Any time that you’re getting the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers together for a game they way they are tonight in Buffalo (7:30 p.m. ET on Versus) expect things to be highly skilled and hotly contested. Just think back to last year’s playoff series that saw these two go seven games before ultimately seeing the Flyers come out on top.
Back then, it was Ville Leino helping beat Ryan Miller and the Sabres. Now, he’s helping out Miller and looking to get his season going against his old team and Ilya Bryzgalov. Leino’s start to the season has been bad and making the Sabres look foolish for dumping a truck full of cash on him. He won’t have any more excuses for playing poorly now as he’ll have Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville on his line tonight to jump start his game.
For Philly, after a horrid game against Winnipeg they’re back to feeling good about things and part of their mystery was getting Scott Hartnell to help produce some big points. Putting him on a line with Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr has proven to be a genius move for coach Peter Laviolette as that line has blown up with over 20 points their last four games.
Ultimately the game boils down to be a marquee goalie match-up with Miller going head-to-head with Bryzgalov. The Flyers wore out Miller ultimately in the playoffs last year and the Sabres are getting their first look at Bryzgalov in orange and black. If these two can steal tonight’s show, that’s about as good as it gets.
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?