Saturday, October 05, 2013

Week One Hockey Night In Canada Preview in the Draft

Since there isn't a newsletter preview of this week's edition of Hockey Night In Canada, I thought I would offer a quick one. I am feeling awfully generous with my previews this week, just to get everyone in the mood to watch more hockey and see how their draft team is doing. That's nice of me, right?

It's an all-Canadian edition of Hockey Night In Canada, much to the delight of many and I think the pool numbers will jump through the roof with these match-ups as well.  Should be a fun night of hockey ahead.

Note... I am only posting the teams we'll see out West.

The Battle of Ontario will rage on, opening up Hockey Night In Canada, as Atlantic Division rivals, Ottawa and Toronto, will go head-to-head.  The Senators opened up their season last night against the Buffalo Sabres, winning/losing.  The Leafs won their opener in Montreal, 4-3, on Tuesday and then won in Philadelphia on Wednesday, in preparation of their home opener tonight.

The Senators were a popular team in the hockey pool draft, having 13 players taken, including both goaltenders, Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner.  There was one preseason demotion in Mika Zibanejad, which will bring the number of active Senators on the ice down to 11 tonight, but that's still a pretty good number for this game.  The leading point-getter from last night for the Sens was...

The Leafs, I profiled before opening night on Tuesday, haven't seen any changes, as John-Michael Liles and T.J. Brennan are still in the minors and it looks like James Reimer/Jonathan Bernier will get the start tonight, leaving the other starter on the bench, leaving 12 active Leafs players on the ice in the draft tonight.  The Leafs' have seen some scoring by committee in their first two games, as eight pool players lead the team with 2 points each.

Brenda leads the pool with five active players in this game, two Senators and three Leafs players, while Stuart has three active players for this game, two Senators and one Leaf.  14 of 24 teams have active players in this game tonight, so there'll be a lot of action in this one.

In the late game, Pacific Division rivals, the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks, will go at Rogers Arena on the West Coast, which should shape up to be a pretty good game.  The Oilers opened up their campaign with a 5-4 loss to Winnipeg on Tuesday night, which was their only game in the week, while the Canucks lost, 4-1, in San Jose on Thursday to open up their season.

The Oilers were also highlighted in the opening night preview and as we saw, they were a pretty popular team, with 13 selections in the pool.  Nothing has changed from opening night, as they are still sitting with two injuries (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner) and I would imagine, thanks to the break in between games, it will be Devan Dubnyk in net again tonight.  Ales Hemsky had a goal and an assist against the Jets on Tuesday night and will go into tonight's game as the team's leading point-getter in the pool.

As for the Canucks, they were not as popular this season as they have been in previous years, seeing only 11 selections in the draft.  The Canucks are going into this game healthy and without any key demotions to the minors and with only Roberto Luongo being taken in the draft, no one is left with a goalie sitting on the bench, so I expect all 11 players to be active in tonight's game.  Coming out of the loss against the Sharks, it was Jason Garrison (1 goal) to lead the Canucks in pool scoring.

In this game, it is Tony who leads all pool teams with active players in this game, as he has three Canucks and one Oiler for four players, which is one active player better than both Stacey C. and Brenda, who have three each.  12 of 24 teams have players playing in this one tonight.

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