Todd McLellan

McLellan joins Tortorella, Julien as 2012 All-Star Game coaches


For pure entertainment value, it would probably be most fun to watch Claude Julien vs. Alain Vigneault as this year’s All-Star Game coaches. (Then again in that case, it might be best to replace “fun” with “awkward and contentious.”)

Julien already gets an automatic spot thanks to that 2011 Stanley Cup victory, but his rival won’t be at the event thanks to a close loss tonight. The Florida Panthers’ scrappy 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks placed San Jose Sharks’ bench boss Todd McLellan on the West side for the 2012 All-Star Game while John Tortorella already wrapped up the other spot on Friday.

It might be strange that McLellan is in this spot since there are four West teams with more standings points, but the role is determined by winning percentage instead. (Otherwise it would be unfair to coaches whose teams played less games at the deadline, such as McLellan’s Sharks.)

Julien and his Bruins assistants will take on McLellan and Tortorella in the All-Star Game, with the rosters being determined once again by fantasy drafts. The full rosters should be announced on Thursday, while the team captains are likely to be named quite a bit later.

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?