L.A. Kings center Mike Richards will miss his third consecutive Western Conference finals game on Thursday night, head coach Darryl Sutter announced.
Richards, the Kings’ second-leading scorer this postseason, hasn’t played since absorbing a big Dave Bolland hit in the series opener.
The hit knocked Richards out of Games 2 and 3, though there was some optimism from L.A. on Wednesday when he took to the ice and skated with the Black Aces.
But, it appears he’s still a ways from returning.
Richards didn’t stake at all on Thursday — Sutter said the reason was because the club was “following protocol” — so it stands to reason the 28-year-old is dealing with a concussion or concussion-like symptoms.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Kings fare without Richards in the lineup. They responded well to his absence in Game 3, scoring more than two goals for the first time in five games, and won the faceoff battle 34-24.
That last number is key, because Richards was one of the Kings’ most active faceoff men this year, taking the third-most draws on the team.
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: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.