Dion Phaneuf back on the ice – J.S. Giguere hurting once again

While the Leafs have been struggling most of this season, having to be without captain Dion Phaneuf for such a long stretch of time with a deep cut on his leg hasn’t made things any easier on the rest of the defense and the goaltending. The good news today for Toronto is that Phaneuf will join the Leafs on their brutal two-game road trip to Washington and Pittsburgh and begin practicing with the team.

It doesn’t appear likely that the Phaneuf will join the team for game action this week, but TSN does report that Phaneuf is on track to be able to play against his former team, Calgary, when they meet up on December 16th. Getting Phaneuf back into action will allow the Leafs to sit Brett Lebda  once again as he’s been playing of late as well as send Keith Aulie back to the AHL.

Today’s good news on Phaneuf is balanced out with some bad news regarding starting goalie Jean-Sebastian Giguere. Giguere will miss tonight’s game against Washington with a tweaked groin. James Reimer was called up from the AHL to serve as Jonas Gustavsson’s backup for tonight at the least. Giguere has a 6-5-2 record this season with a .893 save percentage 2.82 goals against average.

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?