“Three (News) Stars of the Week” will run every Friday. It’s our way of acknowledging the week’s big NHL stories that gave us lots of page views, thereby increasing PHT’s attractiveness to advertisers.
Third star: Sid on the shelf
The hockey world got a jolt Wednesday when it was learned that Sidney Crosby would be sitting out the next two Penguins games “as a precaution.” The game’s best player that’s only just returned from an extended concussion-related absence felt a slight headache after Wednesday’s practice, thus the decision to take a little break. “It’s been a long road back and we want to err on the side of caution,” said Crosby. No official word yet if he’ll be in the lineup Tuesday when Pittsburgh hosts Detroit, but as soon as we know, you’ll know. Just keep hitting refresh.
Second star: Ovechkin on the juice?
That’s what John Steigerwald implied in a column for a Pennsylvania newspaper. And yes, Steigerwald is the brother of Penguins play-by-play man Paul Steigerwald. And yes, the Penguins and Capitals have a rather fierce rivalry. Not surprisingly, the column produced an internet frenzy. It also provided a good lesson for all you aspiring sports journalists out there. Want to get your name out there? Steroid allegations never fail. For best results, accuse a Russian.
First star: So long, divisions
The NHL’s board of governors met this week in Pebble Beach. Not to yank tee shots into the Pacific, but to drastically realign the league. Assuming the NHLPA says it’s cool, there will be four conferences next season – two with eight teams, two with seven. The top four teams from each conference will make the playoffs. The first two rounds of the playoffs will be played within the conference. There might even be a Leafs-Rangers Stanley Cup final, but let’s cross that bridge to the apocalypse when we get to it. Or blow up the bridge. Whatever.
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?