Peter Laviolette

Laviolette stands up for Ilya Bryzgalov: “We all need to be better”


For better or worse, Peter Laviolette has been very patient with Ilya Bryzgalov’s struggles in the Philadelphia Flyers’ first round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. After all, many of the chances that beat Breezy were the result of some porous defense – and Sergei Bobrovsky allowed five of Wednesday’s 10 goals, too.

Sam Carchidi reports that Laviolette voiced his support of Bryzgalov, saying that he “has been satisfied with Bryz’s overall play in the series.” Tom Layberger got to the bottom of why he pulled Bryzgalov for Bobrovsky in the first place, in case that wasn’t evident.

“At that point Bryz needed to come out,” Laviolette said. “He had seen five goals in about (23) minutes and that was enough for him. He had been carrying the load for us and I think it was important for him to come out of that situation.”

Quite logically, Laviolette spread some of the blame to other Flyers players, as you can see on Philly’s official Twitter feed.

“Generally speaking, we all need to be better at what we do,” Laviolette said. “I’ve said it numerous times that desperation wins hockey games.”

The last thing the Flyers should do against a talented – if similarly flawed – team like the Penguins is to act as if they have a big series lead. After all, they’ve seen a team cough up a 3-0 series lead when they came back against the Boston Bruins in 3-0. Losing that sense of desperation could be a huge problem if Philly doesn’t recognize these dangers – or this could just be a sobering warning and useful lesson for a team heavy with young players.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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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.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

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.