Ramblings: Recapping the exhibition games with notes on Carlson, Tarasenko, Burakovsky, Vatanen, Pulock, and more – July 30

Michael Clifford


This is largely going to be a recap of the exhibition games from the last couple nights. Granted, there isn't a ton we can glean from the first game back after nearly five months away – during the middle of the summer, no less. All the same, we've been waiting a long time to watch NHL hockey so it would be a waste not to discuss some observations, even if nothing comes of them.

Let's head back to Tuesday night's games for a second.

I agree with most observers that Sidney Crosby didn't look right. The thing with Crosby is that even in games where he's not having his best night, or even a good night, he can still impact shifts regularly. He wasn't doing that on Monday. Let's hope it's nothing serious… Travis Konecny had a great pass on the game-winning goal by Scott Laughton. I hope the Flyers can go deep these playoffs, if only to get great players like Couturier and Konecny more exposure… Shayne Gostisbehere did seem to have a good game as well. He was also fourth among their blue liners in ice time. Could a resurgence be in the making?…

Montreal looked bad. The two short-handed goals against will obviously stand out, and there's no reason to expect their power play being any better than it was five months ago, barring a Nick Suzuki miracle. Maybe the ice is part of the reason for this, but they just did not look on the same page all night, whether on the PP or at even strength. They have a couple days to figure it out, or Pittsburgh will make quick work of them… I thought guys like Ilya Mikheyev and Zach Hyman looked best for the Leafs in their win over Montreal, but that's almost to be expected, right? We don't expect the superstars to go all-out in one exhibition game before playoffs start (which is why I'm not remotely writing off Crosby yet).