The Detroit Red Wings season opener went into a shootout against the Anaheim Ducks, but ended on a good note with a shootout goal by Jiri Hudler. It was Hudler's first career shootout goal and I was pleased that head coach Mike Babcock gave him the opportunity to show what he can do in a shootout situation. I'm guessing we'll be seeing him more often when a game goes into a shootout. Goaltender Dominik Hasek stopped all three shots he made in the shootout. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg both missed the net on their attempts. I'm not a fan of the shootout, but you got to admit that it gets everyone up and out of their seats at the Joe.
The Wings scored two power play goals on shots from Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom. Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, and Brian Rafalski all notched assists tonight.
Former Red Wing Todd Bertuzzi was a part of the Ducks two goals. He scored once and assisted on the second goal. The crowd booed Bertuzzi every time he touched the puck and cheered whenever Chris Pronger headed to the box.
Ex-Wing Todd Bertuzzi, 20 pounds slimmer than when he played for the Wings for three months last spring after being picked up at the trade deadline, produced a goal and an assist -- and a loud chorus of boos whenever he touched the puck.
"I did get cheered here at one point in my career," Bertuzzi said, "so I can live with that."
Dallas Drake got the first fighting major of the season for the Red Wings when he got into it with Corey Penner. The fight was the other moment in the game when the crowd got really loud and people jumped to their feets. IwoCPO at Abel to Yzerman believes Drake's fight is going to help him become a fan favorite with his physical play.
Dallas Drake earned some fans last night and he couldn’t have picked a more deserving foe than Corey Perry. That kid’s a punkass and he deserved the right hands Drake could fit under that windshield. Speaking of which, Drake started to take the helmet off less than a second after the gloves hit the ice. Perry never made any move to do so. He deserved the beatdown he kinda got.
Hasek only faced 15 shots and made 13 saves. Ducks' goaltender Bryzgalov faced 42 shots stopping all but two of them (not including the shootout). How did I find out that JS Giguere would not be in net tonight? I literally almost ran into him as I exited the media lounge at the Joe after grabbing a quick bite to eat.
All in all it was a good opening night game, but it was sad to see the Wings' sellout streak snapped at 396 games.
Afterward, players admitted they missed the packed-house atmosphere, and certainly noticed the wide open spaces in the stands.
"Of course, we saw it," Dominik Hasek said. "You're surprised when you see so many empty seats. We heard a rumor it wouldn't be sold out, and it was disappointing to see. All we can do is play well and hope the people come back."