Yesterday at thn.com:
In Screen Shots, Adam Proteau writes that you should enjoy this time of year, because hopes and dreams only begin to fade for some from here on.
In his blog, Edward Fraser writes about his thoughts on the pre-season and how it might affect players and teams going forward.
Ryan Dixon has a few wacky predictions for opening night in North America, in his blog.
Prep Watch, a new feature, looks at minor hockey programs to the south.
A Scout’s Life, a new feature following scouts, talks about how to get a start in the business.
Roberto Luongo, G, Vancouver Canucks
2008/10/10: New Vancouver Canucks captain Roberto Luongo was already in mid-season form in Thursday’s regular season opener against the Flames. He stopped all 25 shots he faced to blank the Canucks for the first shutout of the 2008-08 NHL season.
Michael Ryder, RW, Boston Bruins
2008/10/10: Boston Bruins forward Michael Ryder scored his 100th career goal in Thursday’s regular season opener at Colorado. INTEL: Ryder, who had been moved off the top line by coach Claude Julien in preseason due to chemistry problems, jelled rather nicely with P.J. Axelsson and Marc Savard on Thursday.
Tim Thomas, G, Boston Bruins
2008/10/10: Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas posted 35 saves while allowing four goals in Thursday’s regular season opener win at Colorado. INTEL: Thomas wasn’t sharp throughout, but he did enough to hold on in the end and escape Denver with a victory. However, look for Manny Fernandez to get the starting nod on Saturday at Minnesota against his former team.
Zdeno Chara, D, Boston Bruins
2008/10/10: Boston Bruins defensemen Zdeno Chara and Andrew Ference each posted a goal and assist in Thursday’s regular season opener at Colorado. Ference was also a plus-2 in the victory, while Chara was beaten up for a minus-3. The B’s will be back in action on Saturday night in Minnesota.
Peter Budaj, G, Colorado Avalanche
2008/10/10: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Peter Budaj was lit up for five goals on just 20 shots in Thursday’s regular season opener against the Bruins. INTEL: Coach Tony Granato hung with him and Budaj did make a couple of decent saves against Patrice Bergeron or it could have been much worse. The sorry start for Budaj gives Andrew Raycroft some hope that he might be able to challenge for the starting job sooner rather than later.
Marc Savard, C, Boston Bruins
2008/10/10: Bruins forwards Marc Savard and David Krejci were each good for a goal and assist in Thursday’s regular season opener at Colorado. Savard posted a minus-1 rating, while Krejci was good for a plus-2. The Bruins will be back in action on Saturday night in St. Paul against the Wild.
Blake Wheeler, RW, Boston Bruins
2008/10/10: Boston Bruins rookie forward Blake Wheeler showed that he belonged in Thursday’s regular season opener at Colorado, potting a goal in his first-career NHL game. INTEL: The Bruins worked hard to get under the salary cap and fit Wheeler into their plans, releasing veteran Peter Schaefer to get things done. Wheeler rewarded them with a solid performance in the road win.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere, G, Anaheim Ducks
2008/10/10: Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed four goals on 41 shots in Thursday’s regular season opening game loss at San Jose. INTEL: Giggy was beaten early by Jonathan Cheechoo for a pair of goals and Christian Ehrhoff and Devin Setoguchi also found the back of the net in San Jose’s win. Giguere will look to bounce back in Sunday’s home opener against Phoenix.
Evgeni Nabokov, G, San Jose Sharks
2008/10/10: San Jose Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov stopped 28 of 29 shots he faced in Thursday’s regular season opener against the Ducks. He allowed a late third period goal to veteran Rob Niedermayer for his only blemish. The Sharks will be back in action for a home-and-home with the Kings starting on Saturday.
Christian Ehrhoff, D, San Jose Sharks
2008/10/10: San Jose Sharks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff blasted a goal in during Thursday’s regular season opener against the Ducks. INTEL: Ehrhoff finished with a plus-1 rating on three shots in 18:29 of ice time. He tallied one goal in 77 games last season and has already matched that production in Game 1.
Devin Setoguchi, RW/LW, San Jose Sharks
2008/10/10: Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi posted a goal and assist in Thursday’s regular season opener against the Ducks, while Milan Michalek picked up pair of helpers and a plus-1 rating.
Dan Boyle, D, San Jose Sharks
2008/10/10: San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle made his regular season debut with his new team on Thursday against the Ducks and he celebrated with an assist. INTEL: Boyle is off to a solid start with his new club. He should see plenty of offensive production and a healthy plus/minus rating for the contending Sharks.
Rob Blake, D, San Jose Sharks
2008/10/10: Veteran defenseman Rob Blake made his regular season debut for the San Jose Sharks, posting a pair of assists and a plus-1 rating with a game-high seven shots on net in Thursday’s opener against the Ducks. INTEL: Blake should have a solid season in his first year with the Sharks, as his improved plus/minus rating alone will make him that much more valuable.
Jonathan Cheechoo, RW, San Jose Sharks
2008/10/10: Sharks forward Jonathan Cheechoo started off with a bang in Thursday’s regular season opener against the Ducks, posting an even-strength and power play goal to go along with a plus-1 rating. INTEL: Cheechoo got off to a difficult start in 2007-08, but apparently he is ready to fire out of the chute this season. The Sharks will be back in action during a home-and-home with the Kings on Saturday and Sunday.
Robyn Regehr, D, Calgary Flames
2008/10/10: The Associated Press is reporting that Calgary Flames defenseman Robyn Regehr missed Thursday’s regular season opener at Vancouver. His wife went into labor with the couple’s first child back in Calgary. INTEL: The new father is expected to make his regular season debut in the second half of the home-and-home on Saturday night against the Canucks.
