Tonight's games: Who's next?

Ugh, I guess we all better strap in for 24/7 dirty hit talk eh? It seems like you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting … someone who’s discussing another violent and/or illegal moment in hockey (don’t worry NHL, the college kids are doing it too!). Since we only have three games I’ll go in order of start time, but clearly Red Wings-Flames is the game of the night. Actually, scratch that, any game that doesn’t involve someone’s career possibly ending in a horrible hit wins that contest.

Boston Bruins (30-25-12, 72 pts) at New Jersey Devils (40-24-3, 83 pts) 7:00 PM ET

Maybe the Devils should try to picture a skating Penguin instead of that iconic spoked B logo on the Bruins’ sweaters tonight. New Jersey once again handles Pittsburgh last week, only to lose to the lowly Islanders in their next game. If the Bruins don’t start putting up points, Sunday’s upcoming Game of the Week could have huge eight seed implications.

Edmonton Oilers (21-40-7, 49 pts) at Columbus Blue Jackets (27-31-11, 65 pts) 7:00 PM ET

The gap between the West’s second-to-last team Columbus and the worst team Edmonton is too large to really say that this one decided who wins the brown medal. Still, it’s difficult to say that the future is any brighter for the Blue Jackets.

Detroit Red Wings (33-23-12, 78 pts) at Calgary Flames (34-25-9, 77 pts) 9:30 PM ET

Now, this is a big game. Detroit and Calgary are separated by only one point with the same amount of games played. Although the Flames trail the Red Wings, they have more wins (34 to Detroit’s 33) so even an overtime or shootout win would place Calgary in Detroit’s eight spot. Obviously there’s still plenty of games left in this season, but this is a huge game for both teams.

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: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.