Ilya Kovalchuk hasn’t had many opportunities in the past when it comes to the playoffs. Like all other players, his ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup and with the Devils he’s got a genuine shot to do that this season.
As Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice found out, you’d better not ask Kovalchuk his thoughts about winning the Cup and what it would mean to him.
“Let’s not talk about that right now,” he said. “We just want to make a little step forward at a time. We want to do well in the first round first.”
Doing well in the first round is something a lot of people are counting on them to do. Sure the Devils are the sixth seed in the East, but they’ve got a better record than the third seeded Florida Panthers and are the chic pick for a first round upset.
Kovalchuk has seen the playoffs just twice in his career – once with Atlanta in 2006-07 and in his first half-season with New Jersey in 2009-10. In nine career playoff game, Kovalchuk has eight points and just three of those are goals. For the Devils to have true Stanley Cup aspirations, he’ll need to do better than that and with Zach Parise and Patrik Elias riding shotgun with him, there’s no reason to think he won’t do well.
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?