October 8, 2011

The Highlights from these Season Openers Show Promise

Tyler Seguin’s pass to Brad Marchand for the opening goal of the season for last year’s Stanley Cup Champions was a stunning play. The length of the ice pass that put Marchand in the clear was a stunning play for a player that just keeps getting better. We expect big things from him this season.

There was a HUGE performance on defence from Philly on their opening night. Not only did Bryzgalov stand tall in between the pipes but when he was beat his defence were there. A fantastic goal saving clearance from Timonen was a highlight of the game. The Flyers must have been wondering where that kind of performance on D was in last year’s playoff series. The Flyers took their opener with a 2-1 win.

In Toronto James Reimer posted a shutout against the Canadiens, turning away all 32 shots as the Maple Leafs took it 2-0.

Marc Andre Fluery went from ridiculous to sublime. He let a Lappiere shot bounce in off his leg from a stupid angle then made an amazing glove save on Daniel Sedin and a post to post sliding save on Burrows.  He then snuffed out Vancouver in the first shoot out of the series and Pittsburgh took the game 4-3 after penalty shots. Both Fluery and Luongo looked shaky at times – early season legs that need to be shaken off sooner rather than later.

Tomas Vanek picked up 2 as the Sabres won 4-1 against the Ducks in Helsinki. Around free agency time when the Sabres picked up Leino, Ehrhoff and Kaleta I decided to put a little wager on the Sabres for the cup this year. After this performance I feel a little more excited rather than it being a stab in the dark!

The new boys got on the score sheet in the Rangers v Kings game with Brad Richards and Mike Richards picking up points. It was extremely good to see Anze Kopitar back and scoring too. The end result was a 3-2 OT win for LA in Stockholm.

A 3rd period blitz by the Redwings saw them take their game v Ottawa by the scruff of the neck. The eventual score was 5-3 to Detroit. After taking a 5-1 lead they allowed Ottawa back into the game but the result was never in doubt. Neither team impressed but Detroit upped their game when needed.

Five different scorers tallied for the Lightning as they came from 1 down to beat the Hurricanes 5-1. The Lighting were  one of the impressive teams of last season’s playoffs for me and they continued to impress in the opening game of the season.

Nashville started their season with a 3-2 win over the Bluejackets. It was a tight game that saw Rinne make 32 saves on 34 shots to earn him the 1st star. This was the best performance so far for a goalie who is a potential Vezina Trophy winner??

Kari Lehtonen plays a blinder!! He faced over 20 shots in the middle period alone and carried  Dallas manage to a 2-1 victory over the Blackhawks. His shut out was only broken with 14 seconds remaining in the game.

By Adam Yates

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