Earlier tonight, we touched on the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. If you need a Cliff’s Notes version of that recap, here it is: Taylor Hall was good, Magnus Paajarvi was even better and the Lightning … well, they had some Dan Ellis Problems.
Anyway, in case you want to know about the six other games that took place tonight, you’ve come to the right place. Keep in mind that it’s foolish to put too much stock into any preseason results.
Plus: David Booth scored two goals and Michael Frolik notched two assists while Tomas Vokoun and Tyler Plante only allowed one goal each for the Florida Panthers tonight. It’s great to see Booth back after some serious concussion problems last season.
Minus: The Florida Panthers won’t be able to carry this win over to the regular season, something they never seem to begin with much gusto lately. Then again, the Panthers don’t often dominate the “with much gusto” category, anyway.
Plus: It was a star-driven game tonight. Marian Gaborik scored two goals including the overtime-winner while this year’s big Rangers addition Alex Frolov earned the No. 1 star with a one-goal, two-assist performance. All three Devils goals were scored by their probable first line, as Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise and Travis Zajac scored one goal each.
Minus: The Rangers are still crazy to pin their offensive hopes on Gaborik, a player so injury-prone he might as well be called the Slovakian Forsberg. The Devils no-longer-vaunted defense allowed 37 shots on goal in this one.
Plus: Colby Armstrong can briefly forget about the completely wooden acting performance he made in local Pittsburgh commercials a few years ago with a shootout winner. Both teams enjoyed some good goaltending, all things considered.
Minus: They might not have the same tie-breaking power, but 10-plus round shootouts clearly aren’t going extinct this season. Blimey.
Plus: For at least one night, Patrick O’Sullivan justified his existence with a goal. He could be an underrated steal for Carolina – a noted place for cast-offs such as Jussi Jokinen and Sergei Samsonov (who also scored tonight) – if he can put it together this season. Eric Staal produced two assists.
Minus: This game is too unremarkable for their to being any true blemishes. It’s the nougat of hockey games.
Phoenix vs. LA part 1: Phoenix wins 2-1 in OT
Plus: Any sign of a pulse from Alex Ponikarovsky (one goal) must be a promising sign for the forward-poor Kings. Kyle Wellwood scored to the delight of anyone clamoring to make fat jokes. Solid human Shane Doan scored the OT GWG and assisted on Wellwood’s tally, both on the PP.
Minus: The Kings were out-shot 16-7 in the third period and 4-0 in overtime. Less than 6,000 people attended this game.
Phoenix vs. LA part 2: Phoenix wins 3-1
Plus: The Coyotes took both of these split-team games, but I’m pretty sure neither contest including a matchup of “shirts and skins.” The attendance numbers of this one was quite a bit better, with 10,000+ in attendance (allegedly).
Minus: These split-team scrimmages are kind of obnoxious.