Review of Opening Night for Canadian teams.
Ottawa Senators, and Toronto Maple Leafs.
If you're an Ottawa Senators fan, get used to no longer being the only relative team in Ontario again, as the picture above is something you're going to have to get used to seeing. Although Ottawa was the team that won the game, Leafs fans are probably waking up as the happier of the two on Thursday morning, because Ottawa really stole the two points there, and are thanking Andersen for the win, Frederik that is. Andersen had a bit of a rough start in his leafs debut as he let in a few goals he would likely want back. Bobby Ryan's goal, Andersen really should have held onto the point shot, and he should have stopped the near post shot of Derek Brassard. Turris had two good goals, as he was always left wide open and Karlsson scored on a deflection, but Andersen showed some first game rust and that will go away. What won't go away is the electrifying speed, and skill of Marner, Nylander, and of course the man, the myth, the legend Auston Matthews. Marner looked dominate at times on the first line fitting in very well and showing that he can play important minutes in the NHL. The Matthews, and Nylander line along with Zach Hyman was easily the most dangerous line on the ice last night as they held onto the puck and created chances the whole game. Hyman does such a good job for this line going into the corners and retrieving the puck for his highly skilled line mates and then lets them work their magic. Nylander looks like he already has some of the best hands in the league, and the poise to set Matthews up all year, his wing game and speed will really compliment Matthews. The only thing you can say about Matthews is he looks like their new best player and he probably is. The defence looks like it can use some work but that was expected and will be worked on, but leafs fans won't be worried about that because, Matthews. Ottawa looks like a very balanced team, Anderson looked good in goal, I think he got hung out to dry on 3 out of 4 Matthews goals and there wasn't really much he could do about them. Ottawa will really rely heavily on getting production from the top six, I think depth in the bottom six might be a problem later in the season for Ottawa.
Calgary Flames vs Edmonton Oilers.
The Flames played horrible, and Mcdavid took advantage of that. Every time Mcdavid was on the ice the game looked faster, and he made everyone on his line somehow play better, he even got Zach Kassian on a breakaway. To say the least Mcdavid looked like one of the best and most exciting players in the NHL. The Flames are a very new team, and 1 minute into the game it showed as their new defence man Grossman coughed the puck up in his own end and then watched the puck go into the back of the net. The Flames should honestly never play Grossman again. Elliott played bad yes, but so did Frederik Andersen, and Cam Talbot didn't play that great either although he didn't have to, no goalies played good last night so its fine, give him more than one game before you kick him out, he lead the league in save percentage last year, he won't let in 7 goals a game.. although he might if the Flames keep the same defensive lines, they should really fix that. Edmonton had a good jump last night, and played with speed, and a good drive to the net. They didn't mess around at all they had a game plan and they stuck to it and it worked for them as they skated right past the lost Calgary defence man. Somehow every forward on Edmonton looked better than any on Calgary, Calgary just looked like they hadn't played together in two years, and had not played any hockey at all in at least eight months. This will obviously change the more they play. Whether Edmonton can keep up their play is another question, defiantly don't expect Edmonton to score 5 plus goals a game, don't even expect it on Friday when these two teams meet again, that game will likely be a lot closer as it looked like all of the goals pissed both teams off and reunited the battle of Alberta, and by battle of Alberta I mean fists flying, late hits, and an all out fight, the battle is back. Lots of Edmonton fans, and hockey fans complained about the play of Matthew Tkachuk, and not because he played bad but because he was "dirty" mainly for 3 plays in particular. In the first period when he slammed Kris Russell into the boards, it wasn't very dangerous until at the last second Russell pulled a veteran move on the rookie and showed him the numbers and let Tkachuk hit him from behind, well in Russell. Another is when Davidson, and Tkachuk got tied up behind the net and Davidson got hurt because he had a 6'2 203 pound man land on top of him as he went down awkwardly, this was not a slew foot, this was two men playing hockey, getting tied up by the net, unfortunately one player got hurt, and if he didn't we aren't even talking about this play. And another is when Tkachuk gave Larsson a love tap of a shot after the whistle and fans lost it on him that he can't control himself, and is dirty, but what Edmonton fans seem to forget is Larsson ran Ferland in the first period, and Tkachuk is freaking huge himself and isn't going to let that go in a rivalry whether its his first game, or his 1000th. Remember he is Keith Tkachuk's son, remember him? POWER FORWARDS HIT! So, the Flames played horrible, that will likely changed, and the Oilers somehow scored 7 on one of the most deep defensive lines in the NHL, that will also change. If the first game tells us anything its just that the Flames need to come out harder, play a better possession game, and play faster as well, and that the Oilers are not a team to be messed around with as Mcdavid can make any team look good, and help any team score 7.