Save of the Night – Andrew Raycroft (December 10)

I hate to say it, but when the Dallas Stars signed Andrew Raycroft to back up Kari Lehtonen, I couldn’t help but cackle. The way I saw it, the Stars were backing up the most injury prone starter in the league with a guy who didn’t really seem like he deserved another shot at remaining in the NHL. (Even if he was pretty solid in Vancouver last season, it seemed like he wouldn’t ever regain his Calder Trophy form from many seasons past.)

Simply put, Raycroft is high on the (sadly large) list of “things I was completely wrong about” regarding the 2010-11 season. While he hasn’t seen the ice very often thanks to Lehtonen’s workhorse tendencies, Raycroft has been absolutely outstanding with the few opportunities he’s been given.

Raycroft is 4-2-0 with a 93.7 save percentage and a 1.90 goals against average so far this season.

For the most part, Raycroft is doing so well by being a minimalist goalie. Usually he just makes the first save in the least dramatic way possible and holds onto the puck for a whistle whenever in doubt.

But you don’t earn a save of the night award by doing the ordinary. Raycroft made an absolutely astounding glove save in overtime to keep the Stars in their hard-fought game with the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. Dallas ended up winning the game via a shootout largely because of Raycroft’s outstanding play.

(Then again, Raycroft also earned the December 8th save of the night, so maybe he’ll make this a habit …)

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?