NHL preseason: Day 6 thoughts
Bruins 5, Islanders 1. Marc Savard makes an impact for the first time here. What's interesting about Boston this year is the fact we might see some unlikely candidates playing on that second line (unless, of course, Phil Kessel can fill that role on a full-time basis). One guy who could suprirse is Mark Mowers, who was burried on the checking line in Detroit but actually has nice hands. It wasn't much of a night for Rick DiPietro, who apparently got a hard time from the crowd in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Blackhawks 5, Blue Jackets 2. Mikael Holmqvist, who had a very quiet 20 points last season for the 'Hawks, picks up more points here (3 assists), and could earn himself a scoring role given how thin things are in Chicago. Columbus's roster was as no-name as it gets for this one — aside from Rick Nash of course.
Predators 5, Hurricanes 4. They were in Carolina and a Staal potted two goals, but it wasn't a member of the Thunder Bay clan. Danish sensation Kim Staal had the brace for the Predators here, while Josef Vasicek paid a visit to his former home. The Hurricanes were badly outshot in this one (35-23) but managed to get some nice production on the power play. Defenceman Jason Woolley is looking to take Frank Kaberle's spot on the blueline.
Sabres 4, Senators 3. This one is turning into quite a rivalry. Two hat tricks to speak of, with Thomas Vanek picking up one and proving he'll be a far larger part of the Sabres offence than he was during the postseason. For the Senators, career minor-leaguer Denis Hamel had three goals and is making a strong case to crack the Ottawa line-up. Former Kelowna Rockets netminder Kelly Guard saw action for Ottawa in this one.
Capitals 5, Penguins 4 (OT). Two goals for Sergei Gonchar weren't enough for Pittsburgh, who were Sidney Crosby-less for this one. The Capitals managed to eke out a win despite dressing no one of note (in fact, my guess is a casual hockey fan wouldn't recognize a single member of Washington's club tonight, save for perhaps Donald Brashear). Prospect Tomas Fleischmann, who I believe was picked up in exchange for Robert Lang, had a goal and an assist, while 2002 first-rounder Jakub Klepis showed some life with a goal and two assists. I can't imagine watching this team on a regular basis without Ovechkin in the line-up (God help them if he ever gets injured).
Red Wings 5, Lighting 4 (OT). Mathieu Schneider played more than 33 minutes in this one, as coach Mike Babcock put to use quite a few of his veterans. Johan Franzen impressed on the scoresheet with three assists. For Tampa Bay, the audition for a scoring role continued between Dmitri Afanasenkov and Ryan Craig, with the latter getting the nod tonight with one assist.
Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 1. Let's just say that Montreal's goaltender for half this one, Jaroslav Halak, played last season for the Long Beach Ice Dogs. Picking up big minutes on Toronto's blue line was Ian White and Andy Wozniewski, who may be the favourites to fill spots No. 5 and 6 on the depth chart barring a complete comeback by Carlo Colaiacovo. J-S Aubin picked up the win in goal tonight.
Stars 3, Coyotes 1.
Ducks 5, Canucks 1.