It was an awesome scene in Detroit last night during the red carpet. The fans were energized for the pregame festivities, but decided to fill the seats half way into the 1st period. Zetterberg dropped the first puck to start a pretty good night. That moment gave me closure on his career because of how abrupt his retirement was.
The first intermission was the worst period of hockey they played all night. Just like last year with the penalties coming every five minutes. They were penalized three times in the first period which killed the offense. They had to FIGHT for 6 shots on goal. It didn’t take long for Cam Atkinson to kill us again with a power play goal. It felt like the Blue Jackets were skating circles around us and getting whatever shot they wanted.
“Li-Thor” Sulak looked like a veteran out there on the penalty kill and creating a presence near the net. At one point the puck was on the side of the net and Sulak starts a scuffle in front with a Blue Jacket. Absolutely loved to see that and it energized the crowd. Shortly after Dennis Cholowski snipes his first goal as a Red Wing. Larkin created it with his forecheck and then centered a pass for Cholowski in front of the net. Tyler Bertuzzi the “kid” strikes on the first power play goal of the season. That was important for the Wings to get a special teams goal because of the problems they had last year.
Jimmy Howard looked really good in net in is first game. Saving 36 of 39 shots on goal. His defense was there to back him up as Joe “freight train” Hicketts cleared bodies away from Howard. The penalty kill really settled in after the first goal they gave up. The Wings went on to kill five straight penalties after that one. Very encouraging sign from a young defense.
Obviously it sucks that the boys lost in Overtime, but Blashill needs to figure out the 3 on 3 lineups. He continues to put out the slowest skaters and defenseman on the lines. They went 3-12 in overtime last year. Something needs to change in that department for sure. First game of the season with five players that made their NHL debuts, so I am happy with a point against a team that was in the playoffs last season.