Well, I have been without the internet for the last few days, so I haven't really been able to check anything out or write anything new. We're now counting down to Saturday, where the season will officially begin. So right now, I'm going to recap some of the big games some players had in the preseason games over the weekend. It might be a long one, since I should be looking over Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday night, where we'll begin, Martin Biron (Chris) and Antero Niittymaki shared the shutout of the Rangers, stopping all 33 shots that came their way. The Flyers goaltending maybe earned an upgrade on their stock price this weekend. For the scoring, however, the Flyers earned a couple 3-point nights from some familiar faces. Mike Knuble (Marcus) had a pair goals and a helper, while Simon Gagne (Peter) had 3 assists. Are the Flyers going to be the business this season?
There were a couple of 4-point nights to speak of out of the Detroit/Pittsburgh match-up. Detroit won 5-2 and it was Henrik Zetterberg (Wes) and Mikael Samuelsson who plastered their name across the scoresheet. Zetterberg had a pair of goals and a pair of assists while Samuelsson had a goal and 3 assists. The Red Wings should be a scoring powerhouse this season and those are a couple guys who can help your pool team this season.
The Nashville Predators are expected to be a lot less dominating than they were last season, but don't tell them that right now. Jason Arnott (Marcus) had a goal and 2 assists in a 4-1 win over Carolina. The Preds are going to need Arnott to have a healthy season, as he's now one of the more premier forwards on the team.
It was a scoring festival in the desert on Saturday night. The Coyotes went on to beat the Stars 6-5 and there were a couple good showings for both teams. For Phoenix, Shane Doan (Dale B.) and David Carcillo each had 3-point nights. Doan had a pair of goals and Carcillo had a pair of assists... and they both had one of the other kind of point... I'm just getting tired of explaining the whole thing. I am not overly convinced at how well the Coyotes are going to do, but at least a six-goal performance in the preseason does give some hope to the franchise.
The Stars had 3-point nights from Joel Lundqvist and Chris Conner against Phoenix. Lundqvist should be making the Dallas team and will likely provide a good scoring punch. Conner on the other hand won't probably make the team to start the season, but he'll likely provide a good call-up through the year.
Tomas Plekanec had a hat-trick on Sunday against the Bruins in Halifax. Plekanec didn't quite have the big year the team thought he might last season and he should be out to prove that he is a bit better than his 20-goal season last year. The Habs went on to beat the Bruins 4-3.
The Blackhawks beat the Blues on Sunday, 4-3, and it was on the shoulders of Jason Williams who had a pair of goals and added an assist. Williams, who played 78 games and scored 15 goals last season, is looking to have a bigger season and should have some talented help to get him some bigger numbers. He could come through the season as a pretty solid sleeper.
And finally, the last preseason game for the Ducks before leaving for London was a big one. They beat the Canucks 5-0 on the strength of a 40-save effort from goalie, Jonas Hiller. Hiller, looking to crack the opening night line-up, since J-S Giguere (Dale C.) probably won't suit up to start the season. Also having a big night for the Ducks was rookie Bobby Ryan and grizzled veteran Todd Bertuzzi (John P.). Ryan had 4 assists in the game while Bertuzzi had a goal and 2 assists. I haven't seen it quite yet, but the Ducks should be cutting their roster down on Monday before flying out to London and I'll have any of the surprise moves, if there are any later on today.
NHL, Hockey, Hockey Pool