Alex Ovechkin

I guess we’ll all be watching Alex Ovechkin intently tonight


The last we saw of Alex Ovechkin on Tuesday night against Anaheim was him kicking the puck towards Nicklas Backstrom for the game-winning goal in overtime. The bulk of that night and following day was spent analyzing Ovechkin being benched in the closing minute of regulation and how Ovechkin may or may not have cussed out Bruce Boudreau under his breath.

With the drama over with and behind us, the Caps are in Raleigh tonight to take on the Hurricanes and if you don’t think we’re all going to be watching how Ovechkin plays tonight intensely, you’re living in a world not on this planet.

Ovechkin hasn’t had to face up to these sorts of times of trouble at all before in the NHL. Never before has there been such an obvious show that he wasn’t getting the job done and made an example of because of it. How Ovechkin responds to all that will be fascinating to watch. While players will slump and go through their troubles, for Ovechkin, having it become the lead story is a new thing.

Will Ovechkin slump more or will we see the Ovi of old that is a holy terror on the ice hell-bent on destroying opponents with dynamic goals and physical play? The Carolina Hurricanes might prove to be the first of many unwilling sacrifices to Alexander the Terrifying.

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?