A whole slew (is the plural for cole-slaw cole-slew?) of preseason games took place last night, and being in the city/state/country that I am my viewing options are limited to whatever the NHL Network decides to air. Sure there is NHL.com and some horrible pirate streaming sites where I can watch the games at a frame-per-minute (thanks to my blazing fast computer), but that just makes me feel like some kind of addict. But alas, once the actual season starts NHL Center Ice will be mine!!! Anyway since I was at the mercy of the NHL Network the only game I got to watch was Boston/Ottawa and the one thing from that game that jumped out was Sergei Gonchar. I thought Ottawa would be transitioning to Erik Karlsson as the Power Play Quarterback this year but if Gonchar’s healthy, he will be that guy (thanks to his enormous salary). That worries me considering I’m pretty high on Karlsson this year. But then I remember that Gonchar is 37 and has averaged around 50 Games played the last 3 seasons, so at some point Karlsson will get his chance…
Mike Modano – C (Retired): Mighty Mo decided to hang up the skates and walk off into the sunset. I think he probably played a year too long (you already have a ring, why DETROIT??) but that doesn’t mean he’s not a HOF lock. The last 2 seasons he’s scattered just 45 Points in 100 Games and just looked old and brittle when he was on the ice.. HOWEVA from about 1990-2005 he was a Top 10 player in the league, so I gotta give him props. Oh, and for you hockey historians out there: Modano over Roenick, Chelios and LaFontaine as greatest American born player ever?
Logan Couture – C (SJ): Scored 2 Goals last night. Granted it was against the immortal Jeff Deslauriers, but still I really like Weapon X for the upcoming season. Now if only he could sneak his way onto that top Power Play Unit I’d be in love…
Ryan Clowe – LW (SJ): 2 Asissts while playing most of his time on the #2 line with Couture. No Power Play time here unless the Sharks get hit with the injury bug, but I predict big things for the Couture-Clowe-Pavelski line (assuming the Sharks put Havlat with Thornton and Marleau).
Jonathan Quick – G (LA): Played the entire first 2 Periods and gave up a Goal to something called an Ethan Werek.. 40 minutes in a preseason game? Really Kings? If you played the backup (Bernier) for that long I still wouldn’t agree with it. Throw out your #3 & #4 guys in the preseason until the last game then give JQ 40 minutes.
Nikita Nikitin – D (StL): “We are the Knights who say Ni!” Ni-Ni had a Power Play Goal against Tampa Bay, but really I just wanted to write and say that name. It’s just awful. It’s the russian equivalent to Daniel Daniels or John Johnson. Some parents really are clueless when it comes to naming their children… Oh and as far as fantasy relevance is concerned, there is none to speak of here.
Chris Stewart – RW (StL): So I have him ranked 13th among Right Wingers and I’m starting to think maybe that’s too low. He scored 2 Goals and added an assist last night in the game with Tampa and I think he’s capable of a 35G/40A/25PPP/230+ Shot season if everything breaks right.
Evgeni Malkin – C (Pit): Geno played in his first live game since January and scored a Goal and assisted on another one. All reports are that his knee is fine going forward and I have no reason to doubt that. Sports Dr.’s do so many ACL/MCL surgeries these days its as easy to them as having someone turn their head and cough.
Ilya Bryzgalov – G (Phi): Got a standing ovation when he came out in the 1st Period from the 200 people who attended this game. Then he gave up 3 Goals and the Philly Phaithful pelted him with batteries and then went to his house and burned his lawn with diesel fuel…
Max Pacioretty – LW (Mon): Played for the 1st time since Chara did this to him back in March. Yes the injury worries me some but I gotta admit I’m pretty high on Max-Pac for the upcoming season.
Thats it for now, I apologize about the late post but hey, better than nothing right? Tonight is a light schedule with just 5 preseason games, so I’m gonna have some sleepers (I still am amazed at myself for coming up with that term all on my own) for you all tomorrow. Seacrest OUT!