The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils are rivals in every sense of the word. They are in the same division, geographically close, and have a long playoff history. This will be the sixth time that these two squads have met in the playoffs in roughly two decades.
“It’s good for hockey, good for the fans, and good for everyone else,” New Jersey’s Dainius Zubrus said of the upcoming series. “A lot of people around here wanted this. The only exception was in 2006 when the Devils swept the Rangers.
“Since the day I arrived in New Jersey, I sensed that this is The Rivalry. And I like that stuff.”
The Rangers have been the much more successful team in these two franchise’s postseason meetings. New York has eliminated the Devils in four of their previous five opportunities.
Still, the Devils have a great team and have already vanquished one major Stanley Cup contender in the Philadelphia Flyers. After having their hands full with the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals, the New York Rangers are in for yet another tough series.
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: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.