The Chicago Blackhawks leaned heavily on its big name players during the regular season, but a ragtag line of lesser-known players helped launch them into an improbable run to Game 7. Sure, Chicago’s biggest names made the biggest difference, but the line of Dave Bolland, Michael Frolik and Bryan Bickell scored some big points in this dramatic turnaround.
After a solid 37-point output during the 2010-11 season, Bickell has been a difference-maker in the team’s first round series against the Vancouver Canucks. He scored two goals and two assists for four points in five games, with a point in his last four.
Update: The Blackhawks announced that he will miss 6-8 weeks. Sami Salo’s errant skate blade appeared to cut his wrist in Game 2, but after missing Game 3, he played in Games 4-6 anyway. He won’t play in that penultimate game after undergoing surgery on two tendons in that wrist, though.
It’s unclear who will take his spot in the lineup. While it’s a tough loss for Bickell and the Blackhawks, Chicago has been awfully resilient in this series. A typical playoff series takes around two weeks, so barring an unexpectedly quick recovery, he’s probably done for the postseason whether they repeat as champions or not.
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?