Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks

Video: Alex Burrows bites Patrice Bergeron, might face suspension


The first game of most Stanley Cup finals series usually requires a period of time for the two teams to “get to know each other” since the two conference representatives rarely meet. (That might change next season though, as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman vaguely referred to a “more balanced schedule” for the 2011-12 campaign during his press conference tonight.)

It doesn’t seem like the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks needed much flirtation before things got dirty, as the first period was wide open, physical and testy. Interim head of discipline* Mike Murphy won’t need to wait more than a game to face his first important decision of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, either.

Canucks power forward Alex Burrows bickered with Bruins two-way center Patrice Bergeron as time expired in the first period, receiving two roughing penalties to Bergeron’s single minor. Leaving his team shorthanded wasn’t Burrows’ worst mistake, though, as he clearly landed a bite on Bergeron’s hand during the skirmish. (Go ahead, get your Mike Tyson jokes out of the way right now.)

There have been times when a player seemingly got away with such an action when there wasn’t clear video evidence of some chomping. As you can see from the video below, it’s pretty obvious Burrows learned what Bergeron’s glove tastes like, though. Jarkko Ruutu received a two-game suspension for biting Andrew Peters during a 2009 regular season altercation, so my guess is that Burrows could be in line for a one-game punishment since this is the playoffs.

As you’ve surely learned from almost any Internet hockey humorist, it’s rarely safe to assume anything but chaos from the league’s decision making process. Feel free to debate what kind of punishment (if any?) Burrows deserves for the bite. Naturally, we’ll keep you up to date whenever the NHL addresses this memorable gaffe.

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* – Brendan Shanahan will eventually take over Colin Campbell’s recently vacated job, but Murphy will ease the transition by making the choices in this round.

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?