Ryan Craig, LW, Tampa Bay Lightning
2008/10/09: Lightning forward Ryan Craig suffered a groin injury in practice on Thursday and he is considered day to day. INTEL: Coach Barry Melrose said that Craig caught some rough ice. “It was a freak accident,” Melrose told the St. Petersburg Times. “He’ll be out for a couple days.” Craig is questionable for Saturday’s home opener against the Hurricanes. If he plays, Craig is expected to skate with Mark Recchi and Evgeni Artyukhin.
Paul Ranger, D, Tampa Bay Lightning
2008/10/09: The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger (shoulder surgery) was able to participate in his first full-contact practice on Wednesday. INTEL: Ranger is OUT for Saturday’s home opener against the Hurricanes. Coach Barry Melrose hopes to have him ready for a game on Oct. 16 against the Islanders. “Obviously we want to err on the side of caution, but it would certainly be nice to have him back in the lineup,” Melrose added.
Georges Laraque, RW, Montreal Canadiens
2008/10/09: TSN.ca is reporting that tough guy forward Georges Laraque (groin) of the Canadiens is questionable for Friday’s regular season opener at Buffalo. INTEL: Laraque’s primary function is to protect the star skaters and pick up penalty minutes. He’ll be on the team’s fourth line when he is able to play.
Francis Bouillon, D, Montreal Canadiens
2008/10/09: TSN.ca is reporting that Montreal Canadiens defenseman Francis Bouillon is questionable for Friday’s regular season opener at Buffalo due to a leg injury. INTEL: When healthy, Bouillon is expected to skate on the team’s third defensive pairing.
Marek Zidlicky, D, Minnesota Wild
2008/10/09: The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that defenseman Marek Zidlicky has been ruled OUT for Saturday’s regular season opener against the Bruins. INTEL: Zidlicky had X-rays on the ankle and they returned negative, but he’ll rest on Saturday. He is questionable for the team’s second game on Tuesday in Atlanta.
John Scott, D, Minnesota Wild
2008/10/09: The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that the Wild have placed defenseman John Scott on injured reserve due to a sprained ankle. Scott is likely to start out with Houston of the AHL when he does heal.
Kurtis Foster, D, Minnesota Wild
2008/10/09: As expected, the Minnesota Wild placed defenseman Kurtis Foster was placed on injured reserve due to his broken leg. INTEL: Foster is still recovering from the season-ending surgery he had in March. The feisty defenseman is not expected back for the Wild until at least December.
Nick Tarnasky, W/C, Nashville Predators
2008/10/09: The Nashville Tennessean is reporting that the Predators have placed forward Nick Tarnasky on injured reserve due to a broken thumb. INTEL: Tarnasky has started to practice with the team, but he is not yet ready for game action. Coach Barry Trotz said that Tarnasky might be ready as soon as Monday in Chicago.
Zach Hamill, C, Boston Bruins
2008/10/09: The Boston Globe is reporting that Bruins center Zach Hamill will have surgery on his left thumb and he is expected to be sidelined anywhere from four to six months. When he is able to return, he is expected to skate with Providence of the AHL.
Mathieu Roy, D, Edmonton Oilers
2008/10/09: The Edmonton Journal reports that Oilers left wing Jean-Francois Jacques will begin the season on injured reserve due to a back injury. Defenseman Mathieu Roy (hand) will also begin the season on IR.
Scott Parker, RW, Colorado Avalanche
2008/10/09: The Denver Post is reporting that Scott Parker will begin the sesaon on injured reserve due to concussion-like symptoms. INTEL: Parker was injured when he was elbowed in the head by Trevor Daley of the Dallas Stars in a preseason game back on Oct. 1.
Josh Harding, G, Minnesota Wild
2008/10/09: Minnesota Wild backup goaltender Josh Harding (eye) is apparently ready to begin the regular season, as the team did not retain a third goaltender heading into Saturday’s regular season opener against the Bruins. INTEL: Niklas Backstrom is expected to start at least 70 percent of the games for the Wild. With games on Saturday and then not again until Tuesday, Harding should not be needed unless Backstrom struggles miserably.
David Booth, LW, Florida Panthers
2008/10/09: The Miami Herald is reporting that the Florida Panthers have reassigned left wing Michael Frolik to Rochester of the AHL on Thursday. With Frolik headed to the minors, that’s likely a really strong indicator that David Booth (back) will be ready for the regular season opener on Friday night in Carolina.
Stephen Weiss, C, Florida Panthers
2008/10/09: Florida Panthers center Stephen Weiss (groin) was expected to start the season on injured reserve due to his groin injury, but the team reassigned Shawn Mattias to Rochester of the AHL on Thursday. INTEL: With Mattias out of the picture, that might be a good sign that Weiss will be ready for the regular season opener on Friday night in Carolina.
Radek Dvorak, RW/LW, Florida Panthers
2008/10/09: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting that Radek Dvorak will begin the regular season on injured reserve due to a rib injury. Dvorak suffered the injury towards the end of the preseason. It’s uncertain how much time he will miss, but the team did not seem to indicate this was of the long-term variety.
Andy Rogers, D, Tampa Bay Lightning
2008/10/09: The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that defenseman Paul Ranger (shoulder surgery) will not play on Saturday against the Hurricanes and Lukas Krajicek might also be out due to visa problems. If so, vice president of operations Brian Lawton might need to recall Vladimir Mihalik or Andy Rogers from Norfolk of the AHL. “Andy Rogers is playing very well down there,” Lawton said. “I had a conversation with the coaches the other day, and even they were saying that.”
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