Tim Thomas received a lot of deserved credit for the Boston Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup victory, but he certainly had some help. Beyond Zdeno Chara, his biggest helpers might have been the top line of Nathan Horton, David Krejci and Milan Lucic, even if they slipped under the radar a bit.
Considering that run and the prime ages of those three forwards, it wouldn’t have been crazy to expect a big year from that line. Instead, they’ve struggled mightily to begin the season, leaving CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty to wonder if they’re on the verge of being split up. Here’s Haggerty’s take on their work so far.
Lucic has only six hits in three games and hasn’t been the tower of fire-breathing intimidation he can be when playing with some genuine anger, Krejci has been average at best to start the season after leading the team in playoff goals last year and Horton has been the most absent of the bunch in the early going.
Looking at their simplest numbers, I think that Krejci and Lucic should get their acts together. Krejci has a goal on six shots and Lucic has an assist as well as six shots while Horton has just one shot on goal and zero points.
It’s hard not to wonder if Horton is still a little bit “off” from that notorious Aaron Rome hit. If Bruins head coach Claude Julien opts to break that line up, he might want to move Horton off the line – at least temporarily. The Krecji-Lucic combo fared quite well even in the games following Horton’s injury, after all.
It’s only three games, but NHL coaches are known for tweaking their line combos. If their slow start festers into a funk, it might be best for Julien to forget their prosperous past.
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?