Obviously Jack Eichel is a household NHL name after being drafted second overall in 2015 and a strong rookie season, but he has yet to play a minute of regular season hockey in 2016-17. That could be changing soon as he took to the ice today in Buffalo in his first practice with his teammates since a preseason ankle injury. Eichel's 56 points in 81 games in his rookie season last year were impressive, and it will be interesting to see how he starts the season after missing almost eight weeks with injury.
Travis Konecny recorded his eighth assist and 12th point of the season on a second period marker by Dale Weise. Unfortunately Sean Couturier went down with a lower-body injury and will be out for for 4-6 weeks. Konecny had played nearly 85% of his shifts this season alongside Couturier, with nine of his 12 points coming with the pair on the ice together. It looks like Konecny will be on a line with Nick Cousins and Wayne Simmonds tonight when the Flyers face Tampa. Keep an eye out to see how the rookie gels with his new linemates.
Another player who could be affected by a lineup shake-up as an important player returns to the team is Jonathan Marchessault. Since Jussi Jokinen's return Marchessault has been playing alongside Reilly Smith and Vincent Trocheck after spending a good amount of the season with Aleksander Barkov and Jaromir Jagr. Nick Bjugstad returned to the lineup last week, and centered the Panthers third line with Denis Malgin and Colton Sceviour. It will be worth watching to see how Marchessault's role and production pan out when the Panthers have a full lineup. Remember, Jonathan Huberdeau will be returning in the new year.
Tonights NHL slate is chalked full of games, as there are only two games tomorrow with the Thanksgiving holiday.
Winnipeg at Minnesota – 7:00pm ET
Detroit at Buffalo – 7:00pm ET
Toronto at New Jersey – 7:00pm ET
Pittsburgh at New York Rangers – 7:00pm ET
St. Louis at Washington – 7:00pm ET
Calgary at Columbus – 7:00pm ET
Philadelphia at Tampa – 7:30pm ET
Dallas at Nashville – 8:00pm ET
Chicago at San Jose – 10:00pm ET
Edmonton at Colorado – 10:00pm ET
Vancouver at Arizona – 10:00pm ET
New York Islanders at Los Angeles – 10:30pm ET
Apologies on the short (and late) ramblings today! Tore my MCL in beer league last night (for the second time), so i've been dealing with that all day. Apparently I need to spend more on the beer aspect and less on the ice! Enjoy the hockey!
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