I've been saying it for a few days now, but seriously people, hockey is officially back. NHL teams around the league took to the ice last night as pre-season kicked off properly. And I don't want to upset you, but the Oilers won two games in one night. It normally takes a good 6 weeks of the regular season for them to chalk up that many wins...
Let's take a look at all that pre-season action, as well as stories from around the league:
PRE-SEASON STARTS WITH A BANG
- Scores last night: Ottawa 6-2 Toronto; Columbus 3-2 Boston; Minnesota 2-1 Buffalo; Philly 0-2 New Jersey; Philly 0-3 NY Islanders; Carolina 2-1 Washington; New Jersey 3-2 Montreal; St Louis 1-3 Dallas; Edmonton 2-1 Calgary; Calgary 2-4 Edmonton; Los Angeles 3-5 Arizona; and Arizona 3-4 Los Angeles. [NHL]
- What are the takeaways from last night? Besides Edmonton's first game in their new arena and their two wins over the Flames: the Maple Leafs were crushed by the Sens, the Flyers were double-blanked, Boston lost, and the Devils won two games. I particularly liked the part about the Sens winning, after their tumultuous week.
- A recap of that Ottawa-Toronto game is here: Frank Corrado scored for the Leafs. Interestingly, Logan Brown scored for the Sens - that kid is going to be a solid NHLer. [Ottawa Citizen]
CANUCKS TRAINING CAMP
- If you're not as excited as me about the Hutton-Gudbranson pairing, then please read this story. And then we'll talk. [Province]
- Nice piece on Borna Rendulic, who will be a great asset in Utica this season. [Province]
- Ryan Johnson, former Canucks center, is an integral part of the management team - but never gets a mention. However it's RyJo who is tasked with looking after our young stars, such as Bo Horvat, Jake Virtanen, Thatcher Demko, Brock Boeser and Olli Juolevi. Read on and feel even more confident in the future of this franchise. [TB News Watch]
- Always sad to read: Brendan Morrison talking about the impact of the loss of Luc Bourdon. RIP, Luc. [Calgary Sun]
- LEAGUE BIAS ALERT: 50 players to pick for your fantasy team if you need additional help in the hits category. No Canucks. Erik Gudbranson was 81st in the league last season and is now in the Western Conference. Just saying. [NHL]
ELSEWHERE IN THE HOCKEY WORLD
- Marian Gaborik will miss the World Cup of Hockey final with injury. While I feel for the guy, I can't help but laugh at any team that would intentionally sign him to a long-term contract. That's you, Los Angeles. [Los Angeles Times]
- Brad Marchand signed an 8 year, $49m deal with Boston yesterday. So we get to hate him until he's 37. [Sportsnet]
- The top 10 remaining UFAs are handily listed here. For once, there is not a single player I believe would make this team better. [Sportsnet]
Question of the day: What are your expectations from the Hutton-Gudbranson partnership this season?