Tomas Plekanec

Therrien: Plekanec ‘should be a serious candidate’ for Selke Trophy


Over the last five years, the Selke conversation has largely been based around a handful of individuals: three-time winner Pavel Datsyuk, Ryan Kesler, Patrice Bergeron and Jonathan Toews (one win each).

Now, Montreal head coach Michel Therrien says a new name warrants mention — Tomas Plekanec.

“He should be a serious candidate for sure,” Therrien said, per Sportsnet. “He does so may good things on the ice.”

Plekanec, 31, has successfully transitioned from an offense-first guy to a more well-rounded forward, one that Therrien considers to be his best two-way center. While his advanced possession statistics are hardly off the charts and both his takeaway and faceoff numbers are average at best, Plekanec has emerged as Montreal’s main shutdown guy, one that routinely draws the opposition’s top offensive players.

And he’s still managing to produce offensively, with 14 goals and 28 points through 46 games — which is a big reason why Therrien’s making the Selke push.

“When we ask [Plekanec] to play against the other teams’ top lines, he always does the job,” Therrien explained. “And he can contribute on offense too.”

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?