Montreal Canadiens target Friday or Saturday return for Andrei Markov

Good news out of Montreal, although it seems like things are still in the air a bit for valuable defenseman Andrei Markov. TSN has the word on the talented offensive defenseman’s injury status.

Andrei Markov was cleared for contact drills Monday and the club will seek final clearance from team doctors later this week. They are targeting Markov’s return for Friday or Saturday.

The most importance phrase in that paragraph is “the club will seek final clearance from team doctors later this week.” In other words, all that optimism could be for nothing if he doesn’t get the medical go-ahead.

Still, it’s been a long and bumpy road to recovery for Markov, who seems like he’s faced a lot of setbacks in the process. If nothing else, it sounds like the Russian blueliner can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The Canadiens could use his help, too, as they only converted one out of 24 power play chances so far this season after being one of the most efficient units during the 2009-10 season.

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.