Here’s a gamble: there will be no preamble, just recaps (1,000+ words worth of them).
LIGHTNING 6, BRUINS 3
-- Are the Bruins no longer bears at even-strength? Yesterday’s game indicated as much, as all three of their goals came on the PP. Torey Krug prospered in that area, at least, getting three assists on the PP. Boston actually came out to a 2-0 lead, too.
-- Is it possible that Tuukka Rask has been overrated this whole time? He sure looks more human now that Boston is struggling.
-- Steven Stamkos hit the 500-point mark, doing so in just 495 games. He's 25 and turns 26 on Feb. 7. Can he hit 1,000 by age 30?
-- Zdeno Chara returned to action, suffering a -2 rating in 21:27 time on ice, a team-leading 4:10 of which was on the PK. Chara has long been able to thrive in situations few defensemen deal with, but at 38, one wonders if he should be used more moderately.
Then again, the Bruins probably don't really have a choice.
-- The Bolts have a quick turnaround with a game against the Red WIngs tomorrow. Detroit pushed them to a seventh game in the first round last year, and honestly outplayed Tampa Bay for much of the series, so that should be a fun test for the undefeated Lightning.
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ISLANDERS 4, JETS 2
-- Adjust your skinny jeans: the Islanders picked up their first win in Brooklyn.
-- It was half way through the first period before the Jets even had a shot on goal.
Greiss stopped Bryan Little’s breakaway attempt. Surprising considering Winnipeg’s often-dangerous offense, but every team has its tough days, right?
-- Mark Scheifele is starting the season hot. He picked up his third goal in as many games.
-- Despite the loss, Ondrej Pavelec should be commended. The Isles had 44 shots on goal and their final tally was an empty netter, so the Czech netminder made 40 saves. Is it safe to trust him yet?
-- John Tavares had a goal and two assists. He had a chance at a four-point night when he was awarded a penalty shot with only 2:15 remaining in the third period, but Pavelec said “No.”
SABRES 4, BLUE JACKETS 2
-- This is just the second time in Blue Jackets history that they've started a season 0-3-0. They're far from unfamiliar with slow starts, however.
If they want to avoid continuing the pattern, they'd best take advantage of three of four games at home. After that, they face a West-heavy stretch of seven of eight on the road starting on Oct. 22.
Their hyped hopes could really start to fade if that goes poorly.
-- Jack Eichel's second career NHL goal was dazzling, and it also stood as the game-winner. It was also, somewhat oddly, the only goal of the game that came at even-strength. Buffalo's PP was particularly potent, a good sign for the team if they want to be competitive.
I wonder if Kane might get a talking to about trying to do too much?
-- Ryan O'Reilly finally got on the board for Buffalo, scoring his first goal and first assist as a Sabre.
-- I liked Sergei Bobrovsky when he was something of a bargain pick up, but as a $7 million guy, I've been left wondering. Starts like these do not help matters.
FLYERS 1, PANTHERS 0
-- Nice response by the Flyers after that same Florida team pummeled them 7-1 on Saturday.
-- They sure did test their penalty kill, however, as Florida went 0-for-6 on the PP (while the Flyers failed to connect on three chances). Wayne Simmonds caused some havoc in getting four PIM.
-- Speaking of PIM, it looks like Radko Gudas could return to his exalted status as hidden fantasy gem. He was a +1, had four PIM< one SOG, five hits and four blocked shots. Is he actually a good player? Who cares, as long as he gets enough ice time to provide good deeper stats.
-- On that subject, Brayden Schenn's a nice category-stuffer himself, and could be a real gem considering he's in a rather interesting contract year. He scored the game's only goal, had four SOG and five hits. He reminds me a bit of Brandon Dubinsky (when Dubinsky is healthy), at least fantasy-wise.
-- Michal Neuvirth impressed in his first Flyers start, stopping all 31 Panthers shots. He's not a spectacular goalie, but he's experienced and certainly solid enough as a backup. I'm not sure how much you can trust stats accrued with Buffalo, anyway, especially from 2013-14 and 2014-15.
CANUCKS 2, DUCKS 1 (SO)
In a coach's mind, it's obvious: try to spread your offense out by having each star enhance a line, rather than loading up in one spot.
The theory makes sense, but it just doesn't really work in practice. The two have been attached at the hip for years; they're basically the mean, right-handed power forward twins going up against the Sedins.
-- Ryan Miller strikes me as one of those goalies who regularly draws too much praise or too much scorn, when the truth is that he's average. Average isn't really the insult it appears to be, either, as the level of goaltending continues to climb (even if cookie cutter styles mean the artistry is largely fading away with each drop to the butterfly).
I was a little surprised to see Lindholm get 25:08 of TOI compared to just 18:28 for Vatanen, by the way.