Friday, September 26, 2008

Last Night's Pre-Season Recap (Sep 25)

In Halifax, the Stanley Cup champs gave a sound lesson to the Boston Bruins, defeating them 4-3 in regulation. A name that keeps coming up in this pre-season is Wings forward, Cory Emmerton. If I was to help choose the Red Wings' line-up through what I've read so far, Emmerton has a spot opened up for him already. Of course, I don't have that sort of pull, but I can still speculate.

I bet the Hurricanes thought they were in good shape after being up 2-0 after one period against the Capitals. Then, Alexander Ovechkin started to play and things changed in a hurry. Scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist, Ovechkin looks to be back in fine form.  Two players rebounding off an injury-plagued year, Michael Nylander and Chris Clark, both had two points in the game: Nylander had 2 goals, Clark had 2 assists.

I'm not going to try and play the Steven Stamkos harp too much (2 assists last night), so I'll try and find another name you should be looking at on draft day. New defenseman, Matt Carle, registered three assists for the Bolts against the Rangers on Thursday night, making his case for a good draft position.  Carle should be a breath of fresh air on the blueline for Tampa Bay, which fits in well with the theme of their off-season.

It looks like business as usual for the Flyers in London, Ontario, as they beat up on the Islanders, 4-0.  Mike Richards and Joffrey Lupul each had a goal and an assist to lead the way.  Both players will have to take a large leadership role, especially by example for the Flyers to be successful.  Richards has a lot of potential and you shouldn't be afraid to take him a little higher in the draft than some people may consider.

The Atlanta Thrashers are looking for a bit of depth for their team to start this season and they may have found some in forward, Grant Stevenson.  Stevenson, 27, scored a pair of goals and added an assist in Atlanta's 4-2 win over Nashville on Thursday night.  He had been playing the last few seasons in the AHL, finishing 10th in league scoring last season with the Quad City Flames.  With another good performance like that, he could certainly find an opening day slot in Atlanta.

The Colorado Avalanche came away with a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars last night, as veteran Ryan Smyth and rookie T.J. Hensick led the way with a goal and an assist each.  The re-emergence of Smyth will re-energize the team, since he brings a lot of energy to his teams and quite a few points to his fantasy team.  Hensick, on the other hand, is still fighting for one of the open spots on the Avalanche roster that was left vacant by the departure of Andrew Brunette and Peter Forsberg.

The Oilers managed to squeak out a shootout victory from the Florida Panthers on Thursday, with Mathieu Garon returning to what he's best at... winning shootouts.  Garon made 30 saves in the game, but gave up two third period goals to have the game go to extra time and the shootout.  Sam Gagner had an assist in regulation and scored one of the Oilers' two shootout goals.

Finally, the Flames notched another win this pre-season, as they beat up on the Coyotes, 3-1.  Mike Cammalleri scored his first goal in his pre-season debut for the Flames, which likely put a smile or two on some faces.  Another new face on the team, Andre Roy, also potted a goal for Calgary.  Rookie centre, Mikael Backlund, was on the ice for over 24 minutes in all situations last night, winning most of his faceoffs but had three giveaways in the process.  Still, he'll likely still stay up.

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