Zack Kassian

Buffalo calls up their version of Milan Lucic: Zack Kassian


For many Buffalo Sabres fans, last night’s game against the Boston Bruins failed to hit the “revenge” spot. Sure, Milan Lucic was forced to drop the mitts, but the B’s got the last laugh in what was – to many – a frustrating shootout win. The Sabres are generally known for being a team that develops pint-sized forwards (see: Nathan Gerbe, Tyler Ennis and in a previous life, Danny Briere), but they just called up a big, mean exception to the rule: Zack Kassian.

I’m not sure I agree with WGR 550’s notion that Kassian is already a household name, but there’s no question that the budding power forward has built up a notorious reputation for bending (and sometimes breaking) the rules. He’s listed at 6-foot-3 and 228 lbs. and brings a killer instinct, but also sports the offensive upside you’d expect from a guy who went 13th overall in 2009.

In other words, Kassian might be the Sabres’ answer to – you guessed it – Milan Lucic. Maybe the talent and mean streaks are different (some might argue that Lucic has more of the former while Kassian could carry a little more of the latter), but Kassian silences the argument that Buffalo has no one who can make the Lucics of the world pay for their tomfoolery.

In fact, bloodthirsty Buffloans might have been happier if he got his first cup of coffee at the NHL level a day or two sooner …

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
Leave a comment

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?