The Vancouver Canucks are dealing with a season-ending injury to a player who perfectly fits into their system in Manny Malhotra. They’ll also be forced to play without Mikael Samuelsson for some time, although the Swedish winger is much more of a wild card than Malhotra.
Mark Spector reports that Canucks coach Alain Vigneault confirmed Samuelsson won’t travel with the Canucks for the rest of the series. Only time will tell if he’s able to play if the Canucks manage to get to the Stanley Cup finals, as well.
Samuelsson is dealing with a lower-body injury suffered during Game 5 of Vancouver’s series against the Nashville Predators. Honestly, though, there were quite a few people who were wondering if he should be on the ice before that injury took place. (A foolish Samuelsson turnover that ended up being a Predators shorthanded goal probably didn’t help, either.)
The numbers indicate two possibilities: Samuelsson was already dealing with an injury or he just was in a flat-out funk. After another solid 50-point season, his game really fell apart in the playoffs. He scored just one goal and two assists for three points in 11 games played. His shooting percentage was an awful 5 percent and he earned a -4 rating. Compare those numbers to his 15 points in 12 postseason games last year and it’s clear he fell far in the 2011 playoffs.
That being said, many will point to his Stanley Cup ring as a reason why his loss will be significant. That might be a bit overrated, but his 93 games of postseason experience is an intangible asset. He also shoots right-handed, which is a pretty rare trait on this team. Aside from Ryan Kesler and Jannik Hansen, the Canucks are pretty much loaded with lefties.
Either way, they’ll be forced to push further into the playoffs without Samuelsson. We’ll let you know if his status changes, though.
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?