Ahhhh...feels good to have some NHL action, even if it's just of the pre-season variety. We're not going to read into the meaningless games too much but here's a few things that we thought were note-worthy:
Patrick O'Sullivan had the Luck of the Irish last night and potted two goals for Edmonton in their win over Calgary. He's fighting for that 1st line LW spot so this is a good start. He looks to be a lot more comfortable in Edmonton than he was after the trade last year where he only managed two goals in 19 games. Patty likes to shoot the puck (259 shots last year) and that would seem to fit perfectly with Horcoff & Hemsky and eventually those shots are going to start hitting the back of the net.
This scout is a big Jack Johnson fan (the stud dman, not the singer) and so anytime he does something good, you'll hear about it... he was 2+1=3 last night in a split squad game vs Phoenix. The kid's got the total package, which is why we're calling him our 8th biggest breakout in the Breakout Bible this year... don't forget about this guy, he's got huge potential.
We still think Maksim Mayorov is a longshot to crack the CBJs roster this year but he helped his cause with two goals last night against Pittsburgh. He's probably due for another year in the A but he's still young (only 20) and has some nice upside. Columbus will take it slow with him as they're most likely going to keep Nikita Filatov with the big club this year and Coach Hitchcock can only handle so many young players at a time.
Antoine Vermette signed a five year extension with the Jackets yesterday. The deal will pay him $3.75 million a year. Seems like a big chunk of change to give to a guy who's only topped 50 points once in his five year career. The BJ's must have really liked the 13 points in 17 games he put up with them last season... we're not as easily impressed.
The reports of Nikolai Zherdev signing with Atlanta look to be incorrect...but only by an "a". Puck Daddy is reporting that Zherdev has signed a deal with Atlant of the KHL and its been confirmed by Atlant. So make sure you take him off your cheatsheet if your draft is coming up... too bad, the prospect of Zherdev lining up with Ilya Kovalchuk was intriguing... maybe next year, in Atlanta or Atlant???
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Jonas Gustavsson's ticker has been working a little too quickly... his racing heartbeat is apparently a minor concern as coach Ron Wilson said "They go in and touch a part of his heart that was misfiring, It’s a simple procedure that’s actually fairly common with athletes." Well so far things haven't been firing on all cylinders for the Monster as he's missed a few days of camp (with this and after he fainted following his physical on Saturday). He'll be back on the ice soon and should be able to hold onto the #2 role in Toronto but word is that Joey MacDonald is making a push for the backup job with a strong camp so far.
Lubomir Visnovsky is apparently not 100% after his offseason shoulder surgery and has been taking it real slow to start off training camp... we'll keep an eye on this as Lubes has been known to be pretty fragile during his career so our spidey senses are tingling.
What's distracting us this week? We wanted to give a shout-out to one of our favourite blogs... Down Goes Brown. It just might be the only decent thing out there that's tied to the Maple Leafs (one scout disagrees).
DGB posted a great piece of work with his tongue-in-cheek review of NHL 10...you really should go and read the whole thing. In case you need more convincing, here are our favourite points:
- In Front Office mode, the "fire general manager" option is permanently greyed out for the New York Rangers.
- While experimenting with the GM mode, I attempted to trade a star player to Edmonton. The deal was accepted, but when I checked the Oilers roster immediately afterwards, the star player was there.
- If you manage to win the Stanley Cup, hit "exit" before the handshake line finishes. When you enter the off-season, the game's musical soundtrack will be replaced by the sound of Red Wings fans crying. (Note: there is apparently no undo for this feature.)
- Inspired by the legendary NBA Jam series, NHL 10 includes a hilarious "tiny mode" in which all the regular players on a team are comically shrunk down to a fraction of their normal size. To enable this mode, go to the Team Select screen and choose "Montreal Canadiens".
...and just in case you needed to kill a few more minutes today, have a look at TSN's Top 10 Shootout Flubs.