Myers fight

Rule change helps OHL decrease fighting by about 20 percent


A new rule that enacts an automatic suspension upon a player’s 10th fight during a season has helped reduced fighting in the OHL by about 20 percent, according to The New York Times’ Jeff Z. Klein.

One might assume that the league’s enforcers are upset about possibly being marginalized, yet last season’s most frequent fighter Ty Bilcke said the league’s “definitely better because of it.”

“It’s definitely in the back of guys’ heads — they know,” Bilcke said. “Guys are more cautious. I think there’s a lot less dirty games, and play isn’t getting out of hand as much.”

Overall, Klein reports that fighting has declined about 20 percent – from .92 per game last season to about .71 so far in 2012-13.

Former NHL player and current Windsor Spitfires coach Bob Boughner argues that it cuts down on what sometimes seem like choreographed fights, forcing players to pick their spots.

“You can only do it so many times, so make sure you’re sticking up for a teammate or trying to change the flow of the game or something like that,” Boughner said. “But to fight for no reason? Especially with this rule, it doesn’t make sense anymore.”

Perhaps the NHL will take note?

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)

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?