Free agency didn’t put a big dent in the Los Angeles Kings’ roster, but injuries on defense could make their repeat bid that much tougher.
The team’s already dealing with Willie Mitchell’s indefinite absence, but word surfaced from TSN on Monday that Matt Greene will miss the rest of the season with a back ailment suffered during the team’s season-opener on Saturday.
Greene isn’t a top guy like Mitchell is, yet the 29-year-old blueliner has been a useful veteran depth guy in a system that’s heavy on younger defensemen. He played in all of the Kings regular season and playoff games last season.
Los Angeles is well-stocked with prospects, yet GM Dean Lombardi may very well opt to trade for a more experienced presence. Many believe that hyped backup goalie Jonathan Bernier has some serious value on the market, so perhaps he’ll feel compelled to pull the trigger considering the banged-up blueline corps.
How would you handle this dilemma?
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: Bullet dodged?