Monday, September 18, 2006

NHL preseason: Day 1 thoughts

Devils 5, Bruins 0. There weren't a lot of positives here for the Bruins, other than Wade Brookbank cracking Michael Rupp in a first-period fight. Hannu Toivonen let in four of the goals, all while his team was down a man. The Devils goaltending situation is interesting as well, with last year's backup, Scott Clemmenson, in camp without a contract and battling against Frank Doyle, who spent last season in Albany. Neither allowed a goal yesterday. (Of course, whoever wins the preseason battle will only see about 10 starts behind Martin Brodeur.) Defenceman Johnny Oduya, who I'd never heard of and was playing in the Swedish Elite League the past three years, had three assists for the Devils. With Paul Martin still unsigned, perhaps Oduya will make the team as a low-cost option.

Blue Jackets 2, Predators 0. Looks like it was a snoozer in Ohio. The shots on goal totals were low (18-15) and there were a ton of fruitless power plays. Alexandre Picard, the Blue Jackets' first-round pick in 2004, had one of the goals here, and scrappy little Darcy Verot, last seen in the NHL with Washington after plugging his way all the way from the WPHL, took on the gigantic Nolan Yonkman.

Flames 3, Panthers 1. Mostly known names contributing in this one, as even Miikka Kiprusoff saw a period for the Flames (and was scored on by fellow Finn Olli Jokinen). Jean-Marc Pelletier and Ed Belfour split duties in goal, as Alex Auld has some sort of freak eye infection. Picking up one of the goals for the Flames was Dustin Boyd, who potted 48 last season for the Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL).

Oilers 5, Coyotes 0. In front of 15,000 or so rabid Winnipeg Jets fans, former Kamloops Blazers' netminder Devan Dubnyk — still wearing his Blazers bucket — played all 60 minutes and picked up the shutout. (Dubynk has his detractors, but given his size and athleticism, I have no problem saying he'll be a full-time pro.) Huge Russian prospect Alexei Mikhnov, drafted over six years ago, impressed here with a goal and two assists. Stephane Goulet, who looked great with the Moncton Wildcats at the Memorial Cup, had one of the other Oiler goals. For Phoenix, David LeNeveu is the early frontrunner in the battle to backup Curtis Joseph.


At 6:25 a.m., September 18, 2006, Blogger Michael Turner said...

Not accurate on the shots on goal against Columbus. ^^; It was actually 38 shots in all against the Jackets. It's just that the team switched goalies at the halfway mark, so Leclaire made 15 saves and Popperle -- one of the team's draftees -- made 23.

Don't know about the shot totals against Nashville, though. But I bet you're probably right about it being just 18.

At 10:12 a.m., September 18, 2006, Anonymous BDH said...

I've been living in Boston for five years now and still don't understand this Bruins franchise. They kind of make it difficult for the fans to get excited...

They make a huge splash by bringing Chara in and then sit him in the first exhibibition game in a city 30 miles outside of Boston (where they could stand to expand their fan base)in front of almost 5,000 fans.

No Chara, no Savard, no Kessel (injury)... Maybe I'm putting too much emphasis on a preseason game - obviously Lewis needs more time to evaluate his younger/fringe talent - but it seems like such a wasted opportunity now that Chara and Savard will likely 'debut'in two untelevised games in Montreal.

At 11:01 a.m., September 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a correction, Kipper didn't play against Florida. It was Brent Krahn.

At 2:43 p.m., September 18, 2006, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Right. I'm going to have to find a better source of box scores/info next time around.


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