Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs

Randy Carlyle wants the Leafs to work harder…and sounds pretty serious about it


Toronto’s hockey team may be taking a back seat to its mayor today, but that didn’t stop Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle from delivering a warning of sorts to his players.

“Our level of work has to go up,” said Carlyle, per TSN 1050’s Jonas Siegel. “We’ve stated that and we’ve [told] our players that the message is going to start to be delivered in a different manner if we’re not going to get the results that we’re looking for.”

Carlyle added: “It’s not just about wins, it’s about how we play.”

It’s no secret the Leafs (10-5-0) have been outshot in all but two of their games this season (especially for those who read PHT). That lack of consistent puck possession finally caught up to them Saturday in Vancouver, where they lost 4-0 to the Canucks while getting outshot badly, 47-21.

“It was a terrible game for us,” Carlyle said. “Probably the worst game we have played this year.”

While it’s not entirely clear what he meant by “the message is going to start to be delivered in a different manner,” whatever he meant, his players should be aiming for a better effort when they host New Jersey tomorrow.

With injuries to centers Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland, James van Riemsdyk, normally a winger, was between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul on the top line today at practice. Jerred Smithson, signed yesterday for the rest of the season, centered the fourth line.

Related: Leafs experiment with JVR at center

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: Bullet dodged?