Preseason quick recaps: October 1st

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There were 10 games tonight, so no time for silly introductions.

Carolina 2, Atlanta 1 (OT)

Plus: Brandon Sutter scored both of Carolina’s goals. Both Cam Ward and Ondrej Pavelec put together very nice games.

Minus: You have to wonder about the goal scoring depth of both teams next season. Games like these justify such worries.

Washington 5, Columbus 3

Plus: Capitals fans reportedly gave former team captain Chris Clark a nice ovation, who had one goal and one assist in the game. Eric Fehr put up two goals and an assist while Mike Green had two assists for Washington.

Minus: The Blue Jackets might open it up a bit next season, but judging by the 38 shots allowed, it seems like there’s a chance that might come at the expense of their once-stout defense.

New York 5, Ottawa 4 (SO)

Plus: Clear signs this was a preseason game: Brian Boyle had one goal and one assist while Derek Boogaard scored a goal. A bit more normally, Jason Spezza put together a nice two goal, one assist performance. Chris Campoli had one goal and two assists.

Minus: Every time a game is decided by a shootout, a hockey purist loses its wings.

New Jersey 4, NY Islanders 3

Plus: The Devils’ top players put together another good game, only this time they won. Matt Moulson almost brought the Islanders back into the game, scoring the contest’s last two goals.

Minus: None of those stats count.

Detroit 7, Toronto 3

Plus: Jiri Hudler scored two goals while the Red Wings went 4 for 7 on the power play. Don’t forget that Hudler wasn’t in Detroit last season, depriving the team of a valuable depth scorer.

Minus: It seems like the Leafs were blown out every game this preseason, but that’s just because they’ve played a bunch of games. And also because they’re not very good. Jussi Rynnas allowed all seven goals in this one.

Philadelphia 3, Buffalo 1

Plus: Brian Boucher had a great game, stopping 32 of 33 shots in this one. Ryan Miller was solid too, making 21 of 23 saves. The Flyers scored two power-play goals in this game.

Minus: Mike Grier got thrown out of the game in the third period.

Tampa Bay 2, Florida 1 (OT)

Plus: Both goalies were fantastic in this one; Tomas Vokoun went 40 for 42 while Mike Smith went 29 for 30. Simon Gagne was involved in the game’s two goals, scoring the first one and producing an assist on the overtime game-winner.

Minus: The Panthers allowed 42 shots while the Lightning allowed 30. That’s not very good.

Chicago 5, Pittsburgh 2

Plus: Marian Hossa scored two goals while Patrik Sharp produced a goal and an assist. Brent Seabrook was a +3. Both power plays converted on 50 percent off their chances.

Minus: Brent Johnson allowed three goals on 10 assists.

Calgary 5, Edmonton 1

Plus: Jarome Iginla scored two goals while Mikael Backlund provided two assists. Henrik Karlsson probably won’t get many chances to play real games, but he at least did his job in stopping 20 of only 21 shots.

Minus: Nikolai Khabibulin allowed six goals while the Oilers only put 21 shots on net. Sam Gagner went 5-13 on faceoffs while only having a -2 rating.

Vancouver 4, Anaheim 2

Plus: Ryan Kesler scored a goal and added an assist. Vancouver went 2 for 4 on the power play while Anaheim went 1 out of 5.

Minus: Vancouver only had four shots in the first period.

Capitals shine glaring light on Blues’ goalie woes

ST LOUIS, MO - MAY 23:  Jake Allen #34 of the St. Louis Blues makes a save during the first period against the San Jose Sharks in Game Five of the Western Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center on May 23, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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If you’re reaction to the headline “Something is off about the St. Louis Blues” was “Yeah, their goaltending,” then Thursday only emboldened that opinion.

It wasn’t just that the Washington Capitals bombarded the Blues by a score of 7-3. It’s that they really didn’t need to fire a whole lot of shots on goal to get to seven.

Here’s a harsh rule of thumb: when both of your goalies play in a game and each one barely makes more saves than goals allowed, that’s an awful night. Take a look at what Jake Allen and Carter Hutton went through:

Allen: six saves, four goals allowed in 25:11 time on ice
Hutton: five saves, three goals allowed in 35:49

Allen got pulled from the contest twice, by the way. He’s been pulled from four games since Dec. 30. Woof.

