Monday, October 03, 2016

Last Night's Preseason Performers (Oct 3)

Goaltending is not an issue for the Pittsburgh Penguins going into the 2017 season, well... until Matt Murray returns from injury. Tristan Jarry is set to be the opening night back-up and he may have cemented that fact with a 24-save shutout of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.  With Jarry having a great preseason, it pretty well gives the Pens three solid goalies, when healthy.

Minnesota Wild free agent signing Eric Staal made an impression on Sunday night, as his side hosted the Carolina Hurricanes, beating them 3-1.  Staal had a goal and an assist in the victory, as he lined up with Zach Parise for the better part of the night.  Devan Dubnyk played the entire game for the Wild, making 16 stops for the preseason win, also getting off on the right foot for the 2017 season.

It looks like the Chicago Blackhawks threw a couple of their goaltending prospects to the wolves on Sunday night, as they were eaten alive, 6-3, in their visit to the Joe Louis Arena. The Detroit Red Wings did a pretty thorough job of hitting the scoresheet in their win, led by Andreas Anthanasiou, Martin Frk and defenseman Ryan Sproul, all picking up 2 points on the sheet.  Petr Mrazek was given this game, but only had to make 11 saves for the victory, facing 14 shots.

A couple of debuts in Toronto on Sunday, as the visiting Montreal Canadiens got defenseman Jeff Petry into his first game of the preseason, while the Maple Leafs were able to debut Auston Matthews for the first time as well. One may be more exciting than the other, one would probably say.

The Leafs were the better of the two teams, winning 3-2 in overtime, but the Canadiens had the only pool notable player in this one, as defenseman Nathan Beaulieu continues to have a strong preseason, picking up another pair of assists.

Jonathan Quick may have had a poor World Cup, but he's off to a decent start in the preseason for the Los Angeles Kings, as Sunday night saw him shutout the Anaheim Ducks, 1-0.  Quick outlasted former teammate, Jonathan Bernier, in this one, making 31 saves for the victory and what would have been 4 points in the hockey pool, if this one counted.  I think we're all expecting him to go high in the draft on Saturday.

The San Jose Sharks got the better of the Vancouver Canucks in overtime again in this preseason, this time in Vancouver, 3-2.  Matt Nieto scored a pair of goals, including the winner, while prospect forward Kevin Labanc had a goal and an assist.  Martin Jones got the nod for the visitors, making 26 saves in the win.

The Winnipeg Jets' goaltending situation continues to be a storyline, heading into the 2017 season and the hockey pool draft, and for good reasons, not terrible ones. On Sunday night in Calgary, Ondrej Pavelec made sure his name was right in the thick of things, with a 31-save shutout victory, 4-0 over the Flames.  Forward Scott Kosmachuk was the offensive hero for the Jets, picking up 3 points, while Chase De Leo and defenseman Ben Chiarot each had a couple of points.
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