Remember when the Blues traded for Jaroslav Halak and expected him to be the guy to lead them back to the playoffs and beyond?
Ah, those were the days.
This season, it’s been a different story with Brian Elliott playing out of his mind, including a shutout of Vancouver last night, while Halak has struggled mightily. A bad sign of things to come this year for the usual Blues starter? Should he be freaking out about things the way fans in Vancouver are about Roberto Luongo? No way.
Halak is, instead, taking everything in stride and giving it a more zen-like approach believing that this too shall pass in time and things will get turned around for him. Perhaps with fans’ attention in St. Louis being directed elsewhere at the start of the season thanks to the Cardinals being in the World Series and the fact that Vancouver is a cutthroat hockey town while St. Louis is a bit more laid back.
It probably doesn’t hurt any that St. Louis isn’t coming off a Stanley Cup finals seven-game series loss either. For now, Brian Elliott is stealing the show, but if Halak doesn’t get things turned around, the Blues’ run isn’t going to last very long.
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?