Tomas Tatar

Tatar finding consistency in Grand Rapids

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Red Wings prospect Tomas Tatar is enjoying a successful start to the season with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins. The 22-year-old winger has 11 goals and 12 assists in 27 games and, according to Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill, is playing at a high level on a regular basis.

“The one thing that’s been real noticeable is his consistency,” Nill told the Detroit News about the 60th overall pick in the 2009 draft. “From the first game, he’s been consistent and there haven’t been the ups and downs.”

Consistency is a typical challenge for younger players. Just this year, for example, we’ve seen Nazem Kadri and Joe Colbone made healthy scratches with the Marlies (Toronto) and Zack Kassian and Jordan Schroeder getting a night in the press box with the Wolves (Vancouver).

If the NHL has a season, Tatar could get a shot with the Wings in the wake of Jiri Hudler’s departure for Calgary. Granted, Gustav Nyquist might have something to say about that.

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?