If the way the Flyers defensemen Andreas Lilja and Matt Walker played last night against Montreal in a 5-1 loss is a sign of how things are going to be without Chris Pronger, it’s about to get real ugly in Philly.
Lilja saw just over 15 minutes worth of confidence-sapping ice time while Matt Walker wasn’t trusted enough to see double-digit minutes. The rest of the defenseman struggled to keep up with play, especially Matt Carle who looked lost without his usual defense partner in Pronger.
Topping off the crappy sundae was the play of Ilya Bryzgalov who couldn’t corral his rebounds while Canadiens forwards went uncovered to pounce on them for goals. Bryzgalov hasn’t looked at ease yet in Philadelphia and fans are already grumbling about it.
Do Peter Laviolette or Paul Holmgren have any backup plans to cover things while Pronger is out? Not yet, but they may have to start exploring options if things continue like this. Rolling with essentially five defenseman (Walker played just over seven minutes last night as the sixth) that have no confidence defensively nor the defensive dedication that Pronger does could mean the Flyers start working the phones.
There’s no help in the AHL for Philly so either they run with what they have or it’s time to look for a trade. All we know is that if we were Scott Hartnell, we might not be looking to buy a house in eastern Pennsylvania until things get figured out.
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?