Goals of the Night: Orchestral puck movement

Simply put, I’m a sucker for great puck movement. After all, I did name a blog Cycle like the Sedins for goodness sakes. Tonight’s games featured three fantastic examples of smart passing and – to be honest – I couldn’t decide between them. (Carlo Colaiacovo scored a splendid backhand goal too. You should check that one out as well.)

The first goal is more of an individual moment, as the resurgent Maxim Afinogenov scored off a give-and-go that spotlighted the former Buffalo Sabres’ world class speed and creativity. It’s a beauty to watch.

After that, I have two great examples of brilliant tic-tac-toe passing. It almost seems like Pavel Datsyuk is a mandatory entry on our Goal of the Night posts; in this situation he sparks a wonderful chain reaction of passes that ended up being a Brian Rafalski goal. Datysuk also scored a huge tying goal that allowed the Red Wings to squeeze a charity point out of the night.

Finally, you can’t blame the Penguins for missing Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Malkin after witnessing marvelous plays like this. Sidney Crosby wins the faceoff and then the puck is moved from Penguin to Penguin in a dizzying display of gorgeous puck movement. Gonchar (1 goal, 1 assist), Malkin (1 goal, 1 assist) and Crosby (3 assists) ended up making the difference for a Pittsburgh OT win that broke more than a few hearts in Atlanta.

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?