The Boston Bruins are looking fantastic, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s on a hot streak. Loui Eriksson finally scored on Saturday, but Brad Marchand continues to find himself slipping, as he saw his role and ice time diminish.
After the game, Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien acknowledged Marchand’s struggles and explained his demotion to the third line to media members including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty.
“Sometimes you have to take a guy away from where he is to take pressure off,” Julien said. “He’s fighting it. No doubt he’s fighting it.”
Marchand, 25, has one goal and zero assists in four games so far this season. His average ice time is down from 16:58 last season to 15:22 so far, as he saw fewer reps with each passing period today.
It seems that he’s even antagonizing less than usual, as he hasn’t even take a trip to the penalty box yet in 2013-14.
There are plenty of possible reasons why he’s struggling, including losing running mate Tyler Seguin via that splashy trade (maybe he just misses his friend?). He’s not the only prominent Bruins forward to struggle – Milan Lucic and his former running mate Nathan Horton slumped in 2013 – so the key is for him to work his way out of it.
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?