
of the first reasons that is brought up.

Tough to blame one
player for an entire team’s troubles, however. Unless it’s the
goaltender, of course.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?