Alex Ovechkin

Columnist: Alex Ovechkin might want to tread carefully from here on out


Alex Ovechkin’s weekend came and went without so much as a hint of action stemming from his hit on Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi. While neither player seemed up in arms about the situation it was thought that Ovechkin might see action from the league thanks to having a record of suspendable hits.

Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun says while Ovechkin is doing his part to help his team, the best way he can do that in the physicality department is to tone things down a bit.

But Ovechkin, as a repeat offender, had better understand that he is on a short leash with the league and is unlikely to receive any leniency from NHL Sheriff Brendan Shanahan on any questionable incidents.

Even Caps coach Dale Hunter acknowledged that Ovechkin must walk a fine line.

Considering how Ovechkin has played the game at a breakneck pace his entire career and he’s had to push himself even harder in these playoffs seeing his minutes reduced, getting a toned down Ovechkin seems like a surefire way to make him ineffective. Getting Ovechkin to be smarter about picking his moments, however, is all for the best. The last thing Washington needs is to lose their best player thanks to careless play.

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: Bullet dodged?