Perhaps the biggest game on tonight’s schedule takes place in Washington where the Capitals and Sabres meet with sole possession of eighth place in the East on the line.
If you think the players aren’t looking at this game as a playoff-like match-up, you’re wrong. John Vogl of The Buffalo News sets the scene in D.C. with Sabres defenseman Robyn Regehr who gives tonight’s game the appropriate hype.
“To say it’s a big game is an understatement,” Sabres defenseman Robyn Regehr said Monday. “It’s the biggest game that we’ve faced all year.”
That it is and curiously enough it features a superstar on each side who started the season out poorly but are roaring to the finish and reminding everyone who they are. For Buffalo it’s all about Ryan Miller in goal. Miller’s second half of the season has been monstrous and has dragged the Sabres back into the playoff discussion.
Meanwhile, Alex Ovechkin’s efforts of late have not gone unnoticed. He’s in the midst of a five-game goal-scoring streak that’s seen him put seven on the board in that time. He has 10 goals in his last 10 games and the Caps have won six of those 10. He’s back to scoring highlight reel goals again and adding memorable celebrations on top of it.
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: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.