The Wings looked pretty good tonight. Jimmy Howard was sharp, the powerplay actually worked, and the Pens' only goal was incredibly fluky. It's about time they looked like they actually wanted to be playing hockey.
A few notes from the game:
--This was the first game I’ve been able to watch a game on TV. Thank you, cable guy who works on Saturdays. I really missed Mickey Redmond.
--Unfortunately, Mickey and Ken were trying to kill me by repeatedly showing Penguins highlights from the Finals last year. Why? Seriously.
--The Pens did not look happy to see Kris Draper. Good. He played pretty well again. I like the looks of angry name twin heading into the season.
--Franzen had another goal to tie the game up at 1. Is this the year when he scores like a beast for the whole season instead of waiting until March to show up? Yes, please.
--The Wings allowed two shorthanded breakaways. They very narrowly avoided a third. I was pretty sure that they were going for an NHL record or something. The first one led to a penalty shot, which Jimmy Howard stopped. It ended up working out quite nicely because the Wings got to stay on the powerplay and Franzen promptly scored.
--The Pens’ goal was ridiculously fluky, as it bounced off of Meech’s skate into the open net. No fault at all to Howard on that one. After tonight, I feel much better about him backing Ozzie up. Which, coupled with the Lions’ victory, may be a sign that the world is about to end.
--Nik Kronwall in his street clothes and nerdy glasses looks like an accountant or an IT guy. Not a guy who does things like this.
--Because I know you were dying to know: Mickey Redmond is apparently a DirecTV customer, and as such is unable to watch the Wings’ season premiere on Friday. Awesome.
--Chris Kunitz went after Franzen like a punk. I still haven’t figured out how the Wings ended up shorthanded out of that scrum.
--Rafalski had a four point night.
--Datsyuk continued to look like he was in a class of his own out there. Seriously, at times this pre-season, he’s looked like he’s playing keep away with a bunch of kids. He absolutely threaded the needle on a pass to Franzen during a Wings powerplay. Mickey Redmond said, “He can do what he wants, whenever he wants. He's that good." If he keeps it up, he’ll be looking at his second consecutive Hart nomination. You heard it here first.
--Jason Williams also had a very good night. I think my cold heart might be starting to warm to the new arrivals/returnees.
And now the Wings are off to Sweden for one last exhibition game and the two game series against the Blues. Words cannot describe how excited I am for the season to start.