Chris Pronger expected to practice with Flyers on Friday, could be back by next week

Today presents some great news for the Philadelphia Flyers and bad news for … well, just about everyone else.

No, the NHL didn’t decide to award power plays instead of penalties for instigating fights. Instead, word has it that menacing defenseman Chris Pronger is expected to meet up with the team in Atlanta to practice on Friday and might be able to return to game action as early as next week, according to Stephen Whyno of the Philadelphia Sports Daily.

The window for the elbow-throwing, elite blueliner’s return was expected to be 4-6 weeks. If he comes back next week, that would mean he made it back closer to the four week end of that spectrum.

Of course, it’s important to note that Pronger is still rehabbing that injury. It’s possible he might hit a setback or decide that he needs some conditioning stints to get back into game shape before he can return to the lineup full-time.

The Flyers could have the option to add two large defensemen back into their lineup if they choose because it sounds like Matt Walker’s condition is improving, too. Whyno reports that the team took the yellow “no contact” jersey off Walker, although there is no time table for his return.

We’ll keep you updated as the two hulking defensemen try to make their way back to the ice for the East-leading Flyers.

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?