In the first week of the playoffs, every game seemed like it would be a nail-biting barn burner. The last couple days, though, there have been a few contests that weren’t hanging in the balance in the final period. While Phoenix-Detroit was quite competitive, Vancouver gave the Kings a (don’t write royal don’twriteroyal don’twriteroyal) profound beating.
Detroit 4, Phoenix 1
Red Wings lead series 3-2
In the last two games, the Coyotes have only managed to score a single goal on Calder candidate Jimmy Howard. This one was tied through the middle of the third period until Detroit unloaded with two goals only 1:09 apart to take control of the game. Tomas Holmstrom scored a nice deflection goal and Pavel Dastyuk then padded Detroit’s lead with a sweet backhander. Henrik Zetterberg scored an empty netter for his sixth tally of the playoffs in the final minute to seal the deal.
The series goes back to Detroit for Game 6 and you have to wonder if Shane Doan might force himself to fight through the pain and give his sagging team a much needed boost.
Vancouver 7, Los Angeles 2
Canucks lead series 3-2
Here’s a good rule of thumb: if your goalie is pulled but then returns later on in the game and the backup hasn’t been injured … your team is probably getting destroyed. That was exactly the case with the Kings, who took a severe beating via the Vancouver Canucks. The first period was fairly pedestrian with Vancouver up 2-1, the Sedins and Mikael Samuelsson dominated the second period and the third was just an absolute mess. With two goals in that game, Samuelsson already has a career high in playoff goals for a single post-season with 7. Considering the fact that he’s frequently played deep into the summer, it’s obvious that the Swedish sniper is having a career year.
I hate to say it, but cue the Jonathan Bernier talk … even though he’s in the minors right now.
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: Bullet dodged?