Mike Richards

Richards cleared to play tomorrow

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Mike Richards hasn’t played a hockey game since Dec. 1, but he’s been cleared to play one tomorrow, according to LA Kings Insider.

Of course, anytime a top forward returns to the lineup, it’s good news for the team. However, it’s especially good news for the Kings, a team that hasn’t scored three goals in a game since Nov. 22, a day short of a month ago.

Since Richards (concussion) has been unable to play, Los Angeles has combined for 12 goals in seven games, an average of 1.7 per contest.

Given the sensitive nature of his injury, Richards admitted Monday he was hesitant about returning to action too soon.

“It’s a tough thing because you’re always thinking about it, so you never know,” he told reporters. “You want to be ready and when you do come back you don’t want to be cautious when you step in there feeling confident.”

Tomorrow’s Kings-Ducks game in Anaheim will also feature the debut of Darryl Sutter behind L.A.’s bench. Sutter ran his first practice today and is set to speak with the media later today.

Here we see Sutter providing Anze Kopitar with some kind words of encouragement (probably):


(image via LA Kings Insider)

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?