Taylor Hall

Oilers coach Eakins says bad habits have to ‘die’


Dallas Eakins wasn’t sounding too impressed after his first regular-season game as Edmonton’s head coach.

And really, can you blame him? The Oilers were sloppy and careless with the puck in blowing a 4-2 lead last night at home versus Winnipeg, eventually losing 5-4 to the Jets.

“There’s a ton of work to be done,” said Eakins, per the Edmonton Sun. “There were some good things in that game. I liked the shot attempts. We were doing a good job there. But there are habits here. We have to make sure they die. We had cross-ice passes with no support. We didn’t manage the puck well. You don’t try to beat three guys by yourself.”

One of those “cross-ice passes with no support” was courtesy Taylor Hall, and it led to Winnipeg’s fourth goal.

Hall, it should be noted, has been shifted from wing to center to start the season, thanks to injuries to Sam Gagner and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

It’s a tough task, moving from wing to center, and one that comes with added responsibilities, particularly defensively.

“In the offensive zone, there’s no set goal of where you’re supposed to be, whether it’s a cycle or bringing pucks to the net,” Hall said early last month, “but in the defensive zone, the centerman is down low, doing the dirty work to get the puck back.”

The Oilers’ next game is Saturday night in Vancouver in front of another national TV audience.

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: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.