The Columbus Blue Jackets leaned on the Washington Capitals with strong physical play on Friday night, and were rewarded with a 5-1 victory.
Below is a highlight package of some of the bigger hits, particularly in the first period of tonight’s game. This run of play culminated with Corey Tropp being dinged for a charging minor and Tom Wilson getting a roughing minor.
Tropp took a healthy run at a Washington defenseman, but appeared to miss his check entirely, slamming hard into the boards. Statistics on NHL.com had Columbus credited with 40 hits, and Washington with only 18.
It was also a tough night for the Capitals’ goaltending. Philipp Grubauer was yanked after allowing three goals on 14 shots, with Braden Holtby coming in to replace him in the second period. He had to contend with big bodies like Boone Jenner in front, which isn’t always the most fun task for a goalie.
Jenner was called for goalie interference for falling on top of Holtby in the second period. It’s tough place on the ice.
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.
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: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.