When you’re a four-time Lady Byng Trophy winner the way Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings is, going to the penalty box in any way is usually met with a raised eyebrow.
When you’re able to help lead your team to a 4-0 win over Anaheim with a goal and an assist, coming away with the infamous Gordie Howe hat trick is enough to make your jaw hit the floor. Seeing is believing.
As things go when playing the Anaheim Ducks, once the game was out of hand things got feisty. Ducks forward Corey Perry decided he’d had enough of Pavel Datsyuk’s stick handling and scoring and defensive wizardry and he decided he would test his pugilistic skills. Consider the task met and for Perry to have severe shame for not making mince-meat out of Datsyuk’s face.
As for the game, Ducks fans have to hope that tonight wasn’t a sign of things to come being shutout 4-0 by the Wings. The Ducks took numerous bad penalties, were out shot badly (43-21), and generally outplayed by Detroit. While Detroit is likely going to be a very good team this season, getting humbled this soundly right out of the gate doesn’t inspire good feelings.
As for Detroit, you can’t ask for a better start. Jimmy Howard stops 21 to get the shutout meanwhile the offense did their part getting goals from Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Mike Modano and Dan Cleary. The season is a marathon and not a sprint, but each team has a lot to learn from their first game.