Thursday, September 22, 2011

Red Wings' Preseason Opens with Loss

Preseason hockey is never something to get terribly worked up about, but let me tell you one thing: after the horror that was--and forevermore shall be known as--The Summer of Sadness, watching some actual hockey being played was a welcome sight.

The Detroit Red Wings played their first preseason game on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Tied at a goal apiece after 20 minutes, Detroit dropped into a 3-1 hole during the second period and the Wings were never able to dig their way back out, coming up short with a 3-2 defeat.  Niklas Kronwall and Jiri Hudler (WHAAAAAT??) provided the offense for Detroit, while Jimmy Howard minded the net during the first two frames before Joey MacDonald closed out the game.

Again, since this is preseason hockey, there's nothing to really be drawn from as far as season projections, but one player stood out to me in particular for parts of the game.  Danny Cleary looked like a man possessed, and though he did get slightly careless with a boarding call that sat him for 5 minutes, the tenacity was much appreciated.

Another standout was Pavel Datsyuk, but not for reasons one would normally expect.  As you'll notice in the photo above, Dats did not wear his usual #13.  After the events surrounding the tragic Lokomotiv plane crash, Pavel decided to don the #24 in honor of his fallen former teammate, Ruslan Salei, for the duration of the preseason.  It is a touching tribute, and one not unexpected from the humble magician.

Tonight, the Wings continue their battle against Pennsylvania with a meeting with the Flyers.  I'll likely be on Twitter so, as always, don't be shy to chat me up if you see me around!

Till next time, Wingnuts!  Let's Go Red Wings!!