The NHL preseason has begun.
There are a couple of things to be remember in the weeks leading up to the first regular season game on October 7th.
The first is that preseason games do not influence who makes the playoff or directly affect a team's Stanley Cup run.
The second, these games are a great opportunity to showcase new talent, watch players up from the minors or recently added to the roster, and see the coaches and GMs test out lines, positions, special teams, and game strategy.
A perfect example of the experiments that come in preseason games was seen by the split team strategy in the Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames on September 21st.
Most teams have only played one or two games, but already the predictions are starting to fly.
Preseason games were not televised until a couple of years ago, and it would appear that it was for good reason. While spectators love attending these test matches, NHL analysts and diehard hockey fans can't hold back their game break downs, team rankings, and playoff predictions. After such an exciting Stanley Cup playoffs, they have been starved of the game over the summer. Fans out there are expecting nothing short of NHL playoff superstar performances such as ex-Canadien's goalie Jaroslav Halak from players like Carey Price, who are still trying to find their stride.
While the players are not in peak hockey condition, like they were when we saw them last in the playoffs; these games are exciting because it is all about trying out new things. The games are a little slower then regular season games which allows you to see the plays develop, and players learn to play with new faces and new lines.
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