Well, this actually feels more like a regular-season game. Familiar names in the line-up, fewer breakdowns. The intensity isn't quite there yet though. And the crowd, while present, is pretty passive.
Hossa - Holik - Kozlov
Kovalchuk - Little - Sterling
Perrin - Slater - Dupuis
Thorburn (rotates with Larsen out , Little was there once)- Boulton
Seven D are dressed, so the pairings are pretty random. The low ice time will make up for the five D they had the other night.
Hossa is a one-man PK unit. He's everywhere. Little was out on the PK with him at least once, they are testing him in all situations. Sterling with a good take-away wraparound chance.
2nd intermission: The most interesting thing I (finally) noticed is a rise in the number of shields being worn by this year's squad. Perrin, Popovic, Sterling, Enstrom, and Little are all wearing shields, joining McCarthy, Dupuis, and most surprisingly -- Exelby. Havelid isn't wearing a shield, and has a cut under his eye to prove it.
I thought maybe Sterling would get credit for the goal that was scored, he was standing in front of Vokoun. He at least screened him really well.
Enstrom stayed out for all but :16 seconds of one of the power plays.
This combination of players had a rough time clearing the zone: 5-41-17-44-27.
After seeing Popovic's play tonight, I'd say McCarthy can rest a little easier. He hasn't been strong on the puck, and is making questionable decisions.
Thus ends my in-game blogging for the preseason. Now that the frenzy of preseason is over, I won't be updating as often, which is a good thing because I have some stories to write!