Babcock doesn’t think Wings have enough defensive depth


Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock likes what he has to work with this season, according to the Detroit News. However, he’s well aware that Detroit’s defensive situation could use some work.

“We don’t have enough depth. You lose (Brian) Rafalski, (Brad) Stuart and (Nicklas) Lidstrom in just over a year, that’s a chunk of cheese leaving,” Babcock said. “We need people to step up and there’s opportunity for others. We’ll have that fixed up and we will.”

You can count Brendan Smith among the group of defensemen that the Detroit Red Wings are hoping take a significant step forward next season. Smith gave Red Wings’ fans a taste of what he could do last season with seven points and a plus-three rating in 14 games.

They also might add another blueliner, like unrestricted free agent Carlo Colaiacovo.

All the same, nothing they do will fill the void left by a legendary player like Lidstrom.

“When you notice it is when you get all the guys back and he’s not there,” Babcock said. “And when the puck drops for the first game, you’ll really notice it.”

Even if they can’t replace him, Detroit will attempt to make a smooth transition to life in the post-Lidstrom era.

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?