NHL Preseason Game Night 9/19: Stars at Lightning

A little excitement to send the people home happy in preseason!

TB-4 (OT)

Marc Denis stopped 35 of 38 faced for the win. Brad Richards led the way with assists in triplicate. Goals came from Andreas Karlsson, Jason Ward, Kyle Wanvig, and Mathieu Darche. Filip Kuba, Shane O'Brien, and Mike Lundin added individual helpers.

Darche looks like the big winner on the night getting 21:46 of ice time, the game winning goal, registering 7 shots, and having a +1 rating. And 5 hits too? This after a scrimmage hat trick yesterday? Mr. Darche, you sir are making an impact.

Bryce Lampman and Mike Lundin also checking in with well over 20 minutes of look-see a piece. Both were even.

Kyle Wanvig checked in with 16:07 of ice time and a +1 rating with 4 hits and a penalty shot goal, possibly keeping his bubble from bursting and running Karl Stewart to the state of Virginia.

Boxscore and detailed stats from NHL.com.

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I caught the final 30 minutes of regulation plus OT.

Usually I leave the rink after a pre-season game being excited about some new face in the lineup. Not so tonight. Nobody looked like Eric Perrin trying to win a spot tonight.

Darche missed a couple of good chances down low hits the scoresheet on a feed from Richards thst nearly anybody in hockey scores on. He's a tweener', in my opinion an older version of what Lascek's high end might be. He could however, perhaps match Perrin's output of last year depending upon getting that much PT. He got special teams work on both ends.

Oullette did not play much the 2nd half of the game. I offer no opinion.

Wanvig couldn't handle the puck in the offensive zone unmolested along the sidewall 2 or 3 times in a row. Then he does a nice job with it on the rush to draw the penalty and on the penalty shot. Played responsibly.

Stewart played little. Layed one hit.

McDonald - Bill McDougall? Stan Drulia? Eric Heally? He's just a familiar looking camper with a different name on his sweater.

Milley - just not a fan.

Jones's ticket is already punched for a Sunday flight to Norfolk.

Defensively, aside from the first pair I didn't see an NHL player on the ice. Lundin was actually the most impressive of the bunch. He showed good fundamentals and was efficient. He still lacks the strength and professional experience.

Schnieder, is insurance for a Boyle injury. There's no possible way to surviv him paired with Luky. They'd get run in the worst way. Leach is willing to mix-it-up after the whistle, but doesn't display much physical play otherwise for a guy his size. Lampmann competed, but made critical mistakes that would cost versus NHL regulars.

Worst I've seen O'Brien play. Skated like he was out of gas. We know that's not the case. He dogged it a bit. Despite being plus 2, he was on the ice for all 3 Dallas goals. On the last 2, he had his head down tying up some guy to the side of the net while having no idea that the shooter was all alone in front of the net. Didn't follow the puck well in many cases tonight. He's trying to lose his spot on my favorite's list.

Denis', I think was about good enough to get traded. Most shot's that he stopped were with little defensive help as were the final 2 goals. He held us in well enough to give us a chance to win.

Overall, the game lacked the enthusiasm most openers have. The new uni's were really vanilla for both teams. The crests and numbers don't stick out as they used to. They have a 2-D versus 3-D effect. In fact I wa still walking in the concourse when Karllsen scored and I thought at first glance the uni's looked like the old Islander's fish stix uniforms.

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