Dang, why do we have to face the one team that's really rearing to go?
This time, the Hawks were led by Kris Versteeg, Aaron Johnson, Andrew Ladd, and Antti Niemi. According to www.nhl.com, Kevyn Adams scored the game-tying goal to lead to a shootout, where Ladd scored the winner, but I thought Adams had left the team? Perhaps not. Either way, the game ended when Ladd scored on Marty Turco, and Niemi stopped Sean Avery.
However, two of the Stars' young players showed that they both belong on the team, with Fabian Brunnstrom scoring from Brad Richards and Stephane Robidas, and James Neal potting a goal with help from Avery and Toby Petersen.
I'm still convinced that both Brunnstrom and Neal will make the team this year, but keep an eye out for B.J. Crombeen, a young winger who had two fights in the first period before earning a game misconduct in the second. That may be a little too rough for an immediate job, but Crombeen can be an easy replacement for any one of Krys Barch or Steve Ott. Avery may bring a little more offense to the table, but Crombeen did manage 14 goals and 28 points while totaling up 158 PIM's and keeping a plus-1 rating.
Elsewhere around the league:
- Caps center Sergei Fedorov is revisiting the old days; he's been practicing on the blue-line with Washington. Now, this is interesting specifically because the Caps have Karl Alzner and Sami Lepisto waiting in the wings on 'D'; Lepisto has already been cut, but he could easily be called up. However, an interesting option if the Caps do play Fedorov on the blue-line would be the option of pairing him with Tom Poti or Mike Green to play on the first line. A group of OvechKING, Nicklas Backstrom, Chris Clark/Viktor Kozlov, Fedorov, and Green all on the ice at the same time would produce a heck of a lot of goals, and it wouldn't need to wait for power-plays either.
- Nathan Gerbe has been assigned to Portland of the AHL by the Buffalo Sabres, but don't expect him to stay there for long. The product of Boston College has enough potential to kick Clarke MacArthur of the roster and force Adam Mair to play wing.
That's all for today, folks. I'll probably write (as in pencil and paper write) a blog as I watch the NHL season opener in Europe, and post it up here as soon as possible.