The last time the Calgary Flames won at home, Santa Claus hadn’t even been to town. Another loss tonight versus the visiting Coyotes and it’ll be winless since Dec. 23, when they beat the Blues 4-3 in a shootout. Since then, the NHL’s coldest team has dropped seven straight at the Saddledome, all in regulation, while getting outscored by a margin of — get this — 22 to 4.
Suffice to say, the Flames’ pleasantly surprising start is a distant memory now.
For Phoenix, tonight is a prime opportunity to collect a pair of much-needed points.
“I haven’t even thought about [Calgary’s struggles],” coach Dave Tippett said, per NHL.com. “We’re concerned with what we’re doing. We feel like we’ve played better the last three or four games. Our game has been pretty good, but that being said, we’ve only won two of the last four, so we’re concerned about making sure we bring our game to the best of our ability and we’ll see what happens there.”
The Coyotes can’t afford to let too many winnable opportunities get past them. Not when they sit four points back of Minnesota for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
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: Bullet dodged?