Okay, I know, the Wings have played four games already and I'm off to a very bad blogging start - the fact is, I have to get up for work at 4 am most days, and when the game ends I'm usually crashed mere minutes afterward. However, I promise to make a better go of it starting now!
It's been an odd start to the season so far, but nothing to panic about yet. The unexpected 3-2 season-opening loss to the Maple Leafs caught us all off guard, but the Wings bounced back against the Senators and Hurricanes before dropping yesterday night's game against the Canucks in overtime. While the Wings haven't looked all bad, they haven't look all good, either - here's a few observations I've made since the beginning of the season.
- For a team that preaches puck-possession, the Wings have made a lot of awfully bad turnovers thus far. From minor to downright cringe-worthy, it's something the team for sure has to work on in the upcoming games if they hope to regain the dominance of the past season.
- We haven't seen a whole lot of what's expected out of Marian Hossa so far - he hasn't looked bad, per se, but his chemistry with Pavel Datsyuk leaves a bit to be desired. However, coach Babcock remains insistant that we won't see the Eurotwins back together again to save the day, even on the powerplay. Personally I miss seeing them on the ice together, and I think it could be of some help, given the way the top line has performed so far, but what do I know?
- Ty Conklin looks fairly good in his debut - he scared me a little at first, with his flailing around (and has anyone else noticed his propensity for just falling over when making saves?), and his decision to cavort around the net especially against Carolina of all teams had me desperately hoping there would be no repeat of this debacle, but he did well to prove himself.
- It's been, so far, a season of weird bounces (take Thursday night's game against Vancouver, for example) - but the Wings, and Chris Osgood, though he's looked solid so far, can't use that as an excuse. Many were created by poor execution on the players' part as well, and the team as a whole needs to ramp it up a bit. They've looked a little like they've been playing down to their opponents lately, and if they don't step it up, the hangover label is going to come back in full force.
Things won't get easier yet, as both Henrik Zetterberg and Brad Stuart will be out tonight against a scary Rangers club, but Darren Helm, who was called up to fill in for Zetterberg, and Derek Meech, who will see his first action of the season tonight, are more than capable replacements. I'll be at the game - my first of the season - hopeful that we'll see the effort this club is capable of. Go Wings!! (PS the best cure I've found? Greasy McDonald's hashbrowns. Ask my lovely friends in DC. But don't try that, boys, it can't be good for you.)
Former Wing and NPI favorite Kyle Quincey suited up for his debut with the LA Kings last night. I was only able to catch the first period of the game, but he looked good paired up with Matt Greene, was given time on the PK to showcase his self-professed stay at home defenseman skills, and showed that despite the Wings lack of room for him, he is in fact an NHL-ready defenseman. He also, according to the Kings recap, was part of a scoring chance that helped to set up Anze Kopitar's game-tying goal, and took a slapshot seven minutes into the second period that caused Hurricanes' Frantisek Kaberle to leave the game with a leg injury. While you of course don't want to applaud another player getting hurt, congrats, Kyle, keep it up and all our best!