There is still plenty of time left but Saturday night hasn’t gotten off to a great start for the Buffalo Sabres. As John Vogl points out, they went down 1-0 to the lowly Maple Leafs in Toronto during the first period – on a shorthanded goal, no less – and might be without their richly paid sniper. Vogl and others point out that Thomas Vanek “went to the dressing room,” which is code for “could be injured.”
Update: the good news is that Vanek’s been back in action. The bad news is that, relatively speaking, he looks a little sluggish/out of it.
To make matters just a little bit worse, the Washington Capitals lead the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in front of a Verizon Center crowd that has been boisterous regarding the return of Nicklas Backstrom. (Oh yeah, the Ottawa Senators also beat the Philadelphia Flyers in a shootout today, to rub a little more salt in the wound.)
Naturally, if the stretch run is teaching us anything, it’s that early results don’t mean everything. Vanek could be OK and a one-goal deficit (or lead) is far from a sure thing.
Still, this isn’t exactly the way Buffalo wanted things to begin.
Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.
Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.
While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.
A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.
The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.
The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.
The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.
But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.
“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”
Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.