Brock Nelson

Islanders would love to stop blowing 2-0 leads

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The New York Islanders have had some problems of late. Namely, getting ahead 2-0 hasn’t worked out very well.

The Isles grabbed 2-0 leads against the Flyers and Penguins this week only to lose both games. As forward Josh Bailey tells Arthur Staple of Newsday, it’s a delicate situation to handle.

“It’s a fine line in how we react after getting those leads,” said Bailey. “We don’t want to sit back, because we’ve seen what happens when we do that. And you don’t want to gamble too much, because we’re playing good teams who can take advantage of our mistakes.”

To sit on it or to just keep playing the same way? It’s hockey’s version of Shakespeare and the Islanders have seen just about enough tragedy of late.

Those blown leads (and games) to the Flyers and Pens stick out like sore thumbs on their schedule of late. With three losses in their past 10 games, missing out on four points in a tight Eastern Conference race could be a playoff dream killer.

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?