Maple Leafs Show Up
Just two games into the preseason and the Leafs are near the top of the fighting major leaderboard. The Brian Burke way will be followed in Toronto, and win or lose this team looks like it has a different attitude than last season.
Islanders and Flames ignite
The New York Islanders' preseason was supposed to be about the debut of John Tavares. Continuing their western Canada tour, Tavares was given the night off against Calgary. Kyle Okposo, another potential Islanders star, was in the lineup. In the second period Okposo was crushed by hit from Dion Phaneuf. He was wheeled off on a stretcher. While he was moving his hands and talking, the scare of losing one young talent after just gaining another will stick in the team's memory. At least until this weekend:
Several Islanders were upset that after hitting Okposo, Phaneuf refused to engage them.
"I don't know he's going to put a guy on the stretcher like that and not step up to the challenge," Blake Comeau said.
"From my point of view, it looks like he left his feet when he went to hit him," Biron said, "and did it in a way that the league is trying to prevent."
Biron added, "We have a long memory, and we'll see them Saturday in Saskatoon. If you're going to play that way, you have to respond when challenged."
Pascal Morency jumped off the bench a little early (as a couple of Islanders were skating towards the bench for a change) and immediately went after Phaneuf. Morency never got his fight, but did pick up a double roughing and game misconduct for his troubles. From the one shot in the video, it appears the Islander players may have turned around and joined in the scrums that were forming. Why is this important? Any player who leaves the bench to fight receives a 10-game misconduct and a fine. Morency clearly wanted to fight, but with the line change coming and the fight never happening, it's unclear if the NHL will apply the rule in this situation.
The Islanders didn't have Joel Rechlicz or Jeremy Reich in the lineup against the Flames. It'll be interesting to see if they play in the rematch. It's unlikely both players will see the Islanders opening day roster. Rechlicz is a big, young heavy who knows his role. Reich, while smaller, has experience and a more rounded game - he's also played for Isles head coach Scott Gordon in Providence.
The Flames won the game 5-4 in a shootout. The lone shootout goal came from Theo Fleury as he continues his comeback attempt. Best of luck to him with his return. NHL comeback or not, it's great to hear about him cleaning up his off-ice life.
The OHL and WHL both started their regular seasons. With the QMJHL already playing for a week, all three major Canadian junior leagues have now started. We'll have great coverage of all three this season, be sure to keep up.
Preseason videos and HD
I've received quite a few emails about why some videos are posted and others aren't. There's no national (US or Canada) package for all preseason games and most aren't televised. I'll post what I can get each night and wait for additional footage to come in from friends. Unfortunately, it does mean that there won't be footage of everything.
You may have noticed a good number of videos in HD already. It takes a bit longer, but worth the effort in my opinion, and I hope to post as much in HD as possible.
Nathan McIver vs Matt McCue Sep 17, 2009
Tanner Glass vs James Wisniewski Sep 17, 2009
Matt Martin vs Mark Giordano Sep 17, 2009
Micheal Haley vs Jason Jaffray Sep 17, 2009
Micheal Haley vs Olli Jokinen Sep 17, 2009
Grant McGee vs Chris Wiggin Sep 17, 2009
Mike Halmo vs Stephen Gaskin Sep 17, 2009
Tyler J. Brown vs Ryan Baldwin Sep 17, 2009
Logan Stephenson vs Ben Ondrus Sep 17, 2009
Riley Cote vs Jay Rosehill Sep 17, 2009
Daniel Carcillo vs Luke Schenn Sep 17, 2009
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen vs Ben Ondrus Sep 17, 2009
Wild enforcer Boogaard looking to get offensive
Tampa Bay Lightning rookie defenseman Victor Hedman shines in preseason opener
Islanders tee up more than slap shots
Steve Downie, in better shape and with a new attitude, gets early camp reward
Flyers captain Richards becoming wiser than his years
On and off the ice, Caps' Laich handles it all