Pre-season quick recaps – September 24th

Here’s your recap of tonight’s pre-season action. Get the foil on because thizetterberg4.jpgngs got a bit rambunctious tonight, especially in San Jose.

Detroit 3 – Chicago 2

Plus: Detroit’s stars took care of business. Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist while Tomas Holmstrom added a goal and Jimmy Howard played well in a quiet effort over 40 minuts. Jeremy Morin and Brandon Pirri each had a goal and an assist for Chicago.

Minus: Hawks left wing Brandon Bollig managed to get a -2 rating while playing just 6:54 of the game. The trip back to Rockford will be a stinging one.

Nashville 2 – Carolina 1

Plus: Jordin Tootoo scored the eventual game-winning goal in this game. Tootoo scoring at all is reason enough to be a plus. Patrick O’Sullivan scored for Carolina and impressed onlookers overall with his play. That’s a good sign for Carolina. Canes rookie Jeff Skinner had an assist.

Minus: Mark Dekanich allowed the only goal the Preds gave up in this one. One of his competitors for the backup job in Nashville, Anders Lindback, stopped all 10 shots he faced in 30 minutes of work.

Philadelphia 4 – Toronto 3 (F/SO)

Plus: Nikolai Zherdev had two goals for Philadelphia, a welcome sign for the Flyers. Kris Versteeg had a goal and an assist for the Leafs while Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel also scored. Kessel should’ve had two goals on the night, but…

Minus: On-ice officials wrongly waived off what would’ve been a game-winning goal in overtime by Kessel. Since it’s pre-season there was no instant replay to overturn the call. Hey, it’s preseason for everyone.

comrie-letetsu.jpgPittsburgh 5 – Columbus 4

Plus: Lots of goals from Penguins regulars in this one, including another from Mike Comrie. Tomas Kubalik had a hat trick for Columbus.

Minus: Mathieu Garon stopping 24 out of 29 shots isn’t encouraging. Garon is slated to be Steve Mason’s backup goalie this year. Brent Johnson stopped just 18 out of 21 in 40 minutes of work.

Montreal 4 – Ottawa 2

Plus: Andrei Kostitsyn getting on the board for Montreal is encouraging. Without his brother around, some are worried he’ll struggle. P.K. Subban also scored for the Habs. Mike Fisher had a goal for Ottawa. Montreal fans managed to not boo Scott Gomez for wearing Saku Koivu’s old number 11 or any goalies tonight. Well done, fans.

Minus: Pascal Leclaire went the full 60 minutes and stopped 24 out of 28 shots. Meh.

St. Louis 5 – Minnesota 0

Plus: Ty Conklin was stellar stopping 21 in the shutout while David Perron and Alex Steen had two goals a piece.

Minus: Josh Harding left the game with an apparent knee injury. Minnesota again looked rough in defeat, something fans in St. Paul hope isn’t a sign of things to come.

Dallas 2 – Colorado 1

Plus: Kari Lehtonen looked good in his first action of the pre-season stopping 34 shots in the win. James Neal and Steve Ott had the goals for the Stars.Colorado only gave up 21 shots on goal in this game. Baby steps.

Minus: The Avs managed to turn the shot totals around in this game only to run into a ready-to-play Lehtonen. Them’s the breaks I suppose.

Anaheim 5 – San Jose 4

aaronvoros2.jpgPlus: Corey Perry had a power play hat trick for the Ducks while Ryan Getzlaf added four assists. San Jose threw a Finnish duo at Anaheim in this one. Antti Niemi started while newest favorite name candidate Harri Sateri closed it out. The goals served to be a secondary treat as the teams combined for 144 penalty minutes in a fracas-filled affair.

Minus: Neither Niemi nor Sateri were very inspiring in their efforts for San Jose. Curtis McElhinney and Timo Pielmeier were just as offensive in net for Anaheim. Despite scoring a hat trick, Corey Perry managed to be a -3 in the game. You don’t get a + rating when scoring on the power play.

Scroll Down For:

    Report: Capitals keep Connolly for two years, $3 million

    Getty
    Leave a comment

    Earlier on Monday the Washington Capitals did not extend a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Brett Connolly. Even with that decision there were indications the team was still looking to re-sign him before he became an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

    On Monday night the team reportedly did just that.

    According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie the Capitals have agreed to terms with Connolly on a two-year contract that will pay him an average annual salary of $1.5 million per season.

    He played the 2016-17 season on a one-year deal that paid him $850,000.

    The 24-year-old Connolly appeared in 66 games for the Capitals this past season, scoring 15 goals and posting excellent possession numbers to make him a valuable depth player for a team that won the Presidents’ Trophy for the second year in a row. But after being held without a point in his first seven playoff games he found himself as a healthy scratch for the remainder of their second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, being replaced by Paul Carey.

     

    Trade: Vegas sends Marc Methot to Stars

    Getty
    1 Comment

    After being selected in the expansion draft Marc Methot‘s stay with the Vegas Golden Knights was a very brief one.

    The veteran defenseman was traded to the Dallas Stars on Monday evening in exchange for a 2020 second-round draft pick and goalie prospect Dylan Ferguson.

    Ferguson was just selection by the Stars this past weekend in the seventh-round.

    It has been expected that Vegas would continue to deal players it selected in the expansion draft as it looks to build its organization from the ground up, and draft picks seem to be their desired return at this point in trades.

    After making 12 selections this past weekend thanks to their many pre-expansion draft dealings, the Golden Knights have already started to stockpile future draft picks in several trades. They already have 11 draft picks, including three second-round selections, for the 2019 draft (which is still two years away) and already nine for the 2020 draft (three years away!). That total includes another three second-rounders in 2020 including the pick they just acquired for Methot.

