Monday, September 25, 2017

Last Night's Preseason Performers (Sep 25)

The question, "who is Artemi Panarin going to play with?" when he was acquired by the Blue Jackets was answered on Sunday, as he lined up with Alexander Wennberg and Cam Atkinson against the Nashville Predators... and it appears to have clicked, despite a 5-3 loss.  All three players came away with 2 points a piece, Wennberg and Atkinson picking up the goals.

The Predators were the better team, however, with Kevin Fiala leading the way with a pair of goals and Matt Irwin and Jack Dougherty posting a pair of helpers each.

The Florida Panthers are trying to work their way back to the playoffs and they've added some new faces to go with some of their talent and they were able to put on a show in Tampa against the Lightning, winning 4-2.  Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and an assist to lead the way offensively and James Reimer played the full game, making 27 saves for the win.

2017 2nd round pick Alexander Volkov scored the Lightning goals today and they were both assisted by Alex Killorn and Matthew Peca.  Volkov is certainly making some noise in the Lightning camp, but it would seem more likely that he'll start the season in juniors.

Can the Colorado Avalanche really turn their ship around and start winning again?  Both Nathan MacKinnon and Semyon Varlamov both seem to think it could happen... or at the very least, will try their damnedest to make it happen.  MacKinnon scored a pair of goals and added an assist, while Varlamov stopped 28 of 29 shots in a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night.  Captain Gabriel Landeskog also chipped in with a couple of helpers on MacKinnon's goals, so he'll be right in the thick of things, if the Avs get their game going.

The Vegas Golden Knights might be wishing that it could stay the preseason forever!  On Sunday, they were able to debut their number one goalie against a lesser Anaheim Ducks team and the Golden Knights did well, beating those Ducks 4-2.  Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves for the win in his first preseason action, while defenseman Brad Hunt continues to make the defenseman situation on this team a little more difficult, adding a couple more assists to his total.

The Knights have a plethora of defensemen signed to one-way deals and/or require waivers to be sent down to the minors and this is before the Hunt situation.  Hunt has picked up a good share of the preseason scoring, but that might not be enough to save him from the AHL, for now.

Finally, it was the first of two Kraft Hockeyville games last night, first up was Hockeyville USA, which was Belle Vernon, PA, and their gift was bringing the champs in to host the St. Louis Blues.  Both teams brought along some very good preseason rosters, giving the small town a glimpse of the big markets, but their home team didn't quite come to play as well as they would have hoped, as the Blues topped the Penguins, 4-1.

Carter Hutton got the nod for the Blues in this one and he made 23 saves for the complete game victory, while on the offensive side of the puck, Dimtrij Jaskin had a goal and an assist to lead the way.

Next up on the Hockeyille tour, O'Leary, PEI tonight.

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