The Toronto Maple Leafs have been badly outplayed in their last two games. They were fortunate to lose just one of them.
Even with a spot in the playoffs pretty much assured, Leafs coach Randy Carlyle knows his team needs to be better, starting tonight at home to the Islanders.
“We need to play a better brand of hockey than we did in the last six periods,” said Carlyle, per the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle.
“Or we’re not going anywhere.”
On Monday, the Leafs managed to beat a “cursed” Devils team, 2-0, despite being out-shot 31-13. (It was the second time this season that Toronto had won a game with 13 shots.)
But Tuesday in Washington, the Leafs’ luck ran out. The Capitals smoked them, 5-1.
Toronto can clinch its first playoff appearance since 2004 with a win over the Isles combined with a regulation loss by the Jets against Carolina.
The Leafs are likely to play either Boston or Montreal in the first round.
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?