Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks

Chris Higgins starring in real-life version of Contagion

Earlier this month we brought to you the tale of Vancouver LW Chris Higgins and his on-again, off-again relationship with Staph infections.

Apparently they’re back on.

Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province reports that Higgins arrived at the rink today with a swollen hand — and when Higgins arrives at the rink with a swollen hand, it’s serious business. He sat out the Dec. 6 game versus Colorado with a foot infection and missed six games with the Panthers last season because of a similar ailment.

This latest (possible) infection will keep Higgins from traveling with the Canucks as they head to California. Vancouver begins its three-game roadie against the Sharks on Wednesday — while Higgins won’t travel today (he’s undergoing tests), Jamieson notes he could join the team in San Jose tomorrow.

And just so we’re clear, these Staph infections have nothing to do with Higgins’ cleanliness (or lack thereof).

“I washed my equipment more than anybody else I’ve ever seen, even before I got the Staph infection,” Higgins said last season.

“I wash it two or three times a week and there are guys that never wash it.”

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?