For all the regular-season games the St. Louis Blues have won in the last two years, and for all the Western Conference clubs that would prefer to play some other team in the playoffs, the Blues are still a franchise with one — count it, one — postseason series victory in the last decade.
St. Louis captain David Backes knows his team still has a lot to prove.
“We can’t rest like we’ve accomplished something,” Backes said, per the Post-Dispatch. “We tried that five years ago in Vancouver and we got to go home pretty quick that year. I think last year we thought we had accomplished something after winning one series and the same thing happened. So lessons have been learned and we’ll use those to hopefully push us further and further in the playoffs.”
The Blues have had a rather tumultuous season. They’ve had a six-game winning streak; they’ve had a five-game losing skid. Their goaltending has been great during stretches; it’s been awful during others. Earlier in the season, the offense was rolling; lately, it’s sputtered.
Will it all come together for the playoffs?
First things first — St. Louis is still battling for seeding. The Blues have two games left, both at home, versus Calgary tomorrow and Chicago Saturday. At best, they can finish fourth in the conference. At worst, seventh.
Related: Blues GM Armstrong on playoff matchups: ‘I don’t want to play Chicago’
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?