‘I’ve been through this before’: Ballard reacts to fourth straight healthy scratch

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New team, same result.

That’s the story for Keith Ballard following his fourth consecutive healthy scratch on Tuesday, as he watched from the press box while Minnesota lost 3-0 to Ottawa.

“I’ve been through this before,” Ballard said, per the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “It’s up to me to be a good teammate, to be positive, to work and to make sure that I’ve done everything I can on the ice and in the gym — I’ve watched a ton of video — and to make sure that when I do play, I’m ready to go.”

Ballard experienced something similar during his three seasons in Vancouver, when he routinely ran afoul of head coach Alain Vigneault and often found himself in the press box. The low point might’ve come during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, when Ballard was parked in favor of then-22-year-old Chris Tanev, an undrafted rookie that had 29 games of NHL experience.

Vancouver bought out Ballard during this summer’s compliance window and he immediately signed with Minnesota, which looked as though it’d be a quality arrangement. Despite a series of injuries, Ballard played well when called upon — but a brutal stretch in December (one point in 14 games, minus-10 rating) cemented his fate. He hasn’t played since Jan. 7 and appears to have been passed on the blueline depth chart by Jonathon Blum.

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?