It’s just another typical Rangers-Penguins game in New York City tonight. This time around, things got a bit heated in the second period with the Rangers trailing 3-2 and a scrum erupting in front of the Rangers bench.
Rangers tough guy Brandon Prust and Penguins forward Jordan Staal came together briefly with Prust roughing up Staal initially. Staal pushed back and then punched Prust in the face with a gloved hand. Prust, however, dropped like a rock to the ice holding his face and getting the Rangers bench on their feet. Staal was assessed a five-minute major and a match penalty for roughing and was sent off for the sucker punch. Prust, got up and was back on the bench after over-selling the punch to draw the penalty.
A match penalty comes with a mandatory one-game suspension unless the NHL rescinds the penalty. The Penguins are slated to face the Islanders tomorrow so whether or not Staal ends up sitting down will be decided tomorrow.
What’s the real issue here is the egregious embellishment of the punch on the part of Prust. Prust earlier fought Penguins tough defenseman Deryk Engelland and took multiple punches to the head from Engelland’s bare fist without dropping like a rock. Either Jordan Staal is a lot stronger than he lets on or Prust needs to win an Academy Award.
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.
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?