NHL referees

NHL announces Stanley Cup Final referees


The NHL has announced the four referees that will be working this year’s Stanley Cup Final between the Rangers and Kings.

Steve Kozari, Wes McCauley, Dan O’Halloran and Brad Watson have been selected to officiate, per the league’s PR department. The linesmen will be Derek Amell, Scott Driscoll, Shane Heyer and Brad Kovachik.

McCauley, O’Halloran and Watson are all returnees from last year’s Cup Final; Kozari is making his Stanley Cup Final debut (and has been working with Watson since Round 2.) O’Halloran and McCauley were teamed up late in Round 2 and have been working together ever since. It’s worth noting this is Watson’s eighth Final, the most among any of the four referees assigned.

One interesting linesman assignment is Driscoll, who was engaged in the altercation that saw Dan Carcillo get hit with a 10-game suspension (later reduced to six.)

Kozari and Watson will work tonight’s Game 1 at Staples Center, with Heyer and Driscoll working the lines.

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?