John Tavares is just one point away from 80 with two games remaining in the regular season. That’s a nice jump up from his 67-point sophomore campaign and it’s further validation of the Islanders’ decision to take him first overall back in 2009. At this point, Tavares has gone from being a top-tier prospect to a legitimate star, but that doesn’t mean he’s done growing.
“I do feel like I’ve taken a lot of strides this year, and I’m happy to see that the things I worked hard on last summer have paid off in some ways,” Tavares said. “When this season is over, I’ll see some more things I want to improve on and try to get to that next level.”
The Islanders will fall well short of the playoffs again and the only upside is that they’ll probably end up with a top-five pick for the fourth straight year. Still, with Tavares leading the way and some other impressive youngsters developing, it might not be too long before Tavares finally gets a chance to show what he can do in the postseason.
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?