Alexander Semin

Everyone welcome Alex Semin to the fourth line


The Capitals’ practice in New York City today yielded one bit of news.

According to’s Chuck Gormley, coach Dale Hunter had forward Alexander Semin skating on the fourth line alongside Keith Aucoin and Mike Knuble. Hunter has been a stickler for accountability since becoming the Caps coach and after seeing Semin take two bad penalties in yesterday’s Game 1 loss to New York, Semin is apparently paying the price with a demotion.

Moving up in the world thanks to Semin being moved down was Joel Ward who jumps to the third line while the second line features Nicklas Backstrom centering Marcus Johansson and Jason Chimera. The top line of Brooks Laich centering Alex Ovechkin and Troy Brouwer remained unchanged.

Having Semin come up small like that in Game 1 was a tough blow for the Capitals and they’ll be banking on him returning to the form he showed in the first round where he was an all-around threat.

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.