Long overdue game notes from Friday. The Canes lost to the Nashville Predators 3-2 in their second preseason game:
The attendance for the game is listed as 6375, but if there were actually more than 2000 people in the stands, it would be shocking. Preseason games are usually poorly attended, but the small turnout was still surprising.
- The following players were all competing for roster spots on Friday night, or will otherwise join the Checkers in Charlotte this season: Brett Sutter, Drayson Bowman, Zach Boychuk, Chris Terry, Justin Faulk, Riley Nash, Justin Peters
Friday marked Terry’s first NHL game (preseason or otherwise) since he was drafted by the Hurricanes in 2007. He had no problems getting in front of the net and going after rebounds, and played a very physical game. After the game, he said, “It was pretty good. I was excited, a little nervous headed in, but overall thought it was pretty good for my first one.” He also shared that his off-season training with Gary Roberts in Toronto gave him a huge improvement in his fitness and intensity.
- Brett Sutter was incredibly physical, and had a lot of grit, characteristics that he displayed during his season with Charlotte. He was going into the corners and playing with a lot of determination. He seemed to really fit in with the Hurricanes, and had a very impressive performance. He had over a minute of penalty kill TOI, in a game which only saw one minor penalty by the Hurricanes.
- Zach Boychuk seemed quiet and rather subdued. In Charlotte, he was known for being one of the louder, chirpier players, but he seemed quiet Friday, at least at the morning skate and warmups when I was close enough to hear him. Almost six of his 12 minutes of ice time came during the third period, when he played predominantly with Riley Nash and Brett Sutter.
Drayson Bowman had a very strong game. He had a lot of finesse, which is not surprising having skated with the Hurricanes for the last month of the season last year.
- Justin Peters played the final period, and stopped eight of the 10 shots he faced. His performance did not leave me with a lot of confidence for the upcoming Checkers season. He appeared in only 12 games last season, with a record of 3-5-1 (.875 SV%, 3.98 GAA). This year, I would expect him to see much more ice time between the pipes, but with the strong end to Mike Murphy’s season last year and his undisputed number one goalie status, it will be interesting to see how the Checkers handle the goaltending situation this year.