Man advantage? More like man disadvantage for the Kings, am I right?
Los Angeles is mired in a horrible power play funk, converting just one of its last 24 chances over the last seven games. That’s pushed them into a tie for the seventh-worst PP in the league (15.4 percent, with Minnesota) — a glaring issue given the team doesn’t score very well at even strength.
Head coach Darryl Sutter has seen enough. On Thursday, he let his feelings be known.
“Power play has been awful,” he told Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider. “Even last night. You talk about a (good) 60-minute game [against Calgary]. It wasn’t a 60-minute game. In the second period, we had two power plays that changed the momentum of the game.
“We had to play our fourth line, back-to-back shifts, after both power plays to get the momentum back.’’
Ah yes, the momentum-killing power play. To give you an idea of what that feels like, reference the official NHL play-by-play after Calgary’s Clay Wilson took a two-minute interference penalty at 12:31 of the second period.
Calgary won a faceoff, then play was whistled dead for offside. Calgary won another faceoff, then play went offside again. Then the Kings won a faceoff….and by that point, 1:09 of their man advantage had expired. Good times!
All told, the Kings had more power play opportunities against Calgary (four) than power play shots on goal (three).
Unfortunately for L.A., things don’t look to be getting any rosier on the anemic PP front. Reports suggest Jeff Carter has suffered an ankle injury and is unlikely to play Friday against Edmonton.
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?