Columbus’ McElhinney starts run as No. 1 with shutout


Once word broke that Sergei Bobrovsky would miss four-to-five weeks with a groin injury, many wondered if the Columbus Blue Jackets could trust journeyman backup Curtis McElhinney to carry the mail. He passed his first test on Friday.

McElhinney shut the Minnesota Wild out tonight as the Blue Jackets cruised to a 4-0 victory (Columbus generated a 41-20 shot disparity).

The Blue Jackets note that this is his first shutout in almost exactly two years. The 30-year-old is just 2-3-1 this season, yet he’s done  well individually in his very limited opportunities. With Bobrovsky likely out until we hit 2014, this is a promising start, even if the numbers indicate that the Blue Jackets made life pretty easy for him.

That’s not necessarily a common theme of his recent life experiences, as McElhinney’s had a tough go of things even compared to other goalies who bounce between the NHL and AHL.

The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline adds background on the horrific injury McElhinney suffered two seasons ago, when he tore both his groin muscles and cracked his pubic symphysis.

/Imagines PHT readers getting up from the kitchen table and sadly throwing boiled chicken meals in the trash …

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?