A lot of you might be having horrible flashbacks seeing the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference finals. After all, the last time they were there was 2003 and scoring goals was not all the rage then.
Fast forward to now and the Devils are back. Martin Brodeur is still the goalie but guys like Ilya Kovalchuk, Travis Zajac, and Zach Parise are driving the attack. Yes, the Devils are using offense to make things happen and Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen wants you to know all about it.
They don’t exactly look like the Edmonton Oilers of the 1980s, but the Devils’ style is exciting in a relative sense.
All around them in the playoffs, success has come from teams collapsing around their goaltenders, blocking shots and clearing bodies in front of the net.
Sure, that’s sound, defensive playoff hockey, but at least the Devils are attacking a bit more.
Think about it, the Devils frustrated the Flyers by forechecking them to death and forcing their defensemen to turn the puck over. Those turnovers turned into offensive chances. The Devils also scored a record number of goals shorthanded this year. Normally an agitator, David Clarkson scored 30 goals.
If you’re thinking the Devils are just going to bore you to death in the playoffs one more time, think again.
Related: Poll: Are the New JerseyDevils the most exciting team left in the playoffs?
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?