The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins are stumbling a bit through the dog days of the 2011-12 season, which has opened the door for the surging New Jersey Devils. Peter DeBoer’s team is 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, including a 3-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens tonight:
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The Devils are now in fourth place with 72 points, leaving them one point ahead of both the fifth place Flyers The Devils have 34 wins to 32 for Philly and 26 for Pittsburgh, although New Jersey has lived off of shootouts with a whopping 10 of their 34 victories coming via the skills competition. That leaves the Flyers with 31 regulation/overtime wins, the Penguins with 26 and the Devils with only 24.
It sets up for an interesting race for the four to six seeds, although this study of the Southeast Division race makes an argument that the team that “falls” to the sixth spot could be the real winner – at least in the first round.
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?