Race for the Rocket: Controversy abounds!

Sidney Crosby: 49? goals, 2 games remaining.
Alex Ovechkin: 48 goals, 2 games remaining.
Steven Stamkos: 48 goals, 2 games remaining.

Oh, it’s getting interesting now.

The neverending rivalry between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin could reach another level tonight after Crosby scored what seemed to be goals to take a commanding lead in the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy.

The controversy stems from what seemed to be the 50th goal by Crosby, which appeared to go into the net off Bill Guerin’s hip. The goal was scored as Crosby’s, and instantly there were calls that the NHL’s conspiracy wheels were turning once more in favor of Sidney Crosby.

Here’s video of the play:

The entire internet exploded over Crosby’s first 50 goal season, with NHL.com putting up a game story touting that very fact.

But according to the NHL.com boxscore, the goal has since been changed to Bill Guerin’s. 

For now, we’re going under the assumption that Crosby has just a one goal lead over Ovechkin and Stamkos.

[Update: Dan Bylsma said in his press conference after the game that Sidney Crosby stated that the puck went off Bill Guerin. The goal goes to Guerin.]

It should be interesting to see how all three handle the race in the final two games. Crosby and the Penguins still have something to play for as they fight for playoff positioning, but the Capitals and Lightning are just playing out the season.

This means that Stamkos and Ovechkin just let loose with as many shots as they could possibly work into a game. Forget about passing, just put the puck on net as much as possible.

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.