Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Last Night's Preseason Performers (Sep 19)

The Buffalo Sabres continued to roll in this preseason, earning their second win in as many games, Tuesday night beating Pittsburgh, 3-2.  The Sabres will be all about the new faces and one of them led the way, as Vladimir Sobotka led the way with a goal and assist, the only notable player in this game.

Sobotka was another one of those guys that came over in the Ryan O'Reilly deal and it already looks like he will fit right in to this new look team.

The Columbus Blue Jackets hosted the Chicago Blackhawks in their first preseason home game and made the most of it, coming back from an early 1-0 deficit to win the game, 4-1.  Alexander Wennberg and Cam Atkinson were your notable players in this game, each posting a goal and an assist in the victory.  The Jackets are right in the thick of their window for success and those two are going to be key contributors to their success, no matter how far they go.

The Philadelphia Flyers blueline has already taken a bit of a beating in off-season training and then training camp, so they are in need of someone to step up and maybe take a spot for opening night and that guy could be T.J. Brennan, who led the way for the Flyers in Brooklyn tonight, picking up a trio of assists in a 5-1 road victory on Tuesday night.  The goaltending situation might not be in as much doubt, but Anthony Stolarz made his case in a complete game, making 31 saves for the win.

The Boston Bruins may have shipped a good portion of their first crew out to China for those overseas exhibition matches, but their remaining players didn't disappoint on the road in Washington tonight, earning a 5-2 win over the Cup champs.  Rookie forward Zach Senyshyn led the way for the visitors, notching a couple of goals, while recent trade acquisition Steve Kampfer and pro tryout forward Austin Fyten each picked up a pair of assists in the victory.  Goaltender Dan Vladar made 31 saves for the victory, as he got the whole game.

Kampfer may already have himself a spot on the opening night roster as a veteran player, but a former 1st round pick like Senyshyn is finally looking to crack the roster for the first time.  A couple of goals will certainly help his cause, but I didn't have him projected for a roster spot at the beginning of the preseason, but he's working his way there now.

The Carolina Hurricanes dressed a fairly young side, as they went into Tampa Bay to take on the Lightning, who also dressed a fairly young side as well, with a number of key veterans in the lineup.  It was the visiting team, however, getting the drop on the home side, as the Hurricanes put a 4-spot past Andrei Vasilevskiy in his first start of the preseason.  Rookie forward Andrei Svechnikov and sophomore forward Lucas Wallmark each potted a goal and an assist in the victory, making their marks early.

Expect both of those youngsters on the opening night roster for the Hurricanes and it could be very fair to think that Svechnikov will indeed be something special this year.

It was the Kraft Hockeyville game in Lucan, ON and they got a treat, watching the Ontario teams go at it, toe-to-toe, and even more so, because there was some pretty good talent on the ice as well.  The talent didn't disappoint either, with John Tavares making his preseason debut for the Leafs, he and linemate Mitch Marner put up 6 points on the night, Tavares a couple of goals and Marner a couple of assists, aiding the Leafs to a 4-1 win over their provincial rivals.

It's no secret, what Tavares and Marner should be doing for the Leafs this year, the question might have to be, how high are you willing to take them in the draft this year?

A fairly impressive looking Dallas Stars roster, on paper, needed to come back from a 2-1 deficit in the 3rd period to beat their division rival from St. Louis, 5-3 on Tuesday night.  Alexander Radulov picked up where he left off, scoring a pair of goals in the win, while Jamie Benn had a couple of assists as well.  The Stars are looking to be a potent offensive side this year, so much so, that a deficit into the 3rd period shouldn't faze them too much.

On the other side of the ledger, the St. Louis Blues had a good performance from both Jordan Kyrou and Joey Laleggia, each coming out of the gates with 2 points a piece.  Kyrou is certainly one of the favourite rookies to make the team this year, so keep an eye out for him.

The Golden Knights continued to roll through the preseason, as the Avalanche were no match for them last night, losing 5-1.  Forward Alex Tuch and rookie defenseman Erik Brannstrom each had a goal and an assist, while Paul Stastny and Tomas Hyka each picked up a pair of assists.  Zach Fucale got the start for the Golden Knights and he played the whole game, making 24 saves in the victory, showing that the crease is still in good hands, even if it isn't the top two goalies in the net yet.

The Kings and Coyotes opened a split squad doubleheader in Arizona to start the night and it was the host team that got the best of the early game, taking the contest, 4-2.  Newly named captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson led the way for the dogs, picking up 3 assists in the victory, while newcomer Alex Galchenyuk scored a pair of goals as well.  Derek Stepan and Clayton Keller each get a nod as well, since they both registered a couple of helpers each.  Things are looking a bit brighter for Arizona these days and this is a good start for some of their better players.

Jeff Carter scored the 2 goals for the Kings in this contest, as he's looking to put together a bit of a bounce back season of his own.  He only played in 27 games last season, so being healthy will be priority number one for him.

The Kings were not short of talent in their home half of the split squad doubleheader, as they gave their fans all the big guns, including newcomer Ilya Kovalchuk.  It wasn't quite enough though, as the Coyotes away roster still got the best of them, sweeping the doubleheader, taking it 4-3 on a goal from Lawson Crouse with less than two minutes to go.  Defenseman Jordan Oesterle had 3 assists in the win, while Trevor Murphy had a couple of assists and Brendan Perlini had a goal and an assist.

Darcy Kuemper, up for the number one job in net, played the whole game, making 38 saves for the victory.  Yes, things are definitely looking up for the Coyotes.

The Ducks and Sharks got together for an all-California preseason tilt and the home side was the one victorious on the night, as San Jose used strong 2nd and 3rd periods to beat Anaheim, 4-1.  Rookie forward Ivan Chekhovich scored a pair and added an assist for a 3-point night, while Barclay Goodrow also had a 3-point night, but only scored one himself.  Antoine Bibeau got the nod for the entire game, making 21 saves for the victory.

Chekhovich, a 2017 7th rounder, sure put on a good show for a longer look at camp and the Sharks do have some bubble spots that a kid with that kind of finish could certainly fill.

The Edmonton Oilers spoiled the party for some of the Vancouver Canucks debutantes in this preseason opener for the Canucks, with the visiting team taking this one, 4-2.  Newly-signed Oilers forward Ty Rattie was the only notable player for the winning, per the specifications of these blog posts, scoring a pair of goals.  Bo Horvat notched a pair of assists on the losing side, as he tries to overcome another injury-plagued season in 2018.

Finally, the last of the two China Games went this morning in Beijing and the Boston Bruins were able to sweep the 2-game series with the Flames, taking this morning's contest, 3-1.  Jake DeBrusk scored a pair of goals and Tuukka Rask made 22 saves, leading the Bruins to another overseas victory.  On paper, I would have thought the Flames may have had the better of the two lineups, but that didn't seem to matter much here, as the Bruins just wanted it more.

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