The Columbus Blue Jackets were victorious on Friday night as they took on the Nashville Predators in pre-season action. Making headlines for the Jackets was highly-touted forward Jakub Voracek, who scored a goal and added an assist. Voracek has been blazing a good trail for himself in this pre-season and it looks like he'll be cracking the line-up come October. Newcomers, Kristian Huselius and R.J. Umberger also put goals on the board for the Jackets.
The Red Wings were without some of their key veterans, so the Bruins took advantage and took the game, 2-1. New addition, Michael Ryder, scored the game-winner, while Tuukka Rask made 23 saves to earn the win. Ryder should have his place in the Bruins' line-up all sewn up, but Rask is still number three in the depth chart behind Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez. Have a good look at Ryder when the draft goes down, he may have some value in Boston.
The Habs made sure they gave a warm welcome to Senators goalie, Alex Auld, putting five pucks behind him iin 60 minutes. The Canadiens even managed to shutout the Sens, thanks to a 21-save effort by Jaroslav Halak. Andrei Kostitsyn and Andrei Markov led the way for Montreal, scoring a goal and two assists each. Sergei Kostitsyn had a goal and an assist. Those Kostitsyn boys look like the real deal and could be very beneficial for your fantasy line-up. Markov is getting some props for possibly becoming the highest scoring defender in the East, I would project him a little higher than some.
Sidney Crosby made his first appearance in the pre-season on Friday night, as the Penguins beat the Leafs, 5-4. Crosby had a goal and an assist in the game, but the big number came from Ruslan Fedotenko, who managed three assists. Fedotenko signed on as a free agent with the club, in order to help fill the gap that Marian Hossa left behind. If you're looking for a new defenseman to snag late in the draft, try and pick up Alex Goligoski, who managed two assists in the game. He should be a keeper, especially with the top pair out.
The Blues destroyed the Thrashers on Friday night, 9-4, and it was David Perron and Andy MacDonald who was leading the way. Perron finished with a hat-trick and an assist, while MacDonald handed out five assists in the game. Brad Boyes finished with four points (2G, 2A), Lee Stempniak had three points (2G, A) and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo had two assists. It might not be such a bad year for the Blues.
The young Blackhawks made a two-period comeback from three goals against the Wild on Friday night to win 4-3. Between Andrew Ladd and Patrick Sharp, the Hawks scored their four goals, each getting one in the second and third period. Sharp had a great season last year, finishing in the top 100 in pool scoring, while Ladd finished with 30 points in only 63 games. Both players should play a factor in your pool draft, likely moreso now that the Hawks are more confidently built.
Despite resting Jarome Iginla, the Flames came out hot against the Panthers, beating up on them, 8-2. David Moss led the way for Calgary, scoring a two goals and two assists. Matthew Lombardi has finally showing that he's ready to take the next step, adding three assists to the cause. The Flames have really come alive offensively, but Mikael Backlund, their top prospect, was benched in favour of Lombardi in the third period.
The Sharks sat Joe Thornton & Patrick Marleau last night against Anaheim and still managed to dominate the game, 5-2. Dan Boyle and Joe Pavelski were the two notable players, scoring a goal and an assist for the Sharks in the win, both players will be needed throughout the season, to ensure the Sharks do well this season. Boyle will be a key element to the Sharks' offense and he'll be able to rebound from his injury-plagued year he had last season.