Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Last Night's Pre-Season Recap (Sep 23)

Last night's pre-season games brought us a few more names to look at, but amazingly, no pictures to show you of these players. How strange. Nevertheless, we still have something to look over and hopefully give you an extra edge in your hockey pool draft.

The Bruins fell to the Islanders on Tuesday night, but it was Tuukka Rask who stole the show, according to the written reports. Rask kept the Bruins in the pre-season game, stopping 36 shots in a 2-1 loss. Rask does have some time to wait for his turn in the Bruins' net this season, both Tom Thomas and Manny Fernandez have the inside track on the job.

The Hockeyville game in Roberval, Quebec saw the Montreal Canadiens dump the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2. The Canadiens had a bright spot in Tomas Plekanec, who scored a pair of goals in the pre-season match. Plekanec has already got himself on the right track to repeat his 69-point performance a year ago. Plekanec will be juggled in the line-up a little bit, since there are some new faces in the dressing room, but his pool value is still quite high.

First pick overall in 2008, Steven Stamkos, continues to shine in the pre-season. Stamkos scored his first goal (in regulation time) for the Lightning to help them to a 2-1 win on Tuesday night. It may be a tad premature to give a spot to Stamkos in the opening night roster for the Lightning, but let's face it, even if he had to earn it, he's doing fine. The more he shines in this pre-season, the higher his stock should rise and the higher he should be in your priorities. Take note of this one.

The Blackhawks downed the Blue Jackets 4-3 last night in a pretty spread out game, offensively. The only player on the two teams to register a multi-point game was defenseman, Cam Barker, who had two assists. Barker finished with 18 points in only 45 games for the Hawks last season, so his stock could be a bit better than it initially looks. If Barker can play in 82 games for Chicago, they could have a good 30-point defenseman on their hands... or should I say, another one.

Well, now that Erik Johnson will be missing some considerable time, the Blues are going to be using these pre-season games for auditions for his open spot. 2008 fourth overall pick, Alex Pietrangelo jumped at the chance last night, as he registered a pair of assists in the 3-2 win over Dallas. Pietrangelo was one of four players to have two points in the game, but the other three were veterans, who have already locked up spots. These next couple weeks are going to be important for Pietrangelo, as he has the possibility of jumping over some other defensive prospects to get this new spot.

The Flames lost a tight game to the Panthers, 3-2, to open up their pre-season schedule, but they had a bright spot in forward Dustin Boyd, who ended up being the only player in the game with two points. Boyd had a goal and an assist in the game and saw time with Jarome Iginla, which is a good sign for all potential Boyd fantasy owners. Keep a close eye at where Boyd plays and who he plays with in this pre-season. He could potentially be a bit of a sleeper.

The Canucks managed to take both games from Edmonton to open up the pre-season, winning last night's game 2-1. Roberto Luongo let the only goal for the Oilers, but still played pretty well in the first half of the game. Back-up goalie, Curtis Sanford made 6 saves to close up the game. Michael Grabner made a name for himself scoring the game-winner and putting himself forward towards an open wing spot.

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