Anaheim at Detroit (10/8/10)

The Ducks came to the Joe tonight for a contest with the Red Wings that was the opening game for both teams. The goalies were Hiller and Howard.

In the first period the Red Wings looked fantastic. It was apparent that they hadn’t missed a beat since last season and in fact seemed even more sharp and ready to go. Franzen scored a goal early on a nice setup by Filppula and Bertuzzi. Then just a few seconds later Modano bagged his first goal as Red Wings after he was fed by Cleary and Stuart. The Ducks looked really outclassed after one period.

In the second period Ericsson left the game with back spasms. Let’s hope it doesn’t become a long term problem this season.

The game started getting chippy in the second period. There was a big scrum in front of the benches and Salei fought with Sutton. Seeing that reminded me that I had forgotten to mention that the Red Wings picked up Salei during the off season. He’s a nice addition to the team. He’s another veteran defenseman to help shore up the blue line. After his scuffle with Sutton, Sutton left the game and did not return. There was no obvious injury so I’m not sure what happened. It looked pretty harmless to me.

Also in the second period Datsyuk had a great tip-in goal on a hard pass from Zetterberg. Then later Cleary scored with Datsyuk assisting. Cleary crashed into the net and it came off the moorings just as the puck was crossing the line. There was a pretty long review but the end result was that the puck crossed the line before the net was off completely so it was a good goal.

The rough stuff continued in the third period. There were several scrums. One of them came after the Wings had a beautiful scoring chance that was only thwarted by a brilliant save by Hiller. Afterwards a big scuffle ensued because the Ducks thought there should have been a penalty called on the play. Datsyuk actually paired up with Perry and they dropped the gloves. I was cringing and wishing that it would end quickly. I love a good hockey fight but I had fears of Datsyuk getting hurt in game one and missing half the season. He held his own though and he both took and delivered a few good shots. The fans were going nuts. It was good to see Datsyuk show that he can be tough when he has to and I’m really relieved that he didn’t get hurt.

In fact that fight cost Datsyuk a fighting major which, if you’re keeping score, earned him a Gordie Howe Hat Trick! He’s probably one the least likely candidates to pull that off but he did it. What a treat for the fans on opening night!

The Ducks lost control more and more after that and the Wings were on half-hearted power plays for most of the rest of the game.

The Wings ended up winning four to nothing. Jimmy Howard was fantastic in this game. He wasn’t tested too much but he was always sharp when called upon. He earned the shutout in game one. You can’t ask for a better start than that!

I’m really excited about the team this year. The line of Cleary, Modano and Hudler is amazing. That’s the third line and it’s probably better than most teams’ second line. Even the fourth line with Helm, Miller and Eaves is really feisty and probably better than most third lines. I know it’s only game one, but it was really encouraging to see them look as good on the ice as they do on paper.

This 0-4 win brings us to:
2 points

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