Opening night … click for picture of the big game
So … last night was a dream come true for me. Something I had been looking forward to for over a year. Hockey has returned and with it was a chance for me to catch opening night … oh man … and it was good. (Big thanks to Darren who snagged the tickets and treated me … even if I was a poor substitute for a date)
The night started with a bang … Lightning scored less than 2 minute in and had complete command of the game. And the changes seem to have worked out quite well. There was a lot more open ice and cycling play. The clutching and grabbing was replaced by strong stick work, blocked shots and passes, and quick passes. While there seemed to be more goals, it was not due to more shots … but likely just better changes. The ‘no-go’ area for goalies allowed the dump-and-chance play back into the game, and the two-line passes gave way for a couple long break-out passes … though nothing really significant. I once again have to thank the league for bringing back the touch-up offside … it so improves the game!
So … while there seemed to be a lot of obstruction and interference penalties in our game, the Canucks went 4 penalties aside in their opening match. The players and officials with both learn the new game … I am thinking this is going to be a good year.
Officials made one oops, from what I saw, an icing by the Lightning should have denied them a line-change … but they snuck one anyways. I think the ref noticed … but too late, the entire new line was out and setting up for the puck drop.
So … other games of mention … Canucks won 3-2 over Gretzky’s Coyotes, Flames fell 6-3 to the Wild, and Toronto and Ottawa duked it out to a Senators shoot-out victory (that would have been a good game).