Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Last Night's Preseason Performers (Sep 20)

How about the rare preseason double-header in the NHL? The Nashville Predators were playing host to the Florida Panthers at the Bridgestone Arena for two games and in the early one, the visitors were making the best of the early start, winning the game, 5-3.

The Panthers were led by AHL regular Connor Brickley, who picked up a pair of goals and an assist in the win.  He's got a low-cost, minor league-esque deal, but if he can string a few of these games together, he'd be a cheap piece of the lineup for the Panthers.  The Panthers also saw multi-point games from Denis Malgin and tryout Jonathan Ang as well.

A couple of Nashville regulars got their names on the board nice and early in this preseason, as Viktor Arvidsson had a goal and an assist, while P.K. Subban had a couple of assists.  The Predators could very well be the real deal again in the 2018 season with these two already firing.

Do you want to know how to get an NHL contract from a professional tryout agreement? You go out in your first preseason game, play a ton, lead the team in scoring for the night and play it off like it's no big deal.

Cody Franson was one of four Blackhawks players to register 2 points in a 5-2 win over the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, as he tries his best to earn a contract for the coming season.  Nick Schmaltz, Tomas Jurco and prospect Graham Knott were the other three to hit the scoresheet twice, as the Blackhawks look solid early on.

Seth Jones scored the 2 goals for the Jackets, getting off to a great start to the preseason, while Carter Camper picked up a couple of assists as well.

The Boston Bruins welcomed the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night and they took advantage of a Detroit team that struggled in the off-season with their cap situation, beating them 4-2 in this one.

It wasn't a big night on the score sheet, as the Bruins were led by Austin Czarnik, who had a goal and an assist in the win, while the Red Wings had a notable player in Anthony Mantha, who also went one and one in this one.  It's a couple of young players who have a leg up on a spot, heading into camp, doing their best to keep it that way.

Anton Khudobin got the whole game in this one, making 20 saves for the victory.  Of course, he's the leader for the back-up job this year.

It was a southern Atlantic Division match-up down in Tampa tonight, with the Hurricanes and the Lightning going head-to-head.  It was the Teuvo Teravainen and Trevor Carrick show for the Hurricanes early on, both posting a pair of points on the opening two goals of the game and that was all Carolina needed in this one, as they won, 2-1.

Teravainen is a lock for this roster this season, while I do have Carrick penciled in as the seventh defenseman for this club, a 2-point game certainly helps his cause to start the preseason.

In the evening half of the double-header, the home side were able to sneak one game out as a victory for their fans, as the second group of Predators were able to post a 3-2 overtime victory over the Panthers.

The connection of Miikka Salomaki and Freddie Gaudreau were the big story for this game, as Salomaki scored a pair, including the winner, while Gaudreau assisted on both.  Both players started the preseason on the bubble for the Predators and either could go either way, staying up or going down, but with a good performance like this, it'll certainly help their cause.

Looked like it was a pretty solid shootout in the Big D on Tuesday night, as the Blues and Stars went head-to-head in a Central Division preview battle last night.  A 3-goal outburst by the Stars in the 3rd period was what led to a big 5-3 win, as Dallas is out to prove that they will be a team that will be one to be reckoned with, offensively that is.

Returning from injury last season, forward Mattias Janmark had a goal and an assist in his first action in quite some time, while defenseman Stephen Johns added a pair of assists in the win.  Janmark is going to be one of those sneaky picks this year, one that you might be able to sneak out late, but he's probably a guy you want to have a firm idea of a projection on and snap him up there.

One rookie that is really turning heads in camp and now in the preseason is Blues forward Samuel Blais, who had a goal and an assist last night.  With the long-term injury to Zach Sanford, that may have opened up a spot for Blais, who appears to be nestling himself in for a long winter.

It was sure nice of the NHL to ease the Golden Knights into the preseason, giving them two of the weaker teams from last season to get their feet wet and earn a couple of wins, as both the Canucks and Avalanche work on developing their depth.  Last night, it was the latter of the two teams that felt the wrath of the Knights, losing 4-1, and making Vegas 2-0-0 to start the preseason.

Tomas Hyka makes a return to the post, scoring a goal and an assist in this one, while Jason Garrison debuted for the club last night with a pair of assists.  Both players appear to be locks for the roster, but there are still questions about what level Garrison is going to be able to play at, especially on this team.  Will he be pool worthy by the end of the year?

The Anaheim Ducks, on paper, at least, are still one of the favourites for being there at the end of it all, still standing as the lone Western Conference team in June.  So, getting thumped 5-0 in the preseason by state rivals from San Jose shouldn't really be a concern.. it's only the preseason.  Still, the Sharks are probably not going to be slouches this year.

Backup goalie Aaron Dell got the call for the whole game for the Sharks, making 24 saves for the shutout win over a less than impressive Ducks lineup on Tuesday night.  The Sharks didn't dress a great deal of stars either, as they were led by Danny O'Regan and Barclay Goodrow up front and Tim Heed from the blueline, the only other three players with 2 points in the game.  All three are solid bubble players with NHL time under their belts already.

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