NHL is back! So much excitement in the air at the start of the season...
It's always fun reading about the team predictions set by the “pros” and of course the projected points to make your witty picks for your hockey pool(s). With a slow schedule to start the season off, there have been some surprises and some disappointments. Most teams merely want to stay healthy and get some lines going, reuniting old chemistry and of course igniting some new.
Fleury has been great in his first two games for Pittsburgh, almost back to back shutouts; 48 saves on 49 shots for the Flower. The big question for me is: Will the Pens continue to play a quality 2 way game, or will they get settled when Neal comes back in a couple weeks and play that offensive power game we all know?
Is Ovechkin back!? – The Capitals picked up Grabovski after he was bought out on a hefty 5.5 million dollar contract. With a healthy Backstrom and M. Green, it sure looks like the “Great 8” will be back on pace for another 50 goal season. If coach Oates can tighten up his defense and continue rolling this red hot power play, who knows, Ovechkin may just keep his stay at the top of the points chart.
The Sedin twins - 100 points each? If they keep passing like they have been, it may be another good season in Vancouver...especially considering Henrik never misses a game (631st straight game on Saturday) – that’s impressive. Having two lines that can be dangerous is one of the keys to success these days. Adding Booth on the Kesler line may just be what the Canucks needed to do to get the twins back on pace for another booming season.
Eller/Galchenyuk/Gallagher - combined 11 points between these three in just two games, LOOK out! This second line for the Habs look to mean business this year. Eller being the vet of the line entering his 4th season with the Habs, and both Galchenyuk and Gallagher are coming into their second seasons…don’t be surprised to see this line outperform the Bourque, Plekanec and Gionta line.
Bernier - prepare for Bernier to take over the number one this week as he came in Saturday night and shut the door on Ottawa, his positioning has been astounding thus far, flawless in the shootout and also stopped a penalty shot - great news for leafs nation. The Leafs play Colorado on Tuesday and if Bernier continues his strong play, expect him to get the nod again on Thursday.
The Flyers - ughh - 3 games, 3 goals...what gives? Peter Laviolette(who just got fired) wanted to have 3 solid lines...I think it's time to put Giroux back with Voracek. With the goaltending being iffy in Philadelphia, I think it’s time to get some goals on the board or it's going to be a very, very long season... 0-3 is not the start the Flyers were looking for after not making the playoffs last year. Is anyone else surprised that Laviolette was fired so quickly…3 games? Perhaps the Flyers need to look at removing Holmgren next time they want to shake things up.
The Oilers - 6 goals in 2 games without RNH in the lineup...not bad eh? Leading in both games, things were starting to look up...Dallas Eakins just looked puzzled after giving up leads in their first two games of the season...11 goals against...that is bad. Is Dubnyk this bad, or does Edmonton need to add some better quality D? Personally, I think it’s a given that Edmonton needs to add at least one quality defenseman, and sooner rather than later.
No I'm not talking about Chara, Rask or Datsyuk
But the 'ugly play' of the week goes to Bogosian of the Winnipeg Jets. Fanning on a pass behind the net in OT which of course lands directly on none other than Corey Perry’s stick - the last person you want to give a gift to in overtime!!
Let’s prepare for another exciting week of hockey ahead, who will still be undefeated at the end of this week?? My guess: Boston from the East, and San Jose from the West.
Thank you for reading!