Season Opener: Anaheim Ducks @ Dallas Stars

Final Score: ANA 2, DAL 4

HOCKEY IS BACK!!!

So yeah, that was mostly a good game. The Dallas Stars are right back at it with their classic heart attack style of play. The first period was pretty terrible. We’re falling into an unusual pattern where we are getting significantly outshot. But despite that, Stars still scored first (on the first shot of the game, no less), and led the entire game. Once the boys got their legs back, it was an easier game to watch. Shout out to Niemi, for playing pretty spectacularly. Especially towards the end of the game when the Ducks were throwing everything they had at him. Let’s hope this dude sticks around.

Casual observations:

Penalties, man. On the bright side, the PK is looking pretty good. Thank you Jordie Benn for allowing the team to test that during your double minor…(which happened after the Captain found himself in the box as well)

On the flip side, the Power Play was downright atrocious. It’s literally the first game of the season, I get that, but I’d rather not go back to the same feeling of dread from last season when we went on the PP due to short-handed goals. It got better as the game progressed, but that was scary.

Our new guys seem to be fitting in quite well. So I am still pretty bummed about Janmark having to miss most, if not the entire season. But if our concern was a lack of scoring depth, I think we’ll be ok. Cracknell and Korpikoski flexed a bit of scoring muscles in their Dallas Stars debut (can I just say I am liking Cracknell more and more?).

Our defense has a new look. The blue line is looking a bit bigger these days. Stephen Johns continues to impress, and the pair of Johns and Oduya is still looking solid. Meanwhile, Ruff used this opportunity to do some experimenting with our other defensive pairs. The game started with Benn-Klingberg, and Hamhuis-Nemeth. Let’s just say that didn’t last past the first period. I particularly liked the Nemeth-Klingberg pairing, but we’ll see what happens when Oleksiak returns to the lineup.

Also, being the season opener, we got to see all the new video presentations along with the team introductions. All I have to say is the production team nailed it, as usual. They also used the opportunity to honor the police officers killed during the attack in Dallas this summer. Two of the families of the slain officers participated in the ceremonial puck drop to a standing ovation. It was incredibly emotional. Kudos to the organization for that. 

1 down, 81 to go. We’re buckling in for a long season, and at this point everyone is on even footing. Well except Auston Matthews, who is already ahead in goal scoring… But like I said. It’s a long season, and anything can happen. All I know at this point, hockey is back, baby.

Stephen Johns sporting the badge on his helmet to honor the police officers killed in the attack this summer.
Adam Cracknell during the post game show.

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