Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Preseason List (Sep 22)

Only six games on the preseason schedule on Tuesday night, but that didn't keep the names from popping up for this morning's post. A few of the usual suspects poked their heads out for their games last night, while there are a couple new names you may want to familiarize yourself with in the coming days.

It's only a less than a week away... the draft, that is. It's a good time to be studying up for your team and where you want to be picking players.

It was like a shootout that ended up in a shootout in Columbus. The Blue Jackets beat the Bruins, 6-5 in a shootout, on Tuesday night. Jakub Voracek had a goal and two assists in the game to lead all scorers in points. He is certainly poised to have a good year. Defenseman Kris Russell and rookie forward Matthew Calvert each chipped in with a goal and an assist, while Nikita Filatov also helped out with a pair of assists in the game. It bodes well for the Jackets when the team is scoring without it's big name players on the ice. Mathieu Garon was in net for the Jackets to take the win in extra time.

The Bruins also had a few players that made some noise in their shootout loss. A trio of players were worthy of mention in this morning's post. Marc Savard, Shawn Thornton and Andrew Ference all tallied a goal and an assist in the game for the Bruins. The Bruins should still be a pretty heavy favourite among all poolies this year, since they are still going to be a pretty high-scoring team throughout the year.

Ray Emery gets his first mention in the preseason with a 5-2 victory over the Red Wings on Tuesday night. He made 28 saves to earn the win and a little more confidence, heading into the season. Rookie forward, James Van Riemsdyk, led the Flyers in scoring with a pair of goals. The upside on this kid is pretty high and he should be out to impress this year. Also hopping on the multiple-point bandwagon last night were Daniel Carcillo (G, A), Mika Pyorala (G, A), Claude Giroux (2A) and Chris Pronger (2A).

In Toronto, it was Vesa Toskala holding a very young Penguins team at bay in a come-from-behind victory on Tuesday night. Toskala and the Leafs won 3-2 in the shootout, thanks in large part to a 26-save effort from the keeper. The Leafs had their high-profile rookies on display in the game and it was Viktor Stralberg who hit the score sheet twice with a goal and an assist in the game, not to mention frustrating the Penguins defenders with his incredible speed. This kid is going places.

The Penguins didn't have their big two centres in the game against the Leafs, so there wasn't a great deal of offense generated from either one of the top two projected lines for opening night. Instead, it was Mike Rupp, their gritty centre, ready for the third or fourth line, who led the team in offense in the game with a pair of assists. Don't go expecting Rupp to be your fantasy saviour this season, as that should be a once in a while sort of occurrence.

The Kings and Islanders took their act to Kansas City on Tuesday night for a preseason tilt, where the Kings won, 4-2. Jonathan Quick was in net for the Kings, making 15 saves for the win. Wayne Simmonds led the way in scoring with a pair of goals, while Teddy Purcell had a goal and an assist and Alex Frolov had a pair of assists in the game. It sounds like the Kings could be a little bit deeper in talent this coming season. They could be ones to watch.

Scott Clemmensen added to his bid for the number one job in Florida with a 26-save effort in a 3-1 win over Dallas on Tuesday night. Clemmensen signed in Florida as a free agent and is out to challenge Tomas Vokoun for the job. It's a bit of a long shot, but when you're getting results, you're going to get looks. Scoring for the Panthers were Kamil Kreps, who had a goal and an assist in the game, and Michal Repik, who finished with a pair of assists. Those are two young forwards that'll need to step up for the Cats, if they are to compete this year.

The Lightning and Coyotes also had their act taken to a neutral venue, as they faced off in Evertt, Washington on Tuesday. Jeff Halpern led the Lightning to a 2-1 win, scoring both goals for the Bolts. Mike Smith was the goaltender of record in the game for the Lightning, earning the win. Smith looks to be finally healthy after battling some serious concussion problems last season and through the summer. He should be ready to go and be picked in the fantasy drafts this year.

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