Alex Ovechkin; Mike Green

It’s Washington Capitals day on PHT


Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Washington Capitals.

It seems like the typical conclusion of most recent Washington Capitals seasons is to insert the phrase “But then everything ended in disappointment in the playoffs.” When it comes to the 2013-14 campaign, you could stop at “disappointment.”

For the first time since the 2006-07 season, the Capitals failed to even make the playoffs. With that in mind, the organization made a big series of changes, going with a new GM in Brian MacLellan and new head coach in Barry Trotz.

Changing head coaches seems (sadly) quite typical to the 180-friendly Capitals as of late, but changing general managers is a real eyebrow-raiser. George McPhee took over the job in 1997, which is basically represents job security that is unprecedented outside of Nashville (fittingly enough).

Ultimately, the Capitals are betting big that Trotz can turn things around with Alex Ovechkin and a core that also includes Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green and some other solid prime-age players.

Will Braden Holtby break through? Can clashing styles mix in a way that makes for success? There are a lot of interesting storylines for the Caps going forward, which we’ll explore on Monday.

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?