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East Mode: Red Wings 2-1 Sabres

Buffalo welcomed Detroit to the Eastern Conference, proving that Buffalo is indeed a place that exists somewhere.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Wings and the Sabres. In the great big book of rivalries, this one takes up a mean 15 pages at LEAST. I don’t know the actual page count because I can only get through a dozen or so before the intensity gives me a seizure. Let’s relive their Top Three Most Fierce Moments:

3. Brad May's "May Day" goal – 1994. Brad May played the final 40 games of his NHL career in Detroit, but started his career in Buffalo.  This is a rivalry.

2. Buffalo let us have Dominik Hasek and that was very nice of them.  This is also a rivalry.

1. I think the Lions beat the Bills on Thanksgiving when I was a kid.  Rivals.

I think this was also about our rivalry with calendars. We hate those three months in between seasons and wish they'd just eliminate them, but year after year Hallmark keeps pumping out these 12 month calendars with the cats on them and we have to slog through an offseason.  Tonight was not only a triumph for the Red Wings, but for hockey fans against calendars everywhere.  We made it, you idiots!

So the Wings played a pretty good game, the Sabres played a pretty bad one, and undefeated invincibility was the result.  It was businesslike, which is to say that for a one-goal victory it never gave me any nerves and felt like it was in the home team's control throughout.  And now, your bullets:

  • Tonight marked the first game of the regular season. When asked for comment, Johan Franzen said, "God dammit."
  • A brief recap-within-the-recap of the start of the 2013-14 season:


8:15pm -- /mercilessly slamming ctl+alt+del repeatedly and it's not restarting this game shit god why/

  • By 8:20pm, in roughly ten minutes of real time, we experience our first 3-on-5 PK of the year and killed it. I looked it up, and all 16 teams since 2003-04 that killed their first two-man disadvantage went on to win the Stanley Cup.
  • Mikael Samuelsson scored the first goal of the new campaign via a nasty deflection on an assist from Cory Emmerton because hockey is a stupid game that doesn’t make any sense.
  • My favorite line of the 1st period was Mike Modano, Swedish Cleary and that Walking Dead extra.
  • Pavel Datsyuk scored a very Larionov-looking goal to double the 1st period lead.  They scored it as unassisted, which means yet another year gone by where my petitioning of the league to credit Datsyuk's unassisted goals to "Pavel" and "Datsyuk" has failed.
  • In the 2nd period, Detroit looked they had taken a 3-0 lead, but the goal was sommmmmmmmmmmmmmewhat questionably wiped out after Dan Cleary was called for goaltender interference.  The puck was already behind Ryan Miller and creeping into the net when Cleary fell on him.  The call was so bad that Cleary temporarily changed his number to 86 because that ref was trash ok moving on-
  • On the ensuing penalty kill, Emmerton earned a penalty shot when he was hauled down on a breakaway.  The Wings were then called for delay of game after Cory Emmerton wasted everyone's time attempting a penalty shot.
  • Midway through the final period, the Sabres -- down 2-0 -- had amassed two shots and looked like they were in the last game of a 9-game road trip.  They got some life after a dumb turnover led to a goal by Zemgus Girgensons, which is a Star Trek movie.
  • Fairly crucial to the Wings finishing off this game was Justin Abdelkader drawing a penalty with four minutes to play.  Even with the lead cut to 2-1, the Sabres never looked too threatening because they are bad and I wish we could play them another 81 times.  The Wings didn't score on that power play but it ate up any time Buffalo would be able to use pretending to create offense.
  • Datsyuk and co. finished off the game with a superb shift with Ryan Miller on the Buffalo bench.  This one never felt in doubt.
  • I liked what I saw of Daniel Alfredsson but eventually we're going to have to talk about how he's turning into a Civil War veteran.
  • Shots were 16-5 Detroit in the 3rd period.  That is really somethin'.

GAME 2 of this great season is on Friday as the Detroit battles another rival, the Carolina Hurricanes.

Go Wings.