Even before these horrendous performances, the Blues goalies have been shaky. Hutton came into tonight with an ugly .898 save percentage; Allen wasn’t much better with a .900 mark.

Those are the type of numbers that would make Dallas Stars fans cringe, or at least experience some uncomfortable familiarity.

Now, is it all on Hutton and Allen? Much like with the Stars’ embattled goalies, much of the struggles probably come down to a team struggling in front of them.

Even so, if you assign more of the blame to Allen and Hutton, nights like this Capitals thrashing definitely strengthen your argument. Yikes.

Rangers overwhelm Leafs, make life pretty easy for Lundqvist in win

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 19:  Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers faces a shot in the warm-up prior to play against the Toronto Maple Leafs in an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on January 19, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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Heading into Thursday, many were wondering how the New York Rangers will handle Henrik Lundqvist‘s struggles. Instead, the focus shifted to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ difficulties, perhaps specifically in dealing with Morgan Rielly‘s absence.

The Rangers handily won this one 5-2, at least giving Lundqvist the win. He wasn’t especially busy, stopping 23 out of 25 shots, so you can probably file his story under “To be continued.”

Lundqvist wasn’t oblivious to his team’s impressive overall play.

Really, it was all about the waves of attackers the Rangers can send at opponents and the trouble that caused for the Maple Leafs. It wasn’t the easiest night for Frank Corrado, in particular, who took a couple costly penalties.

The Rangers’ next two games come in a road contest vs. the Red Wings on Sunday and a home game against the Kings on Monday. Perhaps those matches will serve as a better barometer for where Lundqvist’s really at, as he passed tonight’s test … but it wasn’t a particularly difficult one.

So, is Mike Condon actually really good? He certainly was against Columbus

OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 8: Mike Condon #1 of the Ottawa Senators stands at the bench during a break in a game against the Edmonton Oilers at Canadian Tire Centre on January 8, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
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Considering their numbers heading in, many were perplexed when the Ottawa Senators essentially replaced Andrew Hammond with Mike Condon. Now many are perplexed by just how strong Condon’s often been for Ottawa.

Thursday might stand as the prime example that this guy could be better than many expected.

The Columbus Blue Jackets dominated much of the play, generating a 42-28 shots on goal advantage, but Ottawa ended up winning 2-0 tonight.

Condon already came into tonight with a solid save percentage (.915 before this shutout), and he’s now won four of his last five games. Three of his four career shutouts have come this season.

Ignoring his one relief appearance with Pittsburgh this season for the sake of simplicity, just consider his tough times with Montreal last season. He went 21-25-6 with a shaky .903 save percentage.

This marks just his 21st start and 23rd appearance of this season, so it’s not a guaranteee for future results. Still … it’s another example that goalies are as just about as unpredictable as they are crucial to a team’s fate.

More and more, it seems like Condon might just be a difference-maker, and in the positive sense this time around.

Greiss blanks Stars as Isles win in first game of post-Capuano era

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 19:  Doug Weight of the New York Islanders handles his first game as head coach against the Dallas Stars at the Barclays Center on January 19, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The New York Islanders began the Doug Weight era in the same way Jack Capuano’s ended: with a shutout.

Yeah, it’s easy to forget that the Islanders actually won their last game under Capuano, consider all that’s happened since.

They blanked the Boston Bruins 4-0 on Monday and generated a 3-0 shutout against the Dallas Stars on Thursday. It’s quite a feather in the cap of goalie Thomas Greiss, who owns these back-to-back shutouts.

(It’s worth mentioning that, for all the Bruins’ and Stars’ flaws, they can be very explosive on offense …)

That Monday shutout wasn’t enough for Capuano to save his job, and the Isles still have a long way to go after this encouraging outcome. The East’s second wild card spot still seems like a long shot for Weight & Co.

Even so, the Islanders will take it. They play their next five games at home and seven of eight in Brooklyn, so if there’s ever a time for movement, it would logically come now.

If nothing else, maybe life will be a bit better for John Tavares. He scored another goal on Thursday to add to his beautiful 1-0 tally.

Baby steps, right?