Ovechkin on Stepan

Ovechkin’s defense under the microscope…again


After Game 3, it was the way he defended (or didn’t defend) Ryan McDonagh at the point prior to the Rangers’ game-winner by Derek Stepan.

Now, after Game 4, it was his effort (or lack thereof) in trying to stop Stepan’s second game-winner in a row.

Following is the goal. You decide if Alex Ovechkin’s defensive play deserves to be ridiculed this morning on Deadspin.

It doesn’t look good, especially in GIF form.
Derek Stepan goal Capitals/Rangers 5/8/2013 - Created at yt2gif.com

But Capitals blog Russian Machine Never Breaks puts the blame on the other Caps on the ice, calling Ovechkin’s late straight-legged appearance a “bad visual, but that’s all.”

Ovechkin’s a winger, so Stepan — a center — wouldn’t normally be his responsibility. (Wingers take the point men.)

And perhaps Ovechkin figured he was way too late to get to Stepan anyway. Which he probably was.

And hey, at least he got a great view of an exciting moment.

At any rate, Game 5 of the series — which is now tied at two games apiece — goes Friday in Washington.

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?