- This was one of the most fun games I've ever been to. I went and bought a ticket last night on a whim and I'm so glad I did. It would've been more fun if I'd been sitting with the Commune, but the building may very well have exploded if we'd all been together for this. I think I'm going to make it a point to attend opening day from now on.
- Obviously, the big story is Pavel Datsyuk and his Gordie Howe hat trick. I kind of can't believe I witnessed that. Guess he's not taking home the Lady Byng this year.
- As much as I loved seeing him fight, I don't really want to see him do that again. It was a major relief that he didn't get hurt. As much as Corey Perry had it coming to him, it wouldn't have been worth it if the Wings had lost Datsyuk. Still though, the crowd chanting, “Datsyuk Datsyuk Datsyuk” as he was escorted to the penalty box was awesome. I love being at the Joe.
- There are some teams out there in the NHL that I can understand why their fans like them. I may not necessarily agree, but I can see why they might root for them. The Ducks are not one of those teams. They have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I was sitting near a Ducks fan at the Joe and I was really tempted to ask him that when things got ugly.
- I was also annoyed by the fans in the upper bowl who booed Ozzie when he was introduced before the game. Not cool.
- Jimmy answered all the sophomore slump worries by pitching a shutout in the first game. He had a pretty quiet evening, but he was there to make the saves that mattered.
- The Wings' first goal was quite pretty.
- Even better was getting to see Mike Modano's first goal as a Red Wing. The crowd was absolutely thrilled for him. You could tell it was more than just an average goal celebration in the stands.
- I was stunned when Dan Cleary's goal stood. As soon as the play happened, I figured it was no-goal, and based on the replays that were shown on the scoreboard at the Joe, I wouldn't have been particularly upset if the call on the ice had been upheld. Now that I've seen the replay on FSD, I'm even more shocked. Even Mickey Redmond didn't think it was a goal. Turns out that Toronto thought it was, “a good hockey goal.” Go figure.
- At one point during a commercial break, they had to replay a scoreboard marriage proposal because apparently the couple wasn't paying attention the first time it was shown. Nice.
- In the midst of all the good, I specifically remember some atrocious defensive zone turnovers by Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Filppula, and Kronwall.
- They were playing Don't Stop Believin' during Brad Stuart's fight. Shouting along with the crowd during the fight was epic. Another awesome moment came when they played Buttercup late in the third. The crowd kept singing after they cut the music for the faceoff, and continued throughout the whole play until we were drowned out by Hey Jude at the next stoppage. It felt like a playoff game at the end there.
- God I hate the Ducks.
1. There's a clean slate tonight. It's a chance to start over and start the march toward what we hope is a celebration in June. Here's hoping the boys start off on the right foot.
I'd call that a heck of a start to the season. If only every game would turn out to be that much fun.
2. How long are the defensive pairings going to stand as they are now?
Well, Ericsson left the game in the second period with back spasms and will be replaced by Kindl tomorrow, so that kind of threw a wrench in things.
3. I still flinch every time the Wings play the Ducks out of fear that the elbows will start flying. Let's just try to get out of opening night uninjured.
Well they lost Ericsson, but it's hard to know exactly what messed his back up. Other than that, the Wings seemed to have survived intact.
Players to Watch:
Darren Helm: 0-0-0, +/- 0, 0 PIM
Helm had a pretty quiet night. He won some faceoffs and did some good work on the penalty kill, but I didn't notice him a whole lot. He did get some rare powerplay time at the end.
Aaron Voros: N/A
Well I really screwed this one up. I chose a guy who didn't play. I'm off to a great start here at ye olde blog this season.
Hero: Pavel Datsyuk
I love that man.
Villain: Ryan Getzlaf/Corey Perry
I can't stand those two. Way to be classy.
Real, meaningful Red Wings hockey at the Joe is a glorious sight. I think we're going to have more fun this year than we did last time around.