Aleksander Barkov and Patrik Laine will take center stage

 
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МнениеПуснато на: Сря Мар 20, 2019 1:34 am    Заглавие: Aleksander Barkov and Patrik Laine will take center stage Отговорете с цитат

on Thursday in their home nation of Finland.Barkov’s Florida Panthers (2-4-3) and Laine’s Winnipeg Jets (7-4-1) will square off for two nights in a row at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki as part of the 2018 NHL Global Series.Both Barkov Derek Ryan Jersey Womens , 23, and Laine, 20, were born in Tampere, a two-hour drive from Helsinki. The two stars are on opposing sides in the NHL but they were linemates while playing for Finland in 2016 for the IIHF World Championship.Article continues below ...“At the World Championship, it was natural,” Barkov told NHL.com. “We’re from the same town. I’ve known about him for a long time. I knew he was going to be a very good player.“And he knew about me, so it was an easy transition to friendship. He’s a very good friend.”There will be a lot of friends at Hartwall on Thursday as Barkov and Laine have said they will leave numerous tickets for their loved ones from Finland.It should be a great show, especially the individual battle between these two dynamic forwards.Barkov was the NHL’s second overall draft pick in 2013 and became an All-Star last season. Considered one of the league’s best two-way centers, he scored 27 goals and totaled a career-high 78 points last season.“He has sick hands,” Laine told NHL.com when asked about Barkov. “He plays with a long stick John Carlson Jersey , so his reach is really good. He’s good at back-checking and taking the puck away. He’s pretty magical on shootouts. His overall game is one of the best.”Laine is pretty special too. The NHL’s No. 2 overall draft pick in 2016, he scored 36 goals as a rookie and 44 last season. Laine finished second in the league in goals last season, trailing only Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.And, like Ovechkin, Laine’s one-timer is nearly unstoppable. Laine led the NHL last season with 20 power-play goals.Panthers starting goalie Roberto Luongo has yet to return from injuring his right knee on opening night. Backup netminder James Reimer has struggled in seven games, including five starts (1-3-1). He has a high goals-against average (3.41) and an unimpressive save percentage .878. The third-string goalie is Michael Hutchinson (1-1-2, 4.17 GAA, .839 save percentage).Winnipeg’s goaltender choices are a pair of 25-year-olds: starter Connor Hellebuyck (4-4-1, 3.00 GAA, .907 save percentage) and backup Laurent Brossoit (3-0-0, 1.67 GAA Lars Eller Jersey , .957 save percentage).Hellebuyck led the NHL with 44 wins last season, posting a 2.36 GAA and finishing second in the voting for the Vezina Trophy.So far, though, he has been outplayed by Brossoit.Jets coach Paul Maurice said Hellebuyck will get the nod Thursday but he has not made a decision on his starter for Friday’s rematch.“The open door on that one is that Laurent has been so good in volume games. He’s played so well,” said Maurice. “My starting point would be slightly leaning toward that, but I’ll judge it all based on the game.” Both teams will have a number of new faces in the lineup when the Chicago Blackhawks visit the Ottawa Senators in the season opener for both teams at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday.In other words, it should be a busy night for the program sellers.Making their debuts for the Senators will be three former San Jose Sharks who were acquired in separate offseason trades. Chris Tierney and Mikkel Boedker are scheduled to skate on the Ottawa’s third line while Dylan DeMelo is slated to work on the third blue-line pairing alongside Max Lajoie, a 20-year old who will be playing his first NHL game.Article continues below ...Tierney was part of the deal in which Ottawa sent star defenseman and two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson to San Jose.Lajoie, who has just one season of pro experience, was the surprise of camp.“He’s shown so much poise, and so much calm in the face of all kinds of pressure Madison Bowey Jersey ,” Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said of Lajoie, the Senators’ fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft. “He went through the American Hockey League. It’s not like a junior kid that’s just coming up.”Boedker is a former first-rounder who was acquired in a deal for Mike Hoffman, who had 107 goals in 342 games for Ottawa. Boedker has eight goals in 11 career games versus the Senators, but only scored 25 times in the past two seasons with San Jose.The rebuilding Senators will need him to pick up some of the slack on offense, particularly with the loss of Karlsson, who tied for the team lead with 62 points last season.“You’re always a little nervous for the first game,” said Boedker, “but i think the excitement of a new season starting, a new opportunity that lay ahead, that kind of takes over and wipes out the nervousness. It’s a fresh start for all of us in here, so I think we’ve all got to play with a little chip on our shoulder and prove a lot of people wrong.”Meanwhile Nicklas Backstrom Jersey , three Blackhawks will be making their NHL debuts in Ottawa: defenseman Henri Jokiharju, center Luke Johnson and winger Dominik Kahun.Jakiharju, a first-round pick in 2017, is tentatively scheduled to skate alongside Duncan Keith on the first pairing. The undrafted Kahun is penciled in on the right side of first-line center Jonathan Toews and Johnson is working the middle on the fourth line.“I’ve waited all by childhood to play in the NHL … it’s going to be fun,” Jakiharju told the Blackhawks website. “It’s going to be a huge game, but I’m not going to make it any bigger than what it’s going to be, and try not to think about it too much. It’s one game for me. Best time of my life right now, so I’m just going to enjoy it.”Johnson echoed similar sentiments on the website.“I’ve worked so hard my whole life to get here and finally it’s here,” he said. “It’s definitely exciting and I’m a little nervous, but I think I’m more excited than nervous. I don’t want to just play a few games. I want to stick around and make a career out of it. I think I’ve just got to do what I do best and play my game and work.”Also making their Chicago debuts will be veterans Chris Kunitz, who played for the Tampa Bay Lightning last season James Neal Jersey Womens , and Brandon Manning, who was on the Philadelphia Flyers blue line.“That’s what teams need to be successful,” Kunitz, a four-time Cup champion, told the website when asked about a mix of youth and experience. “You need the older, veteran core players to do their part, but you also need, every year, a rookie or two to step up so you can duplicate that next year and get better and grow.“Every team that’s successful has a little bit of everybody. Our job as older guys is to make them comfortable and get them into the routine of the NHL as quick as we can, so we can come out as a successful team.”
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