Head2Head Sports

MenuSkip to content

Hockey

Face Off Pick'em

Latest Player News

Jake Virtanen left Tuesday's preseason matchup against the Sharks with an upper-body injury and will not return, Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province reports.

Impact

The exact location of the injury remains unclear, but it appeared to be either a shoulder or neck issue for Virtanen. He'll likely be evaluated further following the game, so we should get a better understanding of a potential absence in the near future.

Mika Zibanejad exploded for a power-play goal and two assists – one on the man advantage – during Tuesday's 5-2 preseason victory over the Islanders.

Impact

Well, that didn't take long. Traded by the Senators over the offseason, Zibanejad looked stellar in his debut with the Rangers. While we can't get overly excited about preseason, the 23-year-old has been poised for a breakout and this type of performance can only help his case. The center amassed 21 goals and 30 assists last season with Ottawa and will be asked to shoulder more of the load in New York, leaving owners excited for what's to come in 2016-17.

Wayne Simmonds notched a power-play goal, adding an assist, two PIM and four hits during Tuesday's 4-0 preseason win against the Islanders.

Impact

Simmonds already looks in regular season form, even without a few studs in the lineup. The 28-year-old had a career year in 2015-16, finding twine 32 times and adding 28 assists, 147 PIM and 229 shots on goal. The winger has been a consistent offensive threat for five years with the Flyers, but struggles in the plus/minus department. The 2007 second-round pick has only reached positive for the year once (2009-10 with the Kings), which is one of the few knocks against the power-play weapon.

Nathan Beaulieu notched a power-play goal and three assists – one on the man advantage – during Tuesday's 5-2 preseason victory over the Capitals.

Impact

Beaulieu's performance comes at an interesting time, as the defenseman was recently placed on the trade block by the Canadiens. Showcasing his offensive prowess, the 23-year-old is an intriguing name to keep an eye on, especially if he changes jerseys. The blueliner put up two goals and 17 helpers last season and could reach that with ease in the right situation (averaged 17:27 of ice time in 2015-16). It's also evident that Beaulieu is over his thumb injury, seeing over 25 minutes of ice time during Tuesday's matchup.

Devan Dubnyk gave up three goals on 29 shots during Tuesday's 3-1 preseason loss to the Avalanche.

Impact

Dubnyk looked rusty Tuesday, which the netminder will have to shake off before the regular season starts. The 30-year-old struggled near the end of last year, which carried over to the playoffs, but still had a productive second campaign with the Wild. The 2004 No. 4 pick reached 32 wins to the tune of a .918 save percentage and 2.33 GAA.

Brad Marchand registered a goal and an assist during Tuesday's 3-1 victory over Team Europe in Game 1 of the World Cup of Hockey Finals.

Impact

Marchand has showed up when it counts, notching four points in the past two games (three goals and an assist). The 28-year-old went cold before the knockout games started, but with Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron gracing the top line, that dry spell wasn't going to last. Expect more fireworks in Game 2 on Thursday.

Patrice Bergeron found twine and added an assist in Tuesday's 3-1 win over Team Europe in Game 1 of the World Cup of Hockey Finals.

Impact

The line of Bergeron, Sidney Crosby and Brad Marchand was dominate Tuesday, accounting for six points (two each) in total. The 31-year-old has three goals and three assists during the tournament while averaging almost 18 minutes of ice time. The two-way center should once again be a key piece in Thursday's potential clincher.

Sidney Crosby notched two helpers in Tuesday's 3-1 victory over Team Europe in Game 1 of the World Cup of Hockey Finals.

Impact

Crosby has been simply unstoppable in the tournament, which should come as no surprise considering he is surrounded by exceptional talent, and he's a star himself. The 29-year-old has three goals and six assists in five games – including points in three straight – and should have no issue sealing the deal come Thursday.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 35 of 38 shots during Tuesday's 3-1 loss to Team Canada in Game 1 of the World Cup of Hockey Finals.

Impact

Halak has had an excellent tournament, but he may have met his match in the finals. Team Canada has a stellar group of stars on the attacking end, which could make for a long Game 2 on Thursday. The 31-year-old has still been a standout for Team Europe, registering a 3-2-0 record to date with a .943 save percentage (one shutout). Halak will hope to bounce back in Thursday's matchup to keep his team alive.

