News: Jake Allen is lined up to start Thursday's pre-season game against Minnesota, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Analysis: Jake Allen and nominal starter Brian Elliott are alternating starts so far in the pre-season, a pattern that is likely to hold into the regular season the Blues appear poised to split their starts pretty evenly. As the rookie, Allen is likely to end up on the short end of the split, but his status as a legit top prospect (and Elliott's historical streakiness) could play into how the starts get divided up as the year goes on.
News: Brian Elliott stopped 20 of 21 shots he faced Tuesday in a win over Carolina. He played the whole game for the Blues. Analysis: Brian Elliott and Jake Allen have each played full games in consecutive starts. The alternating pattern seems likely to hold into the regular season as both goalies figure to see lots of starts. Elliott is prone to hot streaks and could end up with the greater number of starts, but he is not likely to be a 60-plus game workhorse like some of the NHL's elite goalies.
News: Vladimir Tarasenko scored and took four shots in more than 16 minutes of ice time Tuesday in a pre-season win over Carolina. Analysis: Vladimir Tarasenko now has four goals in three pre-season games as he looks to build on his 21 goal sophomore season. If he gets more ice time than he did last year (15:10 TOI/G), the young Russian could see his production jump as his all-world talent and puck possession skills continue to improve.
News: Alexander Steen, who made his pre-season debut Tuesday in a win over Carolina, had an assist and added two shots and three hits in 16:47 of ice time. Analysis: Alexander Steen looked good throughout the game and skated on the power play in addition to his regular shift. He is hoping to build off of his 33 goal breakout season and this debut is a good start.
News: Jonathan Quick (wrist) stopped 16 of 17 shots in his first appearance of the preseason Tuesday. Analysis: Jonathan Quick was able to play the first two periods Tuesday in his first appearance since wrist surgery in the offseason. He'll have a couple of more preseason games to see some action before the regular season starts but it looks like all systems are go for Quick at this point.
News: Drew Doughty (upper body) scored a power play goal and logged over 22 minutes of ice time in his first action of the preseason Tuesday. Analysis: Drew Doughty had been held out with some sort of upper body injury sustained during offseason workouts shortly before training camp opened but had always remained confident that he'd be back in plenty of time for the regular season. He may not play in all of the remaining exhibition games but he's all set for the season opener.
News: Wayne Simmonds scored a goal in Tuesday's 4-2 win over the Rangers. Analysis: Wayne Simmonds has found himself with two new linemates this season, and this preseason chemistry, albeit against the Rangers' B team, is encouraging. Simmonds' 60 points last season should place in the early rounds of most drafts.
News: Sean Couturier scored a goal in Tuesday's 4-2 win over the Rangers. Analysis: The Flyers are looking for Sean Couturier to expand his offensive game this season. In fact, they've been looking for that for the last few seasons, and it hasn't happened. Last year, the defensively-minded center collected just 39 points. He'll add good depth to most fantasy lineups, but since past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, be careful not to overvalue him.
News: Travis Moen is in danger of losing his spot on the roster, the Montreal Gazette reports. Analysis: Travis Moen skated on the fifth line during practice Tuesday, so it's looking like he's headed for a reserve forward role if he makes the team. And the Habs may decide to go with a cheaper option, like Michael Bournival, for a guy that might be a healthy scratch most nights.
News: Dustin Tokarski is still in the mix to become the backup goalie to Carey Price, the Montreal Gazette reports. He and Peter Budaj are battling for the backup job. Analysis: Head coach Michel Therrien said the team is still evaluating the two goaltenders heading into the final weekend of the preseason and that "there are a lot of things that come into consideration" when it comes to making a decision like this. One thing to consider is that Dustin Tokarski will have to be exposed to waivers before the Canadiens can assign him to Hamilton of the American Hockey League. A guy like Tokarski, a young goalie with playoff experience and a minimum salary, might be attractive to other teams.