DETROIT, Mich. — A solid 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres started off the 2013-14 season for the Detroit Red Wings.
With goal scorers Pavel Datsyuk and Mikael Samuelsson putting their notches up on the board, the Red Wings looked solid; goaltending from Jimmy Howard looked good, and the defensive core buckled down on the Buffalo offense.
The feisty Red Wings have gotten some of their gunners back, like Todd Bertuzzi and newly-added Stephen Weiss. Both of these players step on the ice and make an immediate impact with their size, speed and willingness to throw their bodies wherever they need to be.
With Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall, backed up by Pavel Datsyuk and seasoned veteran Daniel Alfredsson, Detroit has both knowledge and experience matched with speed and youth.
The power play in the first game looked meek, as it has in recent years. The Red Wings need to step up their goals and scoring chances on power plays. It is almost as though they have lost their burst of confidence when on the power play. Getting the puck into the zone and hard-nosed fighting in front of the net needs to be implemented again into the power play. Daniel Cleary needs to fill in the role, along with Justin Abdelkader and Johan Franzen, of being in-charge of taking out the goalie’s line of vision.
All in all, the Red Wings have a solid start – again, it is the first game of the season – so we have a lot more hockey to see and compare to.
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For more information on the Detroit Red Wings and NHL hockey from analysts and journalists at Michigan State University – tune into Octopi Hockeytown podcasts and embrace the Spartan debate at www.impact89fm.org/sports
Austin Goodman is the host of Octopi Hockeytown for Impact Sports