While the hockey world wasn’t treated to a Panthers-Hurricanes game thanks to a tropical storm, there were eight other games that only mattered a little bit tonight. Let’s take a look at them.
Plus: It was a great night for the two teams’ power plays, as all but one connected for a goal (the Predators went 2 for 3 while the Thrashers went 1 for 1). Martin Erat stood out with two goals and one assist while Ryan Suter put together a nice one goal, one assist game. Johnny Oduya provided two assists for the Thrashers.
Minus: A fantastic night for a team’s PP comes at the expense of the PK unit, so Nashville stopped 0 percent and Atlanta shut down 33 percent of the man advantages (it’s fun to play with tiny samples, right?).
Plus: Henrik Lundqvist had a great game, turning away 34 of 35 shots. Ruslan Fedtenko continues his preseason hot streak with two assists in this one. Marian Gaborik scoring a goal and assist is one thing, but Derek Stepan’s one goal, one assist performance might help him make the team.
Minus: The Red Wings were pretty flat in this one, probably because they’re aware that this is the preseason. Still, losing a game 5-1 when you never allow more than 10 SOG in one period is a little troubling.
Plus: Jeff Carter put up two goals while the humorously named Sergei Bobrovsky put together another nice performance, stopping 32 out of 33 shots.
Minus: Of course, the Flyers did it against the Islanders B-team, which is a lot like player a normal NHL squad’s C-team.
Plus: The Capitals rested Alex Ovechkin, so Nicklas Backstrom took it upon himself to score two goals. Jason Chimera produced two assists in this one.
Minus: The Capitals only had 10 shots going into the third period (6 in the first, 4 in the second) while the Bruins only had 15. Not exactly the height of competition, right there.
Plus: Whipping boy of the moment Nazem Kadri scored two goals and added one assist, including Toronto’s only even strength goal. The Leafs power play produced three goals and nine opportunities. This game produced this hysterical fight.
Minus: Senators fans hoping for the best from Pascal Leclaire this season probably want to ignore this one, as the buck-toothed goalie allowed four goals on only 19 shots.
Plus: Ilya Bryzgalov earned the game’s star presumably by not being totally awful. Petr Prucha produced two assists while Scottie Upshall had a goal and an assist. Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky scored shootout goals to help the Oilers win the game.
Minus: Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers was pulled at the half-way mark in the game, leading many to wonder if he might get waived soon.
Plus: Rick DiPietro played in this game without his knee exploding, which makes his tepid 12-for-15 performance easier to stomach. Meanwhile Miikka Kiprusoff was solid in 40 minutes of duty (15 of 16 shots stopped).
Minus: Sure, the Flames won, but they beat half of the Islanders team. I wouldn’t get too excited about it.
Plus: The Sharks dominated this game, particularly on the man advantage with four power-play goals. Dany Heatley, Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski each scored one goal and one assist while Joe Thornton provided two assists. Raffi Torres scored two goals and Dan Hamhuis produced two assists for Vancouver.
Minus: Christian Ehrhoff attempted to start a fight, apparently inspired by Alex Kovalev.