Injuries, absences and decisions to be made. This is where we’re at heading into the first preseason contest for the Vancouver Canucks tonight as they go up against the Seattle Kraken in Spokane, WA.
The Canucks are already missing some names that should be in the opening night lineup: Tyler Motte, Brandon Sutter to injury, and Justin Bailey is out on the COVID protocol list. Add in depth prospects Carson Focht and Brady Keeper and there’s a bit of a shortage of bodies when you factor in the continued absence of the unsigned Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes, and Travis Hamonic, who is absent for personal reasons.
It’s going to mean a couple players will get looks a little bit longer than expected as the depth down the middle and on the back end is tested. While we await the release of the lineups for this evening’s contest, let’s take a look at the first preseason matches from last night.
A PPG early in the 2nd from John Tavares was the difference as the Leafs started their preseason with a 4-1 victory over Montreal last night at Scotiabank Arena. Jake Muzzin, Michael Bunting and Kurtis Gabriel also scored for the Leafs, while Tyler Toffoli had the lone Habs goal.
ST LOUIS BLUES 6 MINNESOTA WILD 2
When one gets a PTO from a team, one probably want to have a game like James Neal had last night for the Blues. Neal potted a hat trick, two of them coming in a four goal third period to lead St Louis to the victory. Not saying it guarantees him a spot, but he could be a good, affordable fit for the Blues.
Speaking of the Blues, they sent Zach Sanford to Ottawa for Logan Brown and a conditional fourth round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Brown is the son of former Canucks D Jeff Brown.