Zdeno Chara

No kidding: Bruins defense not as airtight without Chara


This might be stunning news, but the Bruins’ defense just isn’t quite the same without Zdeno Chara.

We know, it’s crazy talk, but the Bruins have been giving up a lot more shots on goal in their two games without the perennial Norris Trophy finalist. While they’ve won both games without Chara, things just aren’t the same.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty hears it from everyone on the Bruins about having to be better defensively, but Patrice Bergeron sums it up best saying, “We need to be better and can’t allow that many shots while relying on our goalies to carry us.”

Carry them they have. Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask both have been outstanding in both games and have stopped 88 out of 90 shots the last two games.  Averaging 45 shots against is brutal for any team to handle, even the Bruins who already allow an average of over 31 shots per. Maybe the Bruins defense just likes to make sure their goalies stay awake.

Most teams would suffer in a big way going without their top defenseman but the Bruins have persevered. It’s almost as if they’re a team capable of winning the Stanley Cup all over again.

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?