Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/3/13
The Detroit Red Wings have dropped the puck on a new NHL season with a win at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday night beating the Buffalo Sabres 2-1. Goals by Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk, separated by just 36 seconds halfway through the first period, held up long enough for the Red Wings to send their Hockeytown fans home happy. Thomas Vanek, Buffalo’s leading goal scorer from last season, had no success getting the puck past Jimmy Howard. (Photo Credit: AP Photo / Paul Sancya) Jimmy Howard had a solid night in net, saving 19 of 20 shots, but he gave up a bad goal by turning the puck over behind his own net. It was a terrible mental mistake as Howard looked right at the wide-open Brendan Smith and then decided to reverse the puck away from Smith right into a waiting Sabre pinned against the glass. The puck ricocheted off Brian Flynn and right into the front of the goal where Zemgus Girgensons finished it off getting a goal in his NHL debut. It was Howard’s only mistake, so it’s a safe bet the team addressed this issue today, on their off day, and will head into Carolina to take on the Hurricanes tomorrow with this miscue well in the past; like they should. Looking forward there is one burning question fans will be asking after this game: Where is this youthful regeneration of Red Wings we have heard so much about? It’s a fair question, especially after seeing the talent Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, and even Joakim Andersson possessed during their Calder Cup run and at times with the Red Wings last season. While Andersson played last night, Tatar was an active scratch, and Nyquist is a Grand Rapids Griffin preparing for their first game of the season in Rochester tomorrow. The youthful third line is on hiatus for the time being. (Photo Credit: Detroithockey.net) Nyquist – Andersson – Tatar. That was my prediction heading into this season for the Red Wings’ third line. But Mike Babcock had other plans, so this combination will have to wait a bit longer than expected. In traditional Hockeytown fashion, it’s the veterans that dominated the line-up for the home opener. As much as I want to see the youthful third line, like most Red Wings’ fans, this decision to hold them back makes logical sense. Hear me out: Mikael Samuelsson scored the first goal of the season for the Wings on a great redirect in front of Ryan Miller. (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images) Younger players may bring more excitement, but older players bring consistency. Experience shouldn’t be undervalued. For example, against the Sabres the veterans pulled together to grind out the rest of the game after Howard’s turnover that ruined his shutout. Samuelsson, Bertuzzi, Cleary, Franzen, Miller, and Alfredsson know their roles in system and make the Red Wings a stronger team in the process. Gustav Nyquist has two NHL games before his waiver exemption is gone. If they had decided to keep him on the NHL roster to start the season somebody else loses their spot on the roster. By resending him to Grand Rapids they get to keep that extra player instead of possible losing them through waivers. The timing just wasn’t right, for now. At one point during this season there is bound to be a major injury, Nyquist will be the first man on Ken Holland’s list to get the call up. This leads me into my last point. The veteran players have fresh legs at the start of the season. Let them play when they are at 100%, because a month from now that won’t be the case. 82 games is a long season, especially where hard hits are inevitable and injuries are frequent. Mike Babcock will be shuffling the roster all season because odds are the current roster won’t make it the entire season without getting fatigued or injured. That’s what makes the Red Wings so great this year; they built the roster with this in mind. Detroit has unbelievable depth so don’t worry if we don’t see it right away. It will come with time, just like getting used to playing in the Eastern Conference. We will observe Nyquist, Tatar, and the youth movement in progress soon; maybe next week, next month, next calendar year, after the Winter Olympics, or maybe not until next season. But it will come. So, for now enjoy the slower paced games and experienced lines. The Red Wings got a victory on opening night, so the veterans must be doing something right.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Miguel Cabrera headed to disabled list for 1st time in career

Report: San Antonio Spurs to sign LaMarcus Aldridge

WATCH: Serena Williams wags finger at Wimbledon crowd, says, 'Don’t try me'

Report: Rajon Rondo headed to Sacramento Kings

Dez Bryant deal with Cowboys could be announced Monday


Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly sign long-term contracts with Columbus, Buffalo

Mavs solidify future, sign Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan

A-Rod, Yankees settle dispute over home run milestone bonus

Report: Robin Lopez, Knicks finalizing four-year deal

Becky Hammon will coach Spurs' Summer League team

Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose: ‘I don’t think we have any issues’

All hope isn't completely lost for this year's Milwaukee Brewers

Report: Pacers, Lakers Discussing Roy Hibbert Trade

Watch: Pablo Sandoval falls over railing during catch

Report: Green Bay Packers’ player charged with firing a gun in Miami

Kawhi, LaMarcus, the mid-range and the Spurs' next epoch

Tennis: How can Rafael Nadal regain his dominance?

NBA Rumors: Cavs and Spurs vying for David West

Damian Lillard is the Blazers’ new franchise player

Bryce Harper flaunts patriotic bat, hits home run

Report: Magic will sign Tobias Harris to 4-year deal

The top American sports moments since the last Fourth of July

Nine former college football rivalries that need to come back

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.