Can we please get rid of this ridiculous red carpet intro to the year? There might not be any connection but this is the second year in a row they've done it... and the second year in a row where they just don't seem to have things going for them throughout the opener. Unless the parade ends with Toews carrying the Cup.. lets end this dumb tradition.
As for the game - it wasn't pretty to watch. There were moments where the Hawks looked like they were dominating the game (including most of the third period) but giving up 3 goals in the second period certainly doesn't make you feel great. I guess it's good that none of the three were high glove side (I don't think they were anyway?). Huet played a pretty solid game with Barker once again not paying attention to a forward coming in late with a rebound, a re-directed shot he didn't have a chance on and a 5 on 3 goal. None of them should given any ammo to the haters out there, especially when you pair it with his remarkably solid performance in the shoot-out. For some reason the Avs were stickhandling themselves right out of the game and Huet came up with just about every save he needed to. I don't think we'll see many shoot-out wins from the Hawks, so savor this one.
The other good in the game? Toews is still without a point but he's still playing well. Last year it seemed to be he was trying to do too much and it showed. This year he's just doing his job - no panic, the points will come. VERSTEEG! has officially won back his exclamation point for the year. He's doing everything you'd ask from him and once again had a simply beatiful pass to set up Keith for the shortie. And giving him credit when it's due - Sopel played a hell of a game as third pair d-man, coming up with several great blocked shots, some good work on the boards and only a few times where you really cursed him. Play every game like that and we won't have much to really mock him about, other than that whole Nickleback mess.
I can't come up with much else to say other than it was damn good to see Huet come up strong on the shoot out - amazing to see Hull, Tony-O, Mikita and Savvy in full uniforms and two points are always welcome, no matter how frustrating the game may be.
I'm waiting to hear the reviews of the new 300 level - if you were there, let us know what you thought. I'm going to the bar.
Player of the Game:
Two assists, skated his ass off, shoot out goal. Great to see