Caps start Neuvirth for first time since Nov. 22


The Washington Capitals will turn to Michal Neuvirth in net against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday, his first start since Nov. 22.

The 25-year-old’s agent made noise in asking for a trade, but the Caps haven’t found any takers, particularly in a tough trade market. Tonight could be a chance for the goalie to get back into the mix, whether it means putting the heat on Philipp Grubauer and Braden Holtby in Washington or increasing his value in the minds of other GMs around the league.

Capitals head coach Adam Oates had a fairly terse explanation for Neuvirth’s start, as reports.

“It’s his turn,” Oates said. “He hasn’t played for a long time. His turn.”

Does that mean Holtby’s turn will come next? He’s backing up Neuvirth tonight while Grubauer is a healthy scratch, but Oates wouldn’t elaborate.

Washington has only won two of its last eight games, so maybe Oates is simply hoping that Neuvirth will run with the ball for a little while?

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?