    They also have Pittsburgh’s second-round pick in 2020 in exchange for taking goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in the expansion draft.

    As for the Stars, they are clearly looking to reshape their defense after taking a pretty significant step backwards this past season. They were 29th in the NHL in goals against.

    In 68 games with the Ottawa Senators this past season Methot scored zero goals while recording 12 assists. He spent most of his time the past few seasons playing alongside Erik Karlsson. He might get an opportunity to play next to another Swedish star in Dallas if the Stars decide to pair him with John Klingberg.

    Vegas picked a lot of veteran defensemen in the expansion draft with the hopes of potentially flipping them to other teams (Jason Garrison, Alexei Emlin, Clayton Stoner, just to name a few). If the return for Methot on Monday night is any indicator of what to expect, you should probably expect more future draft picks to come their way if they end up dealing any of them in the coming weeks.

    Stability, Stanley Cup aspirations ‘a breath of fresh air’ for Mike Smith

    Getty
    1 Comment

    The Calgary Flames officially introduced their two newest players on Monday afternoon when they welcomed starting goaltender Mike Smith and defenseman Travis Hamonic to the organization.

    The addition of Hamonic gives the Flames what should be an outstanding top-four on defense as he joins a blue line that already features Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie and Dougie Hamilton.

    While that defense might be one of the better ones in the Western Conference, the Flames are hopeful that Smith can help solidify a goaltending position that was a major question mark this past season and a significant weakness for much of it.

    It’s not only a big move for the Flames, but it also seems to be an exciting one for Smith as he goes from a team in a clear rebuild mode that hasn’t made the playoffs in five years to one that suddenly has Stanley Cup aspirations.

    On Monday, Smith was asked about what it is like for him going from a team that was constantly surrounded by uncertainty off the ice and what it will be like to play for a team that wants to keep getting closer to a Stanley Cup.

    “It’s a breath of fresh air,” said Smith. “It’s something I have been begging for quite some time now. I am a competitor, and I want to win real bad. I feel like this move is an opportunity and a challenge and I am going to take it on full steam. I really respect this team, playing against them is always a challenge. I look forward to being on this side of it and helping this team be real successful.”

    Smith spent the past six seasons in Arizona, compiling a .916 save percentage during that time. He is coming off of a 2016-17 season that saw him go 19-26-9 in 55 games with a .914 save percentage.

    Flames goalies finished the season with a .910 mark as Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson spent most of the season splitting time in the crease. Neither goalie will be back this season making it the second year in a row they have completely overhauled the position.

    With a defense that figures to be one of the best in the Western Conference and an offense led by young stars Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Matthew Tkachuk the Flames are clearly in a win-now mode. That is going to put a ton of pressure on Smith to solidify the position. That pressure does not seem to bother him.

    “The position calls for that,” said Smith, via the Flames’ website. “I’ve taken it upon myself to be that guy, every time I go on the ice.

    “I’m one guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. I want to win so bad that sometimes it can work against me. I think, though, with experience in the league I’ve learned how to handle that, how to be a solid force back there. I think I can bring some leadership, be a calming influence back there.”

    Bennett, Grigorenko, Chiasson among notable players to not receive qualifying offers

    Getty
    Leave a comment

    Monday was the deadline for teams to extend qualifying offers to pending restricted free agents, and there were a number of notable ones to not receive such an offer from their teams, making them eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1.

    Among some of the bigger names to not receive offers were Washington Capitals forward Brett Connolly, St. Louis Blues forward Nail Yakupov, New Jersey Devils forward Beau Bennett, Colorado Avalanche forward Mikhail Grigorenko, and Calgary Flames forward Alex Chiasson.

    Connolly scored 15 goals in only 66 games for the Capitals this season, and it sounds like even though he did not receive a qualifying offer on Monday the team would still like to re-sign him. Update: The Capitals have reportedly re-signed him for two years, $3 million.

    Playing in his first season with the Devils, Bennett set new career highs in games played (65), goals (eight), assists (11) and total points (19) but it was not enough to get him a qualifying offer so he will head to the UFA market.

    Chiasson is an interesting one because he was a regular in the Flames’ lineup this past season, appearing in all but one game and scoring 12 goals.

    Yakupov is notable because he was a No. 1 overall pick back in 2012 and has simply never been able to become a consistent impact player in the NHL. He played in 40 games for the Blues this season, scoring only three goals and recording just six assists.

    Overall, it was a rough day for the 2012 draft class. Yakupov was one of four first-round picks from that class to not get a qualifying offer on Monday as Mikhail Grigorenko (No. 12 overall), Henrik Samuelsson (No. 27 overall) and Stefan Matteau (No. 29 overall) all joined him.

    Grigorenko was originally drafted No. 12 overall by Buffalo but was traded to Colorado as part of the Ryan O'Reilly trade, a deal that has, to say the least, not worked out at all for the Avalanche.

    Samuelsson to this point has only played in three NHL games.

    Matteau, selected by the Devils, was traded to Montreal for Devante Smith-Pelly a year ago.

    Joe Morrow was not given a qualifying offer by the Boston Bruins meaning every piece they originally acquired as part of the Tyler Seguin trade will no longer be with the organization. The only link remaining to Seguin is forward Jimmy Hayes (he was acquired for Reilly Smith, who was a part of the original Seguin trade).

    Andrej Nestrasil was also not given an offer by the Carolina Hurricanes, which probably should not be a surprise given his comments back in March.