Skip to main content

Daily Primer Oct. 4: Everyone onto the ice

by John Kreiser

By the time the six games on the schedule Friday will have concluded, all 30 teams will have opened their seasons. The four teams that have yet to take the ice -- the Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes -- all open their seasons. Ottawa and the Islanders start on the road, while the Blue Jackets and Hurricanes get to open in front of their home fans.

Here's a quick look at Friday's action:

Ottawa Senators at Buffalo Sabres -- The Senators will be starting a grueling season-opening stretch when they take the ice at First Niagara Center; they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday and go to California and Arizona for four games before they return to Canadian Tire Centre on Oct. 17. The Sabres play their home opener after coming up a goal short in a 2-1 road loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. Rookie Johan Larsson will step in as second-line center with Ville Leino sidelined by a broken rib.

New York Islanders at New Jersey Devils -- John Tavares will wear the "C" for the first time in the regular season when he leads the Islanders onto the ice at Prudential Center in their opener. He was named captain last month. Kyle Okposo reportedly will get the first shot at the plum position of right wing on a line with Tavares and Matt Moulson. Martin Brodeur didn't play in New Jersey's 3-0 opening-night road loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins -- Cory Schneider became the first goaltender other than Brodeur to play in a season opener for the Devils since 1993 -- but he's expected to be in goal for the home opener.

Detroit Red Wings at Carolina Hurricanes -- Detroit plays its first road game after beating Buffalo 2-1 at home on Wednesday, a game in which the Red Wings outshot the Sabres 34-20. Daniel Alfredsson said he would be ready to play after getting Thursday off. Alfredsson, who had groin problems during the preseason, called the maintenance day "the reality of being 40." The Hurricanes open their 16th season in North Carolina looking to advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009. They'll get an early boost from the schedule; five of their first seven games are at home.

Calgary Flames at Columbus Blue Jackets -- The 325-mile flight from Washington D.C. to Columbus takes about an hour, but for the Flames, it must have seemed a lot longer after they blew 3-0 and 4-1 leads Thursday in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals. They'll get right back on the ice and try to spoil the night for the Blue Jackets, who have been off for a week after losing their last three preseason games. There's plenty of optimism in Columbus after last season's second-half surge; the question is whether the Blue Jackets, now in the Eastern Conference, will be able to build on it and make the playoffs for only the second time in franchise history.

Los Angeles Kings at Winnipeg Jets -- The Kings will try to sweep their season-opening two-game trip after stealing a 3-2 shootout win from the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. Jonathan Quick made 27 saves through overtime and two more in the shootout. Jeff Carter's third-period goal assured the Kings of one point and his shootout goal locked up the second one. L.A. will have to deal with what's sure to be a deafening ovation when the Jets take the ice at MTS Centre after beating the Edmonton Oilers 5-4 on Tuesday. The Jets are looking for their first win in a home opener since the franchise relocated from Atlanta after the 2010-11 season.

Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche -- You can be sure coach Barry Trotz will drum the importance of being ready to play from the opening faceoff into his players' heads; the Predators weren't ready to go Thursday and the result was three goals-against in less than 10 minutes in what turned into a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. The Avalanche had a day to enjoy their season-opening 6-1 rout of the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. They need a win against Nashville because their next three games are on the road in Toronto, Boston and Detroit.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.