Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Preseason opens tomorrow

Colby Cosh had a really nice post last September about how success in the preseason "does predict success in the regular season," something that isn't really common wisdom when it comes to the NHL. Exhibition games rarely receive much attention, either from fans or in the press, but I've always liked to catch as much of the action as I can and, more importantly, keep an eye on box scores to see just who is surprising around the league.

Last year, Paul Stastny and Anze Kopitar were two rookies thought to be headed to the minors who excelled in preseason, and they both went on to monster years. Others who broke out in exhibition included Tomas Plekanec, Milan Michalek, Dustin Penner, Johan Franzen, Dan Cleary, Mikko Koivu and Alex Radulov, all of whom had nice seasons.

Preseason opens tomorrow night in Anaheim, where the Ducks are taking on the Kings in a doubleheader that continues with Game 2 on Saturday night in Los Angeles. The rest of the party gets involved beginning Sunday, with the final exhibition games being played on Sept. 30, a day after the regular season opens in London, England.



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