Suddenly the New Jersey Devils are right in the thick of the wild card race in the Eastern Conference.
After a 3-1 win Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Devils are one point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card spot and three points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for third in the Metropolitan Division.
Goaltender Cory Schneider tells Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice he’s liked how the team has been winning games of late.
“We’ve been so close to these kind of wins all throughout the year and just somehow haven’t racked them up in a row, but if you’re going to go on a run these are the kind of ones you need to grind out and we’ve been doing that the last couple of games,” Schneider said.
The Devils final four games provide a challenge and more opportunities to need to grind out wins. They host the Calgary Flames on Monday then play a back-to-back set on Thursday and Friday in Ottawa against the Senators and then back home against the New York Islanders. They close out the season next Sunday at home against the East’s top team, Boston.
It’s a tough road for New Jersey, but if there’s anything we know about them it’s that they don’t go away very easily.
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?