Sean Avery has very little to do with Rangers’ solid win


Sean Avery played tonight to the excessive delight of New York Rangers fans, but you’d have to stretch the boundaries of reason to say that he made a difference in their 5-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens. According to the box score, Avery delivered one hit, landed one shot on goal and received less than five minutes of ice time.

If you want an analogy for John Tortorella and Glen Sather’s cold war regarding the use of Avery, here’s an attempt: it’s the equivalent to a middle manager begrudgingly giving a troubled employee a second shot because that guy is his boss’s nephew.

Avery is a headline maker on skates – and yes, he does possess some hockey talent, although that caveat has been beaten to death at this point – but it’s unlikely that he’ll get too far out of Torts’ doghouse this season.

In a way it’s a great thing because it deflects attention from the Rangers’ other problems (see: Staal, Marc), but few players boast such a warped production-to-attention ratio. This season might be Avery’s last chance to keep that spotlight shining on him, though, so we’ll see if he can make the most of his opportunities – however limited they may be.

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?