The Detroit Red Wings can only hope that this is not a sign of things to come.
In their first game without defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart, the Red Wings suffered a crushing 6-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Not only were they unable to stop the Blues’ attack, but they couldn’t get anything done at the other end of the ice. Jaroslav Halak was only forced to turn aside 14 shots to earn his first shutout of the season.
It didn’t help matters that Detroit ran into penalty troubles throughout the game and were particularly ineffective when it came to special teams. The Blues managed to score four times with the man advantage while Detroit conceded a shorthanded goal after the St. Louis Blues’ David Perron was handed two minutes for hooking.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland seemed to downplay expectations when he conceded that they might not make the playoffs this season. That would end the Red Wings 21 season postseason appearance streak, which is one of the longest in the history of the game.
Really the only good news for Detroit tonight is that this was just Game 1. They still have plenty of time to turn things around. If not, it will be a painful season for Detroit and a new experience for a generation of fans that have grown up during the Red Wings’ extended dynasty.