So the Red Wings are 1-0-0-0-0-and-0 to start the season and this is where we irresponsibly extrapolate the numbers to say funny shit about Sammy scoring 82 goals or Henrik Zetterberg racking up 328 penalty minutes or Jonathan Ericsson leading the entire team in screener's assists this season.
No, seriously. I expect that to happen. It's only a matter of time before Mike Babcock borrows from Claude Julien's brilliant idea to borrow from Tomas Holmstrom's brilliant idea and place a big guy's ass in front of the goalie.
Tyler killed it in the recap last night if you hadn't read it yet, but for some reason are reading this (why would that happen?) But I wanted to go back over some stuff and also drop the updates we've seen from the diggers so far.
The New Guys
I was really impressed with Weiss as the second line center. His defensive acumen was impressive and I thought he was very smart on the boards in the offensive zone. You can still see he's still kind of getting used to things, so he was maybe a half-step slow to jump up on plays where he could have, but the Sabres put only two shots on goal with him and Alfredsson on the ice yesterday at even strength.
Speaking of Alfie, I liked him too, but he wasn't as noticeable at even-strength. I definitely saw him a lot on the first power play unit, where he played like kind of a "super-Brunner" in that the puck being near him at the point didn't kind of scare me and seeing him wind up for a slapper made me a little springy downstairs, if you know what I mean.
The Old Guys
Between Bertuzzi, Samuelsson, and Cleary, I thought Bertuzzi looked the best, despite Samuelsson actually scoring a goal. I didn't hate Cleary or Samuelsson; I thought pretty much every Red Wings player had a good game, but I think the standard for the rotation among these guys should be "wow me or sit" and I just wasn't really wowed by Buckets. I'm probably just looking for any excuse to get Tomas Tatar in the lineup (yes I am).
The lower centers did a good job in this one, especially on the PK. Andersson and Emmerton combined for more than seven minutes worth of perfect penalty killing. It also seems like the usage switched up for them, as both took less than 50% of their faceoffs in the offensive zone. Aside from Emmerton's dumb penalty (which he more than made up for), there was a lot to like for the bottom two centers playing with very old linemates (Drew Miller is 29 years old, but he looks like this).
Like I said, I didn't dislike anybody's game in this one, but the Wings pretty handily outclassed the Sabres and still only came away 2-1. There's stuff to get better at.
Practice Updates Today
Daniel Alfredsson not on ice with Red Wings, has slight tenderness in groin, per Ken Holland.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) October 3, 2013
Well, ok then.
Alfredsson not skating as Wings take the practice ice. Waiting for word on his status. Tatar takes his place on line with Weiss and Franzen.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) October 3, 2013
That doesn't bode well for Tatar getting into Friday's game. He wouldn't be playing with the 2nd line if Alfredsson couldn't go; they'd move somebody else up. Instead, Tatar is taking Alfie's spot to keep the line integrity there.
tootoo, rehabbing bad shoulder, practicing. based on previous shoulder injury, tootoo says he must be careful not to return early.— gregg krupa (@greggkrupa) October 3, 2013
Or ever... (I kid).
Hey we're doing a new WIIM Radio tonight at 10:30pm. If you can't make it, I'm very sorry about your bedtime. You can always listen to archived episodes on our Blogtalk Radio page (and very soon on iTunes, we promise. I'm sorry. STOP YELLING AT ME).
We have a chat on the listening page that you can yell at us through live, but if you're not going to make it and want to be famous anyway, you can submit to our dumb project this week.
Tell us your impressions of the Red Wings' first game... in limerick form.
The best submissions will be read aloud by a very good Seth Rogen impersonator.