Don’t look now, but the New York Rangers may be finding a bit of a groove.
After that long nine-game road trip to begin the regular season, the Rangers’ schedule has evened out somewhat, with the help of a four-game home stand. It concluded Wednesday with a 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Let’s discuss, shall we.
- The Rangers have now won five of their last seven games, and are slowly beginning to climb up the standings in the Metropolitan Division. Tuesday’s win puts them just a single point behind their rivals, the New York Islanders, for the third spot.
- The Penguins had a four-game winning streak snapped. Sidney Crosby didn’t record a single point. Perhaps there is a correlation there.
- Good goaltending helps, too. Henrik Lundqvist has now allowed just four goals in his last four games.
- Ryan Callahan, in his second game back from a thumb injury, had another good night on the score sheet, with a goal late in the second period. Perhaps more important was his goal quickly restored a three-goal lead for the Rangers, heading into the second intermission.
- Balanced attack from the Rangers: Eleven different players recorded points.
- Pascal Dupuis played his final shift early in the second period, however Penguins’ head coach Dan Bylsma did not have an update on the forward, as per the team’s official Twitter account.
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?