Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals

Hendricks honored, surprised by USO Holiday Tour invitation


Matt Hendricks would label himself as “just your average Joe in the league,” so he wasn’t expecting an invitation to the USO Holiday Tour. When he was asked, he accepted the invitation even though he wasn’t sure how much of a difference he could make.

“But being there, being able to meet our servicemen and women and hear their stories, they showed so much appreciation and thanks to me,” Hendricks said, according to the Washington Post. “It made me think, ‘Man this is crazy. These troops are thanking me when I just want to thank them.’”

Hendricks’ father is a former Marine and he’s done charity work with the military. Still, meeting troops overseas was a different and “extremely humbling” experience for him.

“When you actually get there and you set foot on that soil, you see how they’re living, what the conditions are and what they’re doing day-by-day, the stresses and the hardships those levels of appreciation somehow go higher,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks was joined by Kellie Pickler, Ilza Shlesinger, and Washington Nationals pitchers Craig Stammen and Ross Detwiler. The latter of which bailed on his honeymoon to participate in the tour.

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?