The Toronto Maple Leafs will begin a tough five-game road trip tonight in Anaheim. With contests in San Jose, Los Angeles, Washington, and Detroit to follow, it promises to be one of the tougher stretches of the season for a Leafs side that still has work to do to make the playoffs.
A quick glance at the standings reveals a fairly comfortable cushion for the Leafs…
…but that cushion could be quickly erased if things go sideways on their trip.
“We’ll see some really good teams now, starting with the first three in a row,” coach Randy Carlyle said, per the Toronto Sun.
“We have to understand there is a certain type of game we have to play out on the road. We’re a skating club and we have to show that.”
Toronto enters its all-important trip on a two-game winning streak, both victories coming in overtime, including Saturday’s 3-2 defeat of the Flyers.
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?