The New Jersey Devils’ playoff odds were extremely slim, but that probably didn’t make it much less fun for the New York Rangers to drive the final nail in that coffin with a 4-1 win on Sunday. Let’s get to the talking points.
- This win strengthens the Rangers’ grip on the eighth seed in the East and also ties them in points with Ottawa (although the Senators have an extra game in hand). How hard should New York work to avoid a first round matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins? Conversely, how worried might the Penguins be?
- One nugget to justify possible worries: the Rangers are heating up (albeit against struggling teams). With this win, they’ve won their last three games by a combined score of 18-6.
- Brad Richards had two assists following a hat trick in his last performance. How dangerous is this squad as a dark horse candidate if the well-compensated center can build on this momentum?
- It wasn’t a great game for Martin Brodeur, who made some mistakes and allowed four goals on 22 shots. How much does he really have left after a rough season?
- Either way, Johan Hedberg’s contract expires after this season. Should GM Lou Lamoriello go after a starting-quality goalie or aim for more of a backup?
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?