Monday, September 27, 2010

Last Night's Preseason Notable Players (Sep 26)

In an early start on Sunday, the Red Wings played host to the Rangers and ended up beating their Original Six counterparts 5-3 in the end. Jimmy Howard got the nod for the entire match for Detroit and made 18 saves for the victory. Howard should be taking the number one role again this year and should have a refreshed line-up in front of him. Leading the way on the scoresheet for the Red Wings was Brian Rafalski, who scored a goal and added 3 assists. Rafalski may be looked upon to be the main offensive trigger man for the Red Wings this year, as Lidstrom rounds out his game to ensure that he remains a plus player. Dan Cleary, Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom all chimed in with a a goal and an assist in the victory as well.

It's hard to deny, but Alex Auld has had a much better preseason than his goaltending counterpart in Montreal so far, as he registered another win in a complete game versus the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night. Auld only had to make 11 stops for the victory, but earned it nonetheless. Undrafted prospect Brendon Nash led the Canadiens in scoring on the night with a goal and an assist in 21 minutes of play, while Max Pacioretty added a pair of assists as well.

The Wild did manage to have a small bright spot shine for them in their loss to Montreal, as Antti Miettinen picked up a pair of assists in the game.  Miettinen had a bit of a down year in the league last season, but still managed to pot 20 goals.  The Wild will need him to pick up the pace a little more in 2011, if they want to remain in the thick of most races.

The Oilers had the scoring display of the preseason so far on Sunday night with an 8-2 romp over the Canucks and a good number of guys got into the action in this one. Jordan Eberle and Shawn Horcoff led the way with 2 goals and an assist each, while Linus Omark had a goal and 2 assists. Dustin Penner had a pair of goals and Jim Vandermeer, Taylor Hall and Gilbert Brule all tallied a pair of assists in the win. It was a scoring bonanza, to say the least. Nikolai Khabibulin made his first start of the preseason, making 26 saves in the victory.  There seems to be very little not to like about his Oilers team at the moment, especially if they can skate and score like this on a regular basis.

Finally, the St. Louis Blues looked to have played a very solid game against the Colorado Avalanche, beating them 2-0 in Denver on Sunday night. Ben Bishop made all 29 saves in all 60 minutes for the shutout win, but that may only be a footnote in this preseason, as I would imagine the goaltending tandem is pretty well set as it is. Tallying a couple points on the scoresheet in the victory was Brad Boyes, who assisted on the opening goal and then added an empty-net goal in the final minute of play to ice the game.  If the Blues can play this kind of defense for a good part of this season, it will definitely make their goaltending look really good in the pool points department.

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