Here’s a scary thought for the Western Conference — Dallas’ dynamic duo of Jamie Benn and Jaromir Jagr have barely scratched the surface of what they feel they can accomplish.
That was the story out of Los Angeles on Thursday night as the Stars beat the Kings 5-2 on the strength of four points — two goals and two assists — from Jagr and Benn.
“We couldn’t handle the Benn line,” Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said following the game. “[We] had nobody to answer the checking responsibly.”
Without much fanfare, the Benn-Jagr-Loui Eriksson line has been coming on lately. The trio has combined for 12 points over the last five games and the Stars have collected seven of a possible 10 points, putting them seventh in the Western Conference.
What’s more, Jagr said he and Benn are just starting to figure each other out.
“I think we are probably at 30 percent of where we can play. I think we’ve got a long way. We can get a lot better,” Jagr told Stars Inside Edge. “Obviously, I play a different style of the game than he’s probably used to. It’s tough for me at my age to change. I cannot dump and chase. I’m not fast for that, so I like to keep the pucks. He has to a little bit adjust.
“I know it’s not his game, but so far he’s doing a good job.”
At 41, Jagr leads the Stars in scoring (with 17 points), one more point than his 23-year-old running mate.
Throw in a streaking Derek Roy (six points in his last five games) and the impending return of Ray Whitney, and Dallas could crack the postseason for the first time in five years.
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?