Just because a game is a big one doesn’t mean that both sides will show up. Sometimes — such as the case of the Carolina Hurricanes last night — the team that has everything to lose ends up being the one that flops.
Yet if the first period of the NBC Game of the Week is any indication, both the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks came to play this afternoon. The score might only be 0-0 after the first 20 minutes, but the United Center’s atmosphere is electric and the pace is absolutely hectic.
Chicago 0, Detroit 0
It seems like Jimmy Howard made the greatest number of tough saves, but Howard and Corey Crawford stopped 10 shots each. Howard’s greatest hit might be a timely toe save late in the period while Crawford found a way to put aside a nice one-timer between Tomas Holmstrom and Johan Franzen.
The Blackhawks should be pretty happy with their commitment level so far, with the only low spot being the fact that they didn’t achieve much with the two power play opportunities they received.
The Red Wings could have treated this game with a shoulder shrug, but they’re not going to roll over for their division rivals. As this contest goes along, Chicago’s energy might begin to subside and the tension will build as long as the game remains tied (or worse).
Stay tuned with PHT and check out the game on NBC right now. If you want to follow the game online and chat with us, click here.
Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.
“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”
Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.
The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
In a survey of 29 beat writers, the Anaheim Ducks emerged as the clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup. If you’ll recall, they have that in common with the EA Sports simulation. (Boston Globe)
Alex Ovechkin would pick an Olympic hit against Jaromir Jagr as the biggest check of his life. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
Here are the highlights from Minnesota’s 5-4 victory over Colorado:
The Montreal Canadiens seem committed to using Alex Galchenyuk as a center throughout the 2015-16 campaign. (The Canadian Press)
The NHL recently enlisted its players to read off some not so mean tweets. (USA Today)
Bills coach Rex Ryan talked about the Sabres in Thursday’s press conference. (NHL.com)
Frederik Andersen may have the Anaheim Ducks’ starting job for now, but with John Gibson still a big part of their plans, Andersen has to keep proving himself. (Orange County Register)