It could be the defining moment in the Phoenix Coyotes regular season. On Monday, against the New York Rangers, Phoenix goalie Mike Smith left the game late in the third period with a lower-body injury.
Rangers’ forward Derick Brassard fell on top of Smith during a scramble in front of the Phoenix net. Smith was writhing in pain on the ice. The injury to Smith forced Thomas Greiss into the game. The Coyotes lost 4-3 in overtime.
There was no update from Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett on Smith after the game, other than it was a lower-body injury and that he was still being evaluated, as per Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports.
The loss of Smith could make qualifying for the playoffs an extra difficult task for the Coyotes, who only lead the ninth-place Dallas Stars by just a single point after tonight’s results.
The Coyotes got the single point, however the Stars also moved closer to that final Western Conference Wild Card spot with a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The Stars also have one game in hand.
Smith, 32, has appeared in 62 games this season, with 27 wins, a .915 save percentage and 2.64 goals-against average.
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?