OK, so what did we learn from the first night of NHL hockey? Let’s go down the list:
Fighting is dangerous. The ice surface is hard. Canadiens enforcer George Parros got tangled up with Maple Leafs ruffian Colton Orr. When Orr pulled him down, Parros landed face first on the ice and suffered a concussion. The bellowing of the anti-fighting crowd commenced.
The Capitals will be a blast to watch. Their power is crazy good. Mikhail Grabovski was a very nice addition to this Alexander Ovechkin-led attack. He scored two goals and added an assist in a 6-4 loss at Chicago.
The Blackhawks look ready to defend their Stanley Cup. It was great to see Marian Hossa take off down the ice to clinch the game at the end. Dude can still wheel. Playing in preseason games is way overrated.
Many teams must tighten up their defense. The Canadiens, Capitals, Jets and Oilers played way too loose. Opening night featured lots of firewagon hockey. Montreal might have yielded eight or nine goals had Tyler Bozak been more adept at finishing.
Lars Eller picked up where he left off last season for the Canadiens. Who says Denmark doesn’t produce good hockey players?
FROM THE TWITTERVERSE
Here is what the folks were saying in 140 characters or less last night:
Chris Stewart, St. Louis Blues: “Hope George is ok, such a scary part of the game.”
Adrian Dater, Denver Post: “Cue the drive-by columnists with self righteous faux scorn re : Parros accident injury in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1”
Ken Campbell, The Hockey News: “Boggles the mind how pro-fighting contingent turns sombre and caring in these moments. If you love your blood, this is going to happen.”
Greg Wyshynski, Yahoo.com: “Hey, remember when coaches used to put Ovechkin at the point rather in the circle on the power play? They still have jobs.”
Ken Campbell, The Hockey News: “Do the Leafs have an overabundance of NHL d-men? Yes. Do the Leafs have an overabundance of quality NHL d-men? Debatable.”
Mike Brophy, CBC.ca: “Smaller pads . . . bigger 5-hole; or as (James) Reimer says, ‘5.2 hole.’”
James Mirtle, Globe and Mail: “Things people forget: (Phil) Kessel scored at a 50-goal, 114-point pace over the last 26 games of last season. He was 25. Bozak is his centre.”
Mike Brophy, CBC.ca: “Betcha Bozak lies awake all night thinking about how he could have scored 4 goals and never had to hear he's not a No. 1 centre again.”
Rob Tychkowski, Edmonton Sun: “First week of the season is always the most exciting week of the season for the Oilers. It'd be nice if that wasn't the case this year.”
Hockey Buzz Eklund: “Grabovski on pace for a 246-goal season.”
Ken Campbell, The Hockey News: “If the Capitals play like this for 82 games, they'll be wildly entertaining. And really bad.”
Tyson Nash, Coyotes broadcaster: “Turnovers by the Oilers highly skilled players continue to cost them. Fun to watch but this is a results Business.”