Carey Price turned away 32 of 33 shots during Tuesday's 3-1 victory against Team Europe in Game 1 of the World Cup of Hockey Finals.

Impact

Price is undefeated in the tournament, protecting the crease with relative ease at times, and ultimately dominating as the top netminder in the tournament. The 29-year-old gave up three goals to a powerful Team Russia in the semifinals, but Team Europe will find it tough to produce against one of the best in the business. Thursday's matchup could spell the end to Price's World Cup of Hockey run, as Team Canada has the chance to close it out. Owners should be excited at the 2005 No. 5 pick's prospects for the upcoming season.

Morgan Rielly will skate at Leafs' camp Wednesday for the first time his preseason, reports the Toronto Star. He played for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey.

Impact

He impressed at the WCH, delivering a goal and an assist in three games for Team North America. Rielly's ascent to the top of the blue line heap in Toronto will continue in 2016-17 and he should be the first Toronto blueliner off the board on draft day.

James van Riemsdyk will hit the ice Wednesday for the first time at Leafs' training camp, reports the Toronto Star. He played for Team USA at the World Cup of Hockey.

Impact

He's coming off a disappointing World Cup of Hockey where the USA struggled mightily. JVR tallied just a single assist with four shots in three games and finished minus-4. He'll get up to speed at camp quickly and should deliver a solid 2016-17 season.

Shawn Matthias left Tuesday's preseason game against the Flames with an upper-body injury and did not return.

Impact

The severity of the injury is currently unknown, but there is a chance that Matthias was held out simply as a precautionary measure. Jets officials will likely provide updates on Matthias' status later this week.

Jean-Francois Berube could once again be a part of a three-man goalie rotation for the Islanders, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.

Impact

Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss are still playing in the World Cup so Berube is getting plenty of work in training camp but that will change in the coming days. Berube is still looking at spending more time on the bench than on the ice during games this season as he figures to be third on the depth chart in goal unless the Isles were to deal Halak.

Josh Jooris suffered a groin injury during Tuesday's preseason matchup with the Islanders and will not return.

Impact

It remains unclear how the injury occurred or what the severity of it might be, but the groin injury will at least rule him out for the rest of Tuesday's exhibition matchup. We should see his status updated following the game or within the next few days, so stay tuned for further information regarding his availability moving forward.

Steve Mason will be in the blue paint against the Islanders on Tuesday, Sam Carchidi of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Impact

Mason struggled in his three playoff appearances before being given the hook in favor of Michal Neuvirth last year. While Mason should start the season as the primary netminder, a slow start could see him replaced, which will no doubt weigh on his mind. Until there is more clarity regarding the Flyers goaltending situation, fantasy owners may want to avoid utilizing either player.

Mantas Armalis should make an appearance in Tuesday night's exhibition match against the Canucks.

Impact

The Sharks will start Troy Grosenick on Tuesday, but Armalis is the more intriguing of the two. Like Grosenick, he went undrafted, but the Lithuanian is bigger and has shown plenty of promise in Sweden. In 2012, Armalis won an award for best goalie of the 2012 IIHF World Championship (Division II Group A). He'll presumably compete with Grosenick and Aaron Dell for the backup job behind starter Martin Jones in San Jose.

Troy Grosenick will start in goal for Tuesday night's game against the visiting Canucks.

Impact

Grosenick shined in two appearances with Team Teal last November, allowing three goals on 58 shots between the Hurricanes and Sabres. Still, the undrafted netminder carried a 3.16 GAA over 28 games with AHL San Jose, suggesting that he has plenty of room for improvement. No matter how he performs Tuesday, expect the Sharks to also give Mantas Armalis a look in Tuesday's exhibition contest.

Kurtis Gabriel scored a goal in Monday's preseason win over Buffalo. Minnesota head coach Bruce Boudreau said Gabriel has a chance to win a roster spot on the fourth line, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Impact

Gabriel would appear to be a long shot to win a roster spot, but it's not clear if Boudreau wants to keep an enforcer on the fourth line. If so, Gabriel could have some value for penalty minutes.

Mike Reilly had an assist in the Wild's first preseason game Monday. He's in a battle with Christian Folin and Nate Prosser for the final two spots on the blue line, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Impact

Reilly could lose out because he's the only one of the three who won't need waivers if sent to AHL Iowa. Reilly could have the most upside of the the trio due to his skills on offense, however.