Monday, September 21, 2009

The Preseason List (Sep 20)

It was a fairly quiet Sunday evening in the NHL preseason, but we still have a number of players that needed to be focused upon this morning. For most teams, the preseason has been pretty successful so far and I know I've come away with a fair bit of knowledge to put towards the draft, which is now just over a week away.

In Martin Havlat's first preseason game, it just happened to be against the Blackhawks and he didn't disappoint in his debut as a player for the Minnesota Wild. Havlat scored two goals in the Wild's 3-0 win. Also having a good night for the Wild was defenseman, Kim Johnsson, who had assists on each of Havlat's goals. The shutout was split by both Minny goalies tonight, so no individual mention for them.

In a low-scoring affair in Denver, it maybe should come as little surprise to see a goaltender as the only player notable from this game. The Avalanche beat the Blues, 2-1 in overtime on Sunday night and it was Peter Budaj earning the win for the Avs. Budaj made 24 saves in almost 61 minutes of work for the Avalanche, possibly giving his goaltending partner, Craig Anderson, something to think about heading into the season.

I suppose, if one good low-scoring game should be noted, would one more really hurt? The Bruins and Canadiens played in Quebec City on Sunday, where another low-scoring affair took place. Tukka Rask made 25 stops for the complete game victory for the Bruins, making a huge bid for the back-up job behind Tim Thomas this year. After this preseason for Rask, I would have to believe that he's a lock now for the job.

The Flames had an offensive outburst against the Panthers on Sunday night, beating them up, 5-2. Leading the way for Calgary was Curtis Glencross, who had a goal and three assists in the game. Glencross had a career-year in 2009, picking up 40 points in 79 games. Also having a good night was Olli Jokinen (G, 2A), Theoren Fleury (G, A), Jarome Iginla (G, A) and Daymond Langkow (G, A). There is some offensive upside brewing in this Flames team, by the looks of things. The team's record is now 2-2-0 in the preseason.

The Islanders continued their Western Canada preseason with a tilt against the Oilers in Saskatoon on Sunday night, beating their visitors 3-1. Jeff Tambellini and Blake Comeau were the only two notable Islanders players in the game, with a pair of assists each in the win. Some of their younger talent has come forth in this preseason, but it hasn't been a big deal to get excited about just yet.

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