Andrei Markov set to return for the Habs tonight

Some might say that the team is better off without him, at least if they just look at wins and losses. They made the playoffs with him playing hurt or missing games completely, then beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the playoffs after Matt Cooke sidelined him with a vicious but clean check.

Now they’re leading the NHL with 15 standings points despite the fact that he hasn’t played a game in the 2010-11 season.

Yet, despite those out-of-context facts, Andrei Markov is a vital part of the Montreal Canadiens blue line. reports that Markov will return from knee problems tonight against the Florida Panthers tonight. This is great news for the Canadiens, a team that is getting by on great defense more than anything else right now.

The team with the League’s best record will welcome back No. 1 defenseman Andrei Markov, out since the first game of the season round of last season’s playoffs, and he will be paired with rookie sensation P.K. Subban on the Habs blue line when they face the Florida Panthers.


Subban and Markov have been in the same lineup only three times: Games 6 and 7 of the first round against Washington and Game 1 of the second round against Pittsburgh before Markov got injured in last spring’s playoffs.

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?