The Buffalo Sabres are hopeful that Thomas Vanek’s ‘lower body
injury’ isn’t serious, after he left Saturday’s game against the Bruins
late in the first period after crashing hard into the boards. It’s not
just the injury the Sabres will be unhappy about, it’s the slash by
Johnny Boychuck that has the team and fans fuming.
to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, coach Lindy Ruff was not
happy with the “two-hander” slash, and said that he’s expecting Vanek to
make the trip to Boston for game 3.
Vanek was the leading goal
scorer for the Sabres in the regular season, and losing him for an
significant amount of time is going to seriously handicap Buffalo’s
offensive attack. It was obvious that after the Sabres lost Vanek for
the game, they struggled to maintain the crisp and aggressive approach
that was successful to start the game.
There is some thought that
Vanek’s injury could be his right knee from the direct slash by Boychuk,
but it appeared he was favoring his left ankle as he struggled to get
off the ice. So while the slash on his knee certainly was blatant, it was the collision with the boards that was so devastating.
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.
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.