The Columbus Blue Jackets currently hold the world championship belt of misery in the NHL, but the Minnesota Wild probably rank as the intercontinental champs. For those of you who aren’t fluent in silly professional wrestling analogies, I’m trying to say that the Wild are mopier than someone who got a crushed soul for Christmas right now.
If they took a step back and really assessed the situation, there’s actually some hope; they’re only six points behind the seventh and eighth seeds in the West with a game in hand.
Still, context is everything. The Wild have lost six in a row and 23 out of their last 27 games. That’s enough to produce a dark cloud over just about any team, but ESPN1500’s Judd Zulgad wonders if Mike Yeo’s extreme reactions to both good and bad times are negatively impacting the team.
Yeo worked extremely hard to get to the NHL as a head coach — serving as an NHL assistant and minor league coach — and there is no reason he can’t be successful as the Wild begins to bring in some of the young talent it has accumulated. He seems to have many positive attributes as a bench boss.
But if Yeo wants to get the most out of these players, he’s going to have to learn that his approach since mid-December probably hasn’t been the best one.
Perhaps Yeo should do a 180 and take after legendary NFL coach Bill Parcells. The polarizing leader often pumped up his teams after they suffered losses and made sure to take some air out of their tires when things were going well. Such a strategy might help Yeo and the Wild keep a more even keel.
Of course, the front office could just provide Yeo with more talent to work with, too.
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?