Matt Duchene reflects on first hat trick: ‘Most fun I’ve had’

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It’s bittersweet when a personal triumph gets washed away by defeat.

Matt Duchene’s first career hat trick (plus an assist) surely lost some of its luster because the Colorado Avalanche dropped a 7-6 OT thriller to the Dallas Stars. Still, Duchene didn’t deliver team-first platitudes after a rousing four-point performance.

“It’s too bad we lost,” Duchene said. “[But] it was hands down the most fun I’ve ever had playing a hockey game in my life.”

In the span of one game, Duchene slammed the door shut on those who worried about a mini-slump in which he was briefly demoted to the fourth line. Those four points were impressive enough – seriously, watch that third goal and let your jaw hit the floor – but he was an electric force all night.

In addition to the plays that showed up on the box score, he also earned Colorado a power play on what was just short of a penalty shot opportunity and had at least two other chances that could have been goals. The dynamic scorer used his world-class speed and creativity to carve up anyone the Stars sent his way.

Duchene came into Dallas with six points and finished with 10. Perhaps it was just a hot night or maybe playing left wing will continue to open up room for him to work his one-on-all magic, but if Duchene keeps having this much fun, opposing teams are going to be quite miserable.

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?