Tavares calls Bergeron the ‘hardest player to play against in the league’


From Dan Cagen of the MetroWest Daily News:

OK, so hardly an earth-shattering quote given Patrice Bergeron won the Selke Trophy in 2012. But still, high praise from one of the NHL’s top offensive players.

Via Extra Skater, here’s a chart that lends support to Tavares’ comment:


No idea what you’re looking at? Alright, see how the circle with Bergeron’s name is dark blue? That means he’s got a really good Corsi. Now, see how his name is higher up than most of the other guys? That means he plays against really good players. And, finally, see how he’s to the left of most names? That means he’s starting in the defensive zone more than most of his teammates.

Most Stanley Cup-winning teams have a player like Bergeron. Whether it’s Jonathan Toews in Chicago, Pavel Datsyuk in Detroit, or Anze Kopitar in Los Angeles, these centers have the toughest jobs, and they still fare relatively well offensively.

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?