Detroit Red Wings: Blue Jackets Spoil the Party on Opening Night

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 04: Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings battles for the puck with Nick Foligno #71 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on October 4, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 04: Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings battles for the puck with Nick Foligno #71 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on October 4, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The evening air certainly has a fall feel to it.  It was a perfect setting to start the much anticipated NHL season.  The Detroit Red Wings hosted one of their rivals tonight, the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Detroit Red Wings had to field a very young inexperienced roster right out the gate in 2018.  We have all been calling for the kids instead of some older veteran players. The Wings lost 3-2 in overtime on a Panarin winner, but it wasn’t all bad. Jeff Blashill did mention various times throughout training camp that the best players will play, age will not be a factor.

It was evident tonight that he was serious. Although many regulars were injured on the Red Wings back end, Nick Jensen was a healthy scratch.  Blashill could have chosen Jensen over Joe Hicketts or Filip Hronek but decided to go with youth over experience.

Mike Green is expected to be out for an extended period of time, Nicklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson were both placed on IR to create space to call up Filip Hronek and Joe Hicketts tonight.  Kronwall and Ericsson are both eligible to be activated for Sunday night if they are healthy enough to play.

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Danny DeKeyser and young Dennis Cholowski played against Artemi Panarin and company the majority of the evening.  The did a sound job all night long.  Cholowski buried the first goal in his career.  Nyquist tapped a pass to Dylan Larkin on the half wall, in turn, Larkin sent a hard pass to a streaking Dennis Cholowski right down the slot.  The puck sat on Cholowski’s stick for a fraction of a second before it found twine.

Midway through the game, Cholowski had a rookie moment.  He was stick handing into heavy traffic at the tail end of a Wings power-play when he lost the puck to a host of Jackets players.  That led to a Blue Jackets odd-man rush, and Josh Anderson chipped in Columbus’ second goal during a scrum in the crease.  Cholowski had a chance to pick up Anderson in front of the net but failed to do so.

It is expected to happen; you can’t fret on every single play.  The youngsters will make mistakes; it is part of growing into a professional.  We will take the good with the bad.  It was great watching all these kids go to work tonight.

Breaking news; the Detroit Red Wings scored a power-play goal tonight!  The power-play struggled last season mightily, Dan Bylsma was brought in by Jeff Blashill to run the Wings PP, and they delivered.  Tyler Bertuzzi had a redirection goal on a cross-ice pass from Dylan Larkin.

The Detroit Red Wings were 1 for 3 on the PP.  Columbus had 6 opportunities and recorded one goal.  You never want the opposition to have double the amount of man advantages than you.  The Wings need to clean that up.

The shots on goal were quite lopsided tonight too in favor of the team from Ohio.  They outshot our Wings 39-20.  Jimmy Howard played very well.  He was nearly able to steal this one for his club.

Some notable minutes played tonight; Danny DeKeyser led all Wings with 24:53 minutes.  Trevor Daley played 22:52.  It is no surprise the two led the way with four young defenders in the line-up.  Cholowski was at 19:51 and both Libor Sulak and Joe Hicketts were north of 18 minutes.

Dylan Larkin didn’t play enough in my mind especially with the jump he displayed during the game.  The star forward only played 17:28 minutes and recorded a pair of assists.  Gustav Nyquist also tallied 2 helpers.  All the time spent shorthanded did become a factor, the top line missed out on a couple of extra shifts.

Next. Predicting the 2018/19 Detroit Red Wings Team leaders. dark

The Detroit Red Wings are off until Sunday night when they travel to the West Coast to play back to back nights against the Kings and Ducks.