Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the London Free Press
, Four goaltenders in old-style equipment cavorted on the sidewalk outside Joe Louis Arena last night, signalling either the repressed nuttiness of hockey fans long bereft of their fix or an omen that more than one goaltender per net will be needed to stem the onslaught of scoring in the new National Hockey League. The game resumed 521 days after the Detroit Red Wings' last meaningful game was played here and, like every other front in the full-tilt NHL opening night, the jury remains out.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The National Hockey League reopened for business Wednesday, ushering in its return from a 310-day lockout with the familiar sounds of sticks slapping pucks and blades crunching on ice in arenas from Vancouver to Boston. So much else surrounding the league and the game itself, however, was dramatically different: New faces. New rules. And a new concept: a salary cap. The new rules were intended to restore the speed and flow that had been obliterated by a decade-long descent into dreary defensive tactics. On first glance, they seem to have succeeded:
from the National Post,
"Hockey is like heroin," (Chris) Rock said. "Only drug addicts do heroin. It's not like a recreational drug ... Hockey is kind of the same way. Only hockey fans watch hockey." There will be plenty of talk in the coming weeks if there are enough in places like Anaheim and Florida and Carolina, and if the ones that were there two years ago have made their way back. But we were spared all of that for a few, precious hours last night, as our game fired up again after its blackest era. As if we weren't going to be watching.
Overall, the opening night was a huge success if you are an NHL fan. Many of the games were well played and the action was fast and furious. The Wings/Blues game was played at a much higher pace than any of the exhibition games I had seen, and the hitting actually played a part of the game. Surfing through Center Ice, most games had the same feel. The Leafs/Sens game was the top game in my opinion. Never more than a one goal lead, and both goalies played an outstanding game. What was your opinion of what you saw? Are you satisfied after one night, disappointed or still unsure?
Name doesn't sound familiar, does it? Hint: Paired with the oldest Red Wing last night on defense. Oh, another European draft choice by the Wings? Not a chance, he's American. from Mlive,
As a kid growing up in suburban Chicago, Brett Lebda cheered for the Blackhawks and idolized rugged defenseman Chris Chelios. Lebda never could have imagined that one day he'd make his NHL debut paired with Chelios on the Detroit Red Wings' blue line, as he did on Wednesday. He also couldn't have imagined that he'd score a goal in his NHL debut, as he did in Detroit's 5-1 season-opening victory over the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena. "It was unbelievable. It's just something you dream of as a kid," Lebda said. "I couldn't ask for more than to play my first NHL game, get a goal and the win. It's a great feeling all the way around."
What face was behind this mask? update Friday 8:00am, The mask was worn by Jaques Plante in the early 70's. Plante was the first goalie to were a mask in the NHL, but this was not the original mask.
Boston- 17,565, Buffalo- 15,702, Philadelphia- 19,821, Washington- 16,325, Florida- 19,250, New Jersey- 18,101, Tampa Bay- 22,120, Detroit- 20,066, Toronto- 19,452, Nashville- 17,113, Chicago- 16,533, Minnesota- 19,398, Dallas- 18,532, Edmonton- 16,839 and Vancouver- 18,630! That folks, is over 98% capacity, job well done.
Of interest to Wings fans. Somebody want to tell Rob Parker the Wings purposely held back tickets for opening night so fans could have a chance to see the game! Less than 200 tickets were made available Wednesday morning and were gone by game time. from Rob Parker of the Detroit News,
Hockey was back Wednesday night. So were the fans. Well, sort of. With Joe Louis Arena dark for nearly 18 months because of the NHL lockout, you would have thought that getting a ticket to the Red Wings' opener would have been almost impossible -- not. Most expected the Joe to be sold out by game time, but it certainly didn't look that way when the puck was dropped. There were actually tickets available to the Wings' game against the St. Louis Blues. Fans could have walked up to the box office, plunked down their money and gotten in.
Just a reminder, the deadline is closing for your submission for the 11th Edition of the NHL Carnival. Jes at Hockey Rants is hosting #11 and is looking for your rants.
The Washington Capitals’ top young prospect brought hockey back to the nation’s capital with a pair of goals — and a monster check so fierce it dislodged a support beam. Alexander Ovechkin became the first Capitals player to score twice in his NHL debut, and Washington beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Wednesday night in the league’s first game at the MCI Center in 550 days. Dainius Zubrus also scored for the Capitals, and new captain Jeff Halpern had three assists in a game that included 18 penalties.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org