Phil Kessel

PHT Morning Skate: Kessel’s start in Bizarro World


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Phil Kessel usually starts his season off with a bang. Usually. He’s goalless through the first four games this season — the first time that’s happened since he was a rookie. Hello, Bizarro World. (Toronto Sun)

Dainius Zubrus is playing the role of house dad to rookie Stefan Matteau. (Fire & Ice)

B’s coach Claude Julien was really pleased with rookie Dougie Hamilton’s play against the Isles. (

St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk had a heart-t0-heart talk with Al MacInnis to get him back on track. Not bad help if you can get it. (Post-Dispatch)

The Gionta brothers (Brian and Stephen) are set to square off on Sunday. (Star-Ledger)

Nazem Kadri credits coach Randy Carlyle for his breakout this season. (Sportsnet)

Is Detroit’s defense getting… Better? (Detroit News)

New Jersey’s hot start shouldn’t be shocking anyone as there’s no way you can ever truly kill the Devils. (Fire & Ice)

Finally, Pavel Datsyuk’s sick-nasty passing skills were in full effect last night against Minnesota. (

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?