Oh, hi real games.... so nice to see you again
It's just one game but James Reimer will shut the skeptics up for a bit with a 32 save shutout on opening night. Most likely he'll see his numbers slide backwards a little this year but he looked great last night and it would be huge if the Leafs actually started playing in the first half of the season and gave him a little help.
Dion Phaneuf with 1+1=2 & plus-2 last night in nearly 24 minutes of ice-time as he looked dangerous offensively. Perhaps the coaches are giving him the green light to freelance a little more this year and he can get his numbers back up to the level of his Calgary days.
David Desharnais is a player to keep an eye on as the Habs #3C jumped up onto the top PP unit last night and logged nearly five PP minutes (18:16 in total). He's been a productive player at every level he's played and was at a 42 point pace last year in half a season in Montreal.
Roberto Luongo was a little shaky last night and those of you that have been around the block a few times know that he always comes out of the gate slow. I trot out this statistic every year at the beginning of the season when everyone is ready to drop Luu:
- Career sv% in October & November: .916
- Career sv% in all other months: .921
It would be even more dramatic if we just looked at the last four years but I'm late already... here are his October numbers the past four seasons: .903, .902, .902 & .907. Last year he was .907 at the end of October and went on to post a .928 for the season. So, If you own him, be patient... and for the rest of us, lets be ready to pounce if you see his owner getting antsy.
Here's a bit of a change... Alexandre Burrows on the top line and top PP unit last night. He played 22 minutes in total with nearly three on the PP and finished with five sogs. This certainly can't hurt his numbers as he had just one PPP all of last season but we'll see what happens when Kesler returns.
After playing 20+ minutes in a few preseason games, once the real action starts Matt Read saw his minutes plunge to 12 last night for the Flyers.
Granting my wish for a new address, Brett MacLean was claimed by the Jets, great move for both team and player. The Jets need some players up front with some skills and MacLean has a knack for scoring goals (and he puts a lot of rubber on net), so hopefully they give him a legit shot. To make room for MacLean the Jets sent Patrice Cormier down to the AHL, he'll likely be back up at the first sign of an injury in Winnipeg.
The Coyotes gave Martin Hanzal a five-year extension yesterday... wonderful, so at least another five years of hearing how he's so underrated despite never exceeding 35 points or 150 shots in his career... please.