Patrick Roy criticizes ‘nonsense’ travel schedule


After the NHL took three days off for the holidays, the Colorado Avalanche didn’t have a practice ahead of Friday’s 7-2 slaughter at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks.

That’s because they flew out to Chicago at 8:00 a.m. that morning, which is something Avalanche coach Patrick Roy was pretty unhappy about.

“I’m not going to use that as a reason why we lost,” Roy told the Denver Post. “(But) it’s unacceptable that we have to lose an hour to go to Chicago. … How can you give a good show? No matter what, we were in a bad spot. We’ve done it in the past, but why (didn’t) Chicago come here?

“I don’t know who’s working for the league for the schedule, but they need to understand that (when) Denver goes to Chicago, you’re losing an hour (and) if you want to play at night you have to be up at 4 or 5 in the morning to get to the airport … to have a good morning skate. It’s nonsense.”

Colorado is the westernmost team in the Central Division and the only one that’s not in the central timezone. Of course, rough patches in the schedule are nothing new and certainly aren’t unique to the Avalanche, even if the timezone difference gives them an added challenge in their division.

More importantly, they’re just 9-9-3 since their 14-2-0 start, which has put their playoff hopes in jeopardy. They’re about to start a seven-game homestand, so obviously travel won’t be a factor for a while. They need to have a strong showing during this stint.

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?