Pretty solid win by the good guys tonight. Not a ton of goals, but they scored enough and that's what matters. The Wings did a lot of things right tonight and got the result they deserved.
More after the jump:
I know hockey is back because I don't seem to care that my wife wants to go to the Caribbean without me.
Poor woman. It's going to be a long season.
The PK did great, killing off two different 5 on 3 chances. Buffalo was 0-7 on the night and didn't really have a lot of good chances. Part of that was their own failing, but Detroit played well out there.
The 1st power play unit was terrific. They generated chances and made the Sabres work. The 2nd unit, not so much. There’s skill on that unit, but they need to get used to playing with each other a bit more.
Howard was great, though the one goal he let in was pretty much on him with the giveaway. Still, the team started to get sloppy in front of him towards the end and he bailed them out.
Cleary played and Tatar sat, but Cleary played well. If not for the terrible interference call against him, he gets a power play goal. He also did well in front of the net.
I thought our defense was solid. Smith had one or two moments where he made me clench, but he did fine overall. I think the extra space behind the net will help him as much as the attacking forwards.
FNG Watch: Alfie and Weiss had great nights, both nearly scoring early. I keep thinking Weiss is Miller, though because I see a lefty with a number ending in 0. I also struggled with DeKeyser and Kronwall for some reason. Oh well.
NOHS Three Stars of the Game:
First Star: Jimmy Howard. He just wins when he plays the Sabres. That’s what he does.
Second Star: Pavel Datsyuk. GWG and some key takeaways throught the game.
Third Star: I liked Ericsson tonight. He caused the turnover that led to the GWG by Pav and played physical all night.
Things to Continue: First power play had great pressure. Keep that going. Smart play by the defense, too.
Things to Stop Doing Forever: Dumb penalties. Some BS calls, yes, but for the most part, the Wings deserved all of those calls against them.
It’s great to have hockey back. I’ve missed you guys! Next game is Friday night in Carolina. See you then.
How is no one mentioning DeKeyser? He played amazing. He has great positioning and neutralized many scoring chances before they could develop. You know who else had great positioning? Some guy named the perfect human. Now Danny is a long way from Lidstrom but I like what I see.
I was at the game and the atmosphere was awesome. Gonna be a great year at the Joe!
On an unrelated note, don't do the living apart for 2 years thing, it's a really, really bad idea even for the best relationships believe me.
Little better performance than last year's opener. Team looked really good off the bat, picked up where they left off last year. Also with Weiss and Alfredson realy looking good making a strong second line. I would like to see Tatar and Nyquist paired on the third line with Bert and maybe Cleary, Anderson, and Miller on line 4.
Thought Bert looked great as well!! So good to see him healthy and playing good again!! Now only if Helmer could do the same...poor guy just cant catch a break.
I like what I saw from Weiss, he seemed to be everywhere, Alfie and the Mule were quiet in my opinion. After the two goals the wings didn't really seem to be that much into the game against their "rivals" and only turned it up in the last 5 min.
All in all, I liked what I saw but I think we need to do better at finishing, that's for sure. I thought Alfie and Weiss played very well and DeKeyser is going to be VERY GOOD for this team for a very long time. Datsyuk is going to have an amazing year, I feel. I thought he had a great preseason and judging by his interviews, he feels 100% healthy and is ready to go and it showed tonight. I can't help but wonder how good this team could be if our management just learned to let go of some of these senior citizens and play the kids. You talked about the second power play unit, well just imagine what a jolt it would get with Nyquist out there or Tatar. It needs more playmakers.
@Reddy haha, thanks. not planning on it, but even if we did, i've been deployed before and we managed.
I really think the second unit's issue is a lack of chemistry and that will come in time. There is talent out there. They did score if not for the bad call on Cleary.
But I'm all for icing the best team possible, so I'd also like to see Tatar out there.