Yesterday at thn.com…
In his blog, Rory Boylen writes that fans should take in minor league games and not take them for granted in light of the tragic deaths this year.
The first edition of THN’s Power Rankings has the Red Wings on top, but the Rangers hot on their tail.
The Hot List, a rundown of players we can’t wait to see in the NHL, features Drummondville’s Sean Couturier.
The Fantasy Pool Look examines David Booth’s strong start and potential.
Todd Bertuzzi, RW/LW, Calgary Flames
2008/10/15: Calgary bruiser Todd Bertuzzi scored twice, including the game-winner, in Tuesday’s 5-4 win over Colorado. Big Bert already has three goals in just three games. INTEL: Playing on a strong offensive line with Jarome Iginla and Daymond Langkow should help the 33-year-old get his stalled career back on track.
Simon Gagne, LW, Philadelphia Flyers
2008/10/15: Philadelphia Simon Gagne notched another goal in Tuesday’s 3-2 OT loss to Pittsburgh. INTEL: The speedy winger has now scored in all three Flyers’ contests on the year.
Ryan Smyth, LW, Colorado Avalanche
2008/10/15: Avalanche forward Ryan Smyth chipped in a goal and an assist in Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to the Flames. Ben Guite, John-Michael Liles and Cody McLeod also scored for Colorado. INTEL: Injuries limited Smyth to only 55 games in 2007-08. His physical, take-no-prisoners style of play makes him a considerable injury risk, particularly at age 32.
Jarome Iginla, RW, Calgary Flames
2008/10/15: Flames captain Jarome Iginla notched his first two points of the 2008-09 season on Tuesday, scoring a goal and adding a helper in a 5-4 victory over the Avalanche. Todd Bertizzi had a pair of goals for the Flames, while Dustin Boyd and Craig Conroy added a goal apiece in the win.
Paul Stastny, C, Colorado Avalanche
2008/10/15: Colorado’s Paul Stastny contributed two assists in Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to Calgary. INTEL: The third-year pro had 71 points in an injury-shortened 66-game season in 2007-08. Assuming he stays healthy, he could dramatically improve on that total this year.
Brooks Orpik, D, Pittsburgh Penguins
2008/10/14: Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik posted a rare two-point game on Tuesday, scoring his first goal of the season and adding an assist in a 3-2 win over the Flyers. INTEL: With Sergei Gonchar (shoulder) and Ryan Whitney (foot) both on injured reserve, the 28-year-old will be asked to shoulder more of a load in the season’s first half.
Pascal Dupuis, LW/RW, Pittsburgh Penguins
2008/10/14: With only 10.8 seconds remaining in overtime on Tuesday, Pittsburgh forward Pascal Dupuis scored the winning goal in a 3-2 decision over Philadelphia.
Andrew Brunette, LW/RW, Minnesota Wild
2008/10/14: Andrew Brunette chipped in a goal and a pair of assists in Minnesota’s 4-2 win over Atlanta on Tuesday night. INTEL: After watching his point total dip from 83 to 59 the past two seasons with Colorado, Brunette could see his production headed back up now that he has found instant chemistry back in Minny on a line with Finns Mikko Koivu and Antti Miettinen.
Ilya Kovalchuk, LW, Atlanta Thrashers
2008/10/14: Thrashers sniper Ilya Kovalchuk potted his first goal of the 2008-09 season in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Wild. INTEL: Kovalchuk remained alongside center Todd White against the Wild, but veteran Jason Williams was replaced by young Bryan Little at right wing. At least for one game, the new combination was more dangerous.
Marian Gaborik, RW, Minnesota Wild
2008/10/14: Wild forward Marian Gaborik notched his first goal of the season in Tuesday’s 4-2 victory over the Thrashers. INTEL: A training camp quadriceps injury and tough contract extension negotiations could be contributing to a slow start.
Bryan Little, C, Atlanta Thrashers
2008/10/14: Atlanta forward Bryan Little had a goal and an assist in Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to Minnesota. INTEL: With three goals and two assists after three games, the 2006 first-rounder (12th overall) has already been promoted from the third line. He skated with Ilya Kovalchuk and Todd White on Tuesday.
Antti Miettinen, RW/LW, Minnesota Wild
2008/10/14: Minnesota’s Antti Miettinen scored a pair of third-period goals, adding an assist, in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over Atlanta. INTEL: The 28-year-old off-season acquisition has clicked immediately with his new Wild linemates, Andrew Brunette and Mikko Koivu. In two games, the trio has combined for five goals and six assists.
Martin Gerber, G, Ottawa Senators
2008/10/14: Senators coach Craig Hartsburg told the Ottawa Sun that embattled goaltender Martin Gerber will get the start against the Coyotes on Friday. However, he was unwilling to commit to a starter for Saturday’s tilt with Bruins. INTEL: Gerber has been shaky early this season, going 0-1-1 with a 3.40 GAA. Meanwhile, backup Alex Auld looked great in his only action, allowing a single goal on 31 shots in a win over the Penguins.
Daniel Alfredsson, RW, Ottawa Senators
2008/10/15: Despite undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery last Friday, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson was back skating on Tuesday. INTEL: Speaking to TSN.ca, Ottawa coach Craig Hartsburg said he is not ruling the veteran forward out for either Friday’s game against Phoenix or Saturday’s tilt against the Bruins. The original diagnosis had Alfredsson sitting out 10 days to two weeks.
Jochen Hecht, C/LW, Buffalo Sabres
2008/10/15: The Canadian Press reports that Buffalo forward Jochen Hecht will be sidelined for an estimated two weeks after undergoing surgery on an injured finger on Tuesday. INTEL: It’s a tough loss for the Sabres with injured forwards Tim Connolly (back) and Paul Gaustad (thumb) also out of action.
Chuck Kobasew, RW, Boston Bruins
2008/10/14: Bruins forward Chuck Kobasew will be placed on injured reserve imminently, allowing the team to temporarily replace him on the roster, reports the Boston Globe. INTEL: The 26-year-old, who fractured his right ankle last Thursday, is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of October.
Kevin Bieksa, D, Vancouver Canucks
2008/10/14: In comments to the Vancouver Sun, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault described the knee injury sustained by Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa as “mild.” The veteran rearguard was expected to have an MRI on Tuesday, but results have yet to be released. INTEL: If the knee is not as badly injured as first believed, Bieksa could potentially rejoin the team as early as next week.
Radek Martinek, D, New York Islanders
2008/10/14: The Islanders will be without the services of defenseman Radek Martinek for between four and six weeks, reports the Associated Press. The veteran sustained an upper-body injury last week and thus far the team has not provided any additional details. INTEL: With fellow rearguards Andy Sutton (hand) and Chris Campoli (shoulder) also banged up, Jack Hillen and Thomas Pock have been seeing more ice time than originally anticipated.
Jack Johnson, D, Los Angeles Kings
2008/10/14: Emerging Los Angeles defenseman Jack Johnson will miss up to three months due to a shoulder injury, according to several reports. The second-year rearguard sustained the injury during Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to the Sharks. INTEL: Johnson, 21, is considered a future star, but this won’t help his development. The Kings have placed Johnson on the injured reserve list and, in a related move, have claimed defenseman Kyle Quincey off waivers from the Red Wings.
Mats Sundin, C, Free Agent
2008/10/14: The Swedish representative for Mats Sundin has told the Toronto Star that his client has not recently stepped up his training. Recent rumors had the future Hall of Famer possibly ramping up his preparation for a possible December return.
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