Alex Ovechkin, Adam Oates

Oates says working with Ovechkin was ‘easy’


When Adam Oates was hired to be the new Washington Capitals head coach, one of the main concerns fans and others had was how he’d get along with superstar winger Alex Ovechkin.

After a possible MVP season, it would seem the two found common ground. When Oates was asked by Chuck Gormley of what it was like to coach Ovechkin, he said it was a virtual piece of cake.

“Easy. Easy. Yeah, easy. I have to go back to what I said to you when we first talked [after Oates was hired last summer]. You know what? As a player I wanted to be talked to and that’s what I wanted to be as a coach. So I talked to him. I talked to all the guys. When I talked to him, after a while it made sense and we got through some tough spots and then he was rocking and it was great.”

It might seem like talking is the easiest thing for a coach to do, but after going through the motions with Dale Hunter last season, communication was something he struggled with. Oates’ experience in helping big-time wingers score as a player is something that may have helped him get through to Ovechkin.

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?