As Jason Brough noted earlier today, the Toronto Maple Leafs have defied stats expectations by winning more often than not despite frequently being out-shot by opponents. Wednesday was a glaring example, as the Leafs beat the Flames 4-2 despite Calgary nearly doubling them up in that category.
The Flames fired 43 shots on goal to Toronto’s 22. In fact, the Flames almost had as many shots on goal in the second period (20) as the Buds had in the entire contest.
Goaltending and quality shooting – or puck luck, depending upon how you see it – keep going the Leafs’ way. Jonathan Bernier held serve after James Reimer’s shutout while Joffrey Lupul, Mason Raymond and James van Riemsdyk scored for Toronto (Paul Ranger got an empty-netter, too).
The Maple Leafs keep chugging along, drawing the line deeper in the sand between believers and those who expect Toronto to regress (while stats-inclined Leafs fans might feel conflicted).
With an Eastern Conference-leading 20 points (10-4-0 in 14 games played), Toronto has a nice head start, so perhaps a playoff berth may be in the cards even if they come back down to Earth.
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?