Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribute reports that Sidney was "flying" in practice, and he speculated that Crosby will be back "pretty soon." Great news.
Stu McDonald's piece will be posted within the next few hours. Sorry for the delay.
I'll be attending the Canucks/Oilers game tonight - Vancouver will be dressing their full lineup (from what I have read, at least). Not sure with the Oilers.
Gustav Nyqvist is going to be a very, very good player. He won't make the Wings this year, but could step in next year in the top six. Not big but he plays a strong game and he's got a ton of talent.
Luke Adam had a great game for the Sabres last night - two assists, lots of ice time, all over the offensive zone. He replaced Derek Roy (minor shoulder tweak) on the top line with Vanek and Pominville.
Ennis-Leino-Stafford was line two and will likely be line two during the regular season. Brad Boyes appears to be the odd man out in the top nine, as he skated with Matt Ellis and Cody McCormick on the fourth line. Adam could steal one of their spots but Buffalo likes the jam both players bring.
The Rangers have cut Tim Erixon. He played well but the team liked Stu Bickel (big, tough, defensive guy) a bit more. Brendan Bell also made the team.
Andrei Loktionov was cut by the Kings. He's got NHL talent but doesn't suit a fourth line role, and the top three center spots are locked up in LA.
Anton Lander had a great game for the Oilers – active at both ends of the ice, five shots on goal, plus-3, and a goal and a helper. Sam Gagner’s injury may open up a spot in the middle for him.
Awful news regarding Edmonton prospect Taylor Fedun last night. Fedun was signed out of college and was having a great training camp – he suffered a compound fracture of the femur, about as bad an injury as you can get. He sustained it going back for an icing call – very similar to the hit on Kurtis Foster a few years ago.
Fedun was a great story for the Oilers – an Edmonton native coming off of an impressive four year career at Princeton. A video of the hit (a bit graphic).
Lots of NHL teams are going to be finalizing their rosters today and tomorrow. Vancouver sent down Jordan Schroeder to the AHL and Nicklas Jensen (who was very impressive) back to the OHL. Hodgson will start on line two with Marco Sturm and Mikael Samuelsson.
A great piece regarding head shots written by Ken Dryden.
Columbus could have four rookies make their opening night forward lineup – Tomas Kubalik, Ryan Johansen, Cam Atkinson, and Maxim Mayorov. Kubalik has been very impressive – I didn’t know a whole lot about him heading into this camp, but I’ve been really impressed and he’s on my radar now.
He’s not my favorite goalie in the world, but Steve Mason had a great game for the Jackets, stopping 35 of 37 and looking composed and technically sound all game long. In the past he seems to get caught swimming and playing out of position too often.
Kubalik had 25 goals and 53 points last season in the AHL. He could get a look on the top line with Carter and Nash, as well.
The Kings signed Trent Hunter to a one-year deal. He’ll take up a bottom six spot, probably on the fourth line.
Andrei Markov won’t be ready for the season opener – the Chris Campoli signing makes more sense.
Brandon Pirri has (in my opinion) earned a roster spot with the Hawks, leapfrogging Marcus Kruger on the depth chart. He had two goals last night and has looked great each game, showing a lot of poise and playmaking abilities in the offensive zone. He’d likely start on line three or four, depending on Sharp (C or W?) and the Pat Kane as a center experiment.
According to Wings owner Mike Illitch, Bettman promised him that they would be the next team to move to the Eastern Conference. Great news for Detroit – way less travel starting next season (provided this is true).
Zach Bogosian saw more PP time than Toby Enstrom did last night – Byfuglien didn’t play.
Mark Scheifele had another goal, but was 1-10 on the draw. As I said yesterday, he’s probably earned at the very least a cup of coffee with the Jets at the beginning of the season.
Jake Gardiner scored for the Leafs last night, and led the team in ice time by a significant margin. Not sure the team can send him down even if they want to at this point… he’s earned it.
Anton Stralman had over 10 minutes of power play time for the Devils last night, but he failed to record a point.
Still pre-season, but worth tracking: Caps defenseman PP time – Green saw 1:46, Wideman saw 3:20, Carlson saw zero.
Alex Burrows scored only once in his first 10 games of the season in 2009-10 (slow to return after shoulder surgery). He still finished with 26 goals in 62 games (a 33-goal pace). He’ a lock for 30 goals, especially if he gets the vacant power play spot from Kesler for the short term.
What is your take – dirty hit or dive?