Stanley Cup Final to start June 4


We don’t know who’ll be playing in it yet, but we know when the 2014 Stanley Cup Final will begin.

On Wednesday, the league announced this year’s Cup Final will start in one week’s time — Wednesday, June 4 — and also released dates for all seven games of the series:

Game 1 Wednesday, June 4
Game 2 Saturday, June 7
Game 3 Monday, June 9
Game 4 Wednesday, June 11
Game 5* Friday, June 13
Game 6* Monday, June 16
Game 7* Wednesday, June 18

* if necessary

The format is quite similar to last year’s Cup Final between Chicago and Boston, which opened on a Wednesday at the United Center and also featured two off days before Game 2, which was played on the Saturday.

As for home-ice advantage in this year’s Final, Chicago is the highest regular season finisher among the final four teams and New York is the lowest. So, should the Rangers advance, they’d cede home ice to either the ‘Hawks or Kings; should Montreal advance, they’d cede to Chicago but hold it over Los Angeles (both teams finished with 100 points, but Montreal had 40 wins in regulation/overtime to L.A.’s 38.)

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?