Bryan Bickell #29 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 27, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Blackhwaks 2-1 in the shootout.
(March 26, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Scratched again: Bickell out vs. Canucks, Quenneville says ‘we need more’


Bryan Bickell’s back in the press box and, apparently, back in his coach’s doghouse as well.

Bickell was dropped from the Chicago lineup for the second time in three games on Wednesday, as head coach Joel Quenneville made the burly power forward a healthy scratch for tonight’s game against the Canucks in Vancouver.

“You try on a regular basis and visiting with him in practice or on the bench during games or between games,” Quenneville told the Chicago Sun-Times. “In the situation where he didn’t play the other day, last night was O.K.

“But we need more.”

Bickell was dropped from the lineup against Winnipeg on Sunday, replaced by defenseman Mike Kostka — who was playing his first-ever NHL game at forward. Bickell drew back in for last night’s 5-4 OT loss to Calgary, but wasn’t especially effective. In getting just over 10 minutes of play he finished minus-1 with two hits and two shots on goal.

“It was frustrating but, the way my game’s been going, I feel like I deserved to sit out,” Bickell said, per CSN Chicago. “[Coach Joel Quenneville] wants to get me angry and mad on the ice and bring the physical game.

“I need to do more and get myself more into the game.”

Bickell, who signed a four-year, $16 million extension after last year’s stellar Stanley Cup run, has struggled mightily under increased expectations this season. Missing 14 games with a knee injury didn’t help things but, even when healthy, Bickell has yet to find the form that saw him score nine goals and 17 points in 23 games last postseason, emerging as a key power forward en route to Chicago’s second Cup in four years.

The 27-year-old was minus-6 in 11 games prior to the Winnipeg contest, scoring just one goal.

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?