The last time the Chicago Blackhawks were attempting to repeat as champions, they fought back from a deep series deficit against the rival Vancouver Canucks only to lose in Game 7 of overtime. Even so, that was in the first round, not the Western Conference finals.
Considering how narrowly the Los Angeles Kings defeated Chicago on Sunday, it’s not surprising that the Blackhawks had mixed feelings after the 5-4 overtime defeat.
Don’t make any mistake about it, though: that loss was more painful than anything else.
The cruel nature of a playoff overtime loss is only maximized when it decides a series. One can imagine that the Blackhawks faced a feeling of shock, even if they were in that position years before.
Quenneville said he “couldn’t be prouder” of the efforts put forth by the Blackhawks and lingered on how close they really were. The thing is, those brutally close losses can often be the most haunting. He rightly said that “both teams left it out there,” yet it seems like it might take time for this loss to totally sink in.
This is also from the same series that included a win that Coach Q called the “greatest overtime game he’s ever seen” so one might say it’s fitting that the Blackhawks’ season ended with another OT thriller.
Chicago is unlikely to agree that this is a fitting end, however.
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?