Thursday, September 22, 2005

Wings 3, Avs 2 (OT)

I wasn't able to watch the whole game last night because I had a meeting I had to attend but I was able to catch the first period and record some observations. - Babcock apparently likes Yzerman on the left wing and started him with Maltby and Draper. I noticed that this line played a lot in the first period, as did the Wings' second line. Yzerman looked good and didn't seem to be too much affected by the visor he's wearing. - Jason Williams, Robert Lang and Brendan Shanahan played together and had some good chances. I like that combination, two strong and skilled forwards combined with Williams' youth and speed. Should be a good one. - Jiri Fischer has jersey #2 again, now that Derian Hatcher is with Philadelphia. He played with Mathieu Schneider in the first period. - I didn't find the trapezoid behind the net overly obtrusive, though the crappy reception the TV in the lounge downstairs gets may have something to do with that. I can already tell, though, that the goalies are going to have trouble adapting. - Unlike the exhibition games I've been reading about, the pace wasn't disrupted by penalties in the first period. It wasn't until six and a half minutes into the game that a penalty was called and up to then, there was a pretty good pace. There were only two penalties total in the first period, both on the Avs, and it seemed the players had adapted pretty well to the new rules. - Manny Legace made the start for the Wings and looked sharp, though he wasn't tested much as the Wings dominated the play for most of the period. - Niklas Kronwall is certainly offensively-minded. He joined the rush a number of times and created some chances for himself and others. As long as he knows the correct balance, I have no problem with him getting involved in the offense. It adds a bit of excitement to know that there is another player on the edge of the screen who is a threat. - There wasn't anything too exciting play-wise in the first period but with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg not dressed, that was to be expected. Still, it was exciting just to see the Wings play again, after a year and a half. Any pessimism I might have had is gone. The Wings can compete, it will just be tougher than before. I'm looking forward to the season more than ever now. - I would have liked to have seen the shootout after the game and Brendan Shanahan's goal, in particular. I wonder how common shootouts will be in the regular season. For a more standard game summary, check out the Freep's, which is entitled "Not matter? Heck, Wings still top Avs." My sentiments exactly. It may have been exhibition but it was Red Wings exhibition and for a fan who hadn't seen hockey for so long, it could only serve to re-light the fires. Also, FSN will broadcast the game from Columbus tonight at 7:00 ET. Go Wings!


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