Who else is thrilled that the last 2 preseason games are at home in PNC Arena where we can actually see the games? I am feeling real positive on the play of Noah Hanifin thus far but have really only seen him play in practices and scrimmages. The Skinner/Nash/Versteeg line is clicking, but we did not actually witness that happen this weekend either.
And today, I was only able to catch the first period even on the radio broadcast. Nonetheless, let me put forward a few quick thoughts on Sunday’s game:
–Kris Versteeg looks to be a great match for 1 of the things the Canes need to boost scoring which is playmaking from the wing. It is not to say that they are not good players, but I would not characterize any of the Canes centers as pure playmakers. This skill set is incredibly important because it is what helps assure that the scorers get a decent number of chances. Having to create and finish chances is prone to long dry spells when defenses clamp down. Versteeg assisted on a 3-on-3 exhibition goal by Skinner on Saturday and picked up the primary assist on the game-winner when he showed patience on the rush and ultimately found Jaccob Slavin coming into the offensive zone in a second wave.
–Brock McGinn. I am not sure how he played overall, but being given a good scoring chance and finishing it is a great start especially for a team looking for some sandpaper but also in need of scoring from any and all sources.
–Jaccob Slavin. At the beginning of training camp, his trajectory was promising, but one would have figured him to be something between half a year and 2 years away from being NHL ready. He just might be playing his way into the tryout early. He was maybe a surprise addition to the NHL group on Wednesday. A game-winning goal never hurts. Maybe most significantly Bill Peters seemed impressed beyond the goal based on the report from the team which you can find HERE.
–Cam Ward. He rebounded after a rough first outing earlier in the week. A single goal against on 26 shots and a 2-1 win is obviously a good day in net.
–Another win. For a team that struggled the previous season, I think winning in preseason is more important than people think. It starts to set expectations and regardless of lineups and situations builds confidence.
Below are a couple polls posted for others to chime in with their impressions from the win over Ottawa:
For Canes preseason game #4 vs. Ottawa, which line stood out most positively?
- Skinner/Nash/Versteeg (67%, 16 Votes)
- McGinn/McClement/Terry (25%, 6 Votes)
- Gerbe/JStaal/Nestrasil (4%, 1 Votes)
- Di Giuseppe/Ryan/Tolchinsky (4%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 24
For Canes preseason game #4 vs. Ottawa, which defense pairing stood out most positively?
- Slavin/Murphy (90%, 19 Votes)
- Liles/Wisniewski (10%, 2 Votes)
- Carrick/Pesce (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 21
For Canes preseason game #4 vs. Ottawa, which individual players (pick up to 3) stood out most positively?
- Brock McGinn (76%, 16 Votes)
- Cam Ward (57%, 12 Votes)
- Jaccob Slavin (52%, 11 Votes)
- Kris Versteeg (38%, 8 Votes)
- Derek Ryan (14%, 3 Votes)
- Ryan Murphy (10%, 2 Votes)
- Riley Nash (10%, 2 Votes)
- Brett Pesce (5%, 1 Votes)
- Sergey Tolchinsky (5%, 1 Votes)
- Jeff Skinner (5%, 1 Votes)
- Phil Di Giuseppe (0%, 0 Votes)
- Nathan Gerbe (0%, 0 Votes)
- Jordan Staal (0%, 0 Votes)
- Trevor Carrick (0%, 0 Votes)
- Andrej Nestrasil (0%, 0 Votes)
- Jay McClement (0%, 0 Votes)
- James Wisniewski (0%, 0 Votes)
- John-Michael Liles (0%, 0 Votes)
- Chris Terry (0%, 0 Votes)
- Eddie Lack (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 21