By now you’re familiar with the Edmonton Oilers struggles to start the year. They’re the worst team in the Western Conference and only the Buffalo Sabres are keeping them out of last place in the league.
After losing 5-0 to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, coach Dallas Eakins gave an honest assessment of his team as John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal shared.
“We’ve got a group that’s hurting, they’re dying, they’ve lost their confidence,” Eakins said. “If you play scared in this league, you’re going to get killed.”
Getting drubbed by the Red Wings and getting just 14 shots on goal on home ice sure looks like a team getting killed.
The Oilers have a 3-10-2 record and are quickly drowning in a loaded Western Conference. In the Pacific Division alone they’re 10 points back of fifth place Los Angeles and 13 behind fourth place Vancouver and 15 points out of first place.
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?