We find ourselves 3 games into the preseason and I can’t help myself, I have to provide some insights. Hockey preseason is not that much different from any other sport, drawing conclusions is more art than science. Just because a player has an unbelievable preseason does NOT mean they will succeed in the regular season. Personally, I like to watch the games and draw my conclusions from the quality of play more than the box score and stat sheet. Below are a few things that I’ve ascertained from a way too early look into the season over the first 3 games of preseason.
Brock Boeser scored a beauty in overtime, if he can maintain this quality of play he could be a force with Vancouver this year.
Jake Muzzin scored a nice goal, was very mobile alert and involved, if this start is any indication of his season he could have a great year for the Kings who appear to be looking for some goal scorers.
Vancouver Canucks defense – they were out of position, lackluster and repeatedly reaching instead of moving their feet. I don’t expect much out of them and they reaffirmed this with their play.
Generally both teams looked to be shaking quite a bit of rust off. I know it’s early and teams are figuring pieces out but the effort in general seemed low.
Las Vegas Golden Knights @ Vancouver Canucks (9-4 VGK) 9/17/2017
Cody Glass was moving his feet reading the ice and moving the puck around. I’m excited to see what he can do this year.
Tyler Wong – with a hat trick in your first outing with the team it’s hard not to be high on the player who has no NHL experience and all of 3 AHL games under his belt. All three on his goals close encounter around 5-10feet out from the net with minimal physical presence from the defense so keep that in mind. Given his size I wouldn’t be surprised if bigger defensemen can eliminate his presence altogether.
VGK Confidence – This is a young team and they played with a lot of energy. I feel confident saying we will see flashes of great play from this group of youngsters but when they lose a few or get down you will see their frustration boil over.
Brock Boesser had a hand in 3 of Vancouver’s four goals and is looking like their best player, his stock is ever increasing at this point.
Vancouver looked almost tired from this game so perhaps they are getting into game shape? They are not looking like a full unit through the first two games, especially on defense and in net.
Any Vancouver backup goalie who might be ready to step up to become a star for them. Both Richard Bachman and Thatcher Demko were sub average in net.
Fresh faces Mike Vecchione and Jori Lehtera scored early which is a promising addition to the team.
John Tavares scored two in the preseason opener to make a bold statement of his expectations of the year.
Mathew Barzal looked sharp on offense and he looked ready to fire often on net this year.
Islanders defense, a unit that already has a few question marks, looked lackluster and rusty. Nothing they can’t overcome but not a good start.
Travis Sanheim, Phil Myers and Leland Irving combined for some positional misses that allowed Mathew Barzal and John Tavares goals in the matchup.
Looking forward to a great first full week of games!