Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Last Night's Preseason Performers (Sep 27)

The trouble with those neutral site preseason games is that the NHL website doesn't have great coverage on their website.  That has always been the case, it isn't like all those other things they have taken away in the last year that made the site pretty good.

Nevertheless, I could see that Ottawa did earn the victory in Halifax, playing the Maple Leafs in their first preseason game.  The final score was 6-3 and Ottawa's Phil Varone was listed as the player of the game, finishing with a 3-point night.

Varone isn't one of the guys on my projected 23-man roster for the Senators, but that isn't to say he couldn't work his way onto it with a good camp.

It might not be that he was technically notable, but Sam Gagner is already making waves for the Columbus Blue Jackets in their preseason, as he finished with an assist and the shootout winner.  A couple of good early performances has his projections under the microscope these days, but one shouldn't get too crazy with them, as he is historically known to be extremely streaky and will go long stretches without scoring.  He's not pool worthy, yet.

New Jersey Devils college signing, forward Nick Lappin, scored the only two goals of the game, as the Devils shutout the Flyers, 2-0, on Monday.  The 23-year old is likely going to get a good look after a good preseason debut and the Devils could be considered to be wide open, when it comes to roster spots.  Another appearance or two on these posts and you might think he'll get a legitimate shot at regular playing time this season with a reasonable scoring rate.

It wasn't a good night for the Philadelphia split squads, as they were also shutout against the Islanders on Monday night, 3-0. One of the key prospects for the Islanders did make good in this one, as Josh Ho-Sang had a goal and an assist to get a mention in the blog this morning.  The Islanders have been waiting for Ho-Sang to come around with a little more maturity, because they know that his talent levels are there, so if he can earn that regular spot, you should have a good feeling that he'll make it.

The Devils also sent a split squad up north to visit the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night and they ended up with a 3-2 win, thanks largely to forward Adam Henrique, who had a pair of goals and French defenseman Yohann Auvitu, who had a pair of assists.

Auvitu was an off-season signing for the Devils, as he is coming from the Finnish Elite League, where he played the last three seasons with some reasonable numbers to his name.  The Devils also have some openings on the blueline and could have found some help here.

The Dallas Stars dressed a pretty good lineup with the St. Louis Blues split squad in town and were not the most gracious of hosts, beating their guests, 3-1.  Newcomer Jiri Hudler had a goal and an assist, while Patrick Sharp had a pair of assists in this one.  The Stars are going to be one of those offensive forces again this season and they should be a very good team to pick from, even in some of the mid-round selections.

In two split squad games, the Flames and Oilers really didn't generate much for notable players, none in the game in Calgary and only one in the Oilers new building in Edmonton, but it can be said that the Oilers did get the best of both games, sweeping the set on Monday night.  In Edmonton, forward Tyler Pitlick was the only notable player, scoring a goal and an assist in the 4-2 win.

Pitlick has been hanging around the Oilers organization for a while, but didn't figure into a regular season game last year.  With the team's depth, it doesn't seem likely that he would find his way in, but that's what the preseason is for.

It was a big scoring game in the desert, as the Kings and Coyotes opened a split squad home & home on Monday night, with the home team in game one taking it, 5-3.  Max Domi, Ryan White, Brad Richardson and Michael Bunting were all 2-point players for the home side, while the visitors offered 2-point games from Teddy Purcell and Tom Gilbert.

It would sure make for an exciting season, if the Pacific Division was all about the offense in the 2017 season, wouldn't it?

In Los Angeles, it was a 4-3 win for the home side and the Kings were the only team with notable players in this one, as Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli, Brett Sutter and Alec Martinez all walked away with 2 points a piece.

The Kings are likely auditioning for that spot that Marian Gaborik left behind with his foot injury at the World Cup and it looks like they won't be short on offense to try and fill that void, at least early on.

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