Wild West: Season Kick-off

Chris Kane

2019-10-07

 

And it has happened at last. After a long summer of waiting, we finally have some actual hockey to report on. It has been an exciting first week with three and four-goal outings (I mean he isn’t in the West, but how about that Mika Zibanejad with eight points in two games!). Games played means we have an opportunity to look at real live production and line combos to review to make our recommendations, and not everything has happened exactly like predicted. In the name of keeping the column honest, there are a few players we need to touch on who have not had the start I was hoping for. 

 

Paul Stastny: Stastny was featured in this column as recently as last week. I was pumping him up because he has had a great stretch since Mark Stone joined the team (regular season and playoffs) and all indications were that he, Stone, and Max Pacioretty were due to start the season as one of Vegas’ top lines. Don’t get me wrong the line has been good. Stone has four points in two games, and Pacioretty was one, but with eight shots. No the problem with the line is that Stastny is not on it. He has been playing on line three with Brandon Pirri, and Valentin Zykov. It is not great and definitely not what we were hoping for. Cody Glass has received the bump and put in a goal in his first game. Now the one potential silver lining here is that his deployment may be based on the fact the typical third-line center, Cody Eakin, is out injured. Given that, there is a theory that Vegas needed a solid shut down center on the third line and that is Stastny over Glass. The hope is that when Eakin returns Stastny gets his spot back.   

 

Sam Steel: So I can’t really be blamed for this one, but in the last preseason article I highlighted the fact that he was skating the Rickard Rakell (and Jakob Silfverberg too, but that is less exciting). Once the article was posted he immediately went down to injury. He is currently still dealing with a mid-body injury, though the apparent time table for his return is short. 

 

Nick Schmaltz: In the Dobber Guide I recommended Schmaltz as a potential value add because his regular-season numbers weren’t fantastic, but he had had an excellent showing in Arizona alongside Keller. I assumed that the deployment would continue and when Alex Galchenyuk was swapped out for Phil Kessel that only imp