Postgame: Welcome Back Paul!

"L is for Loss!!!"

Final (Hi Mr. P!)
Red Wings 5, Senators 3

The Skinny
Well then. After a very touching ceremony to honor the legacy of Brad McCrimmon, the Wings put their feelings on the shelf and did something  that we as fans have been waiting to see for quite some time: jump on a team early at home. Despite a crappy third period, the Wings punched former assistant coach Paul MacLean and his Ottawa Senators team right in the mouth for most of the game, although lapsing in intensity with a five goal lead. I’m sure the Sens youth and inexperience played a strong part in the Wings  success tonight, but it’s hard to deny that the Wings looked like a much more focused and energetic team (third period excluded). Smart passes, solid D, contributions from multiple lines. That’s the recipe for success in the NHL and the Wings sure looked like they knew what they were doing tonight. Now, can they sustain that? Can they put it together for 60 minutes? One would like to believe they can, especially with a pair of hungry guys in the Leino Lounge tonight who will be getting their shot on the ice against the Avs tomorrow. Young, hungry players looking to prove themselves is a nice problem to have, and it’s emblematic of a Red Wings team that’s bringing the youth movement to fruition in Hockeytown.

Bullets of Importance

  • The pre-game ceremony honoring Brad McCrimmon was heart-wrenching. Seeing his wife fighting back tears and realizing that his kids lost their father was a moment that I soon won’t forget. I know I harped on McCrimmon as a coach, but good human beings should never be looked over and McCrimmon definitely fit that bill. Glad to see the Wings honor his memory with an emotional yet classy ceremony.
  • I may get a shitstorm of angry e-mails after saying this, but Tomas Holmstrom on the fourth line may be one of the best decisions Mike Babcock has ever made. For as great of a screen man as Holmstrom is, his game has no business being on the top line anymore. Speed and smart decision making are the hallmark of a top line, and Babcock did a nice job making the moves to ensure that the Wings have that in place. Yes, I’m sure there are some hurt feelings for Homer, but that’s part of aging in a sport that is getting faster and faster every year.
  • Paging the power play. Against a team that didn’t put up much of a fight, the power play really didn’t generate a ton of memorable scoring opportunities. It’s only one game, but it sure would have been nice to get the man advantage going right off the hop this year.

Bullets of Less Importance

  • I mentioned this on Twitter, but the Wings sponsoring everything under the sun is a bit over the top. We’ve all had our fill of Amway jokes and criticism over the last month, but (IMO) that pales in comparison to the newest abomination the Wings have allowed to creep into the Joe: sponsored goals. You have to be kidding me. It’s bad enough when the PA guy reads the scorers and drops in a “DTE Energy blah blah goal scored by…”, but nothing sucks the excitement out of a great moment more than THE MOMENT AFTER THE GOAL IS SCORED and the same guy is saying “This goal brought to you by DTE Energy blah blah blah.” Disgusting. I get that this is a business, but c’mon. Have SOME pride Olympia Entertainment.
  • Sergei Gonchar on the first goal. Wow. All that was missing was the throwing of the stick as Bertuzzi’s feet as he skated in all alone.

The Disch Approved “Horsecop” of the Game
Cory Emmerton. Goal and an assist means he’s our man of the match.

The Riggy “Shitbox” of the Game
No one person really jumps out (but we’re watching you PK!), so we’ll go with Ian White. Despite a goal, White took a pair of penalties, with one resulting in a power play goal for the Sens. Honestly, I thought White looked pretty good, but someone has to be the goat.

Also receiving votes: Jimmy Howard (not really challenged, but not very inspiring) and Budd Lynch (Sorry Budd, but you’ve been with this team since the advent of ice and you still managed to come up with “Justin Hildekader”.)

See you tomorrow in Denver.