Joel Quenneville

Quenneville: ‘Too many guys not contributing’


The Chicago Blackhawks aren’t exactly off to a great start in 2014. A belated resolution might be to change that.

The Blackhawks suffered their third loss of the New Year – two of those came in either overtime or shootout, so they did earn a point in each case – in a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

The Blackhawks, defending Stanley Cup champions, managed to overcome a slow start, tying the game against their Original Six foes in the second period. But Carl Hagelin’s late third-period goal gave the visitors the win in the end.

“We have too many guys right now not contributing to the level we saw most of the season,” Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said after the game, as per Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago.

The Rangers are in Montreal on Saturday to play the Canadiens, before opening up a four-game home stand, beginning the very next day.

In the Central Division, the Blackhawks, with 29 wins and 67 points in 46 games, have separated themselves from most of the pack, except for one team. The St. Louis Blues, winners of six straight, sit only two points behind the Blackhawks for the division lead, with four games in hand.

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?