I figured I'd create this thread for the benefit of those of who could not see the game. Apologies to the mods if this belongs in the GDT.
First off: the Pens’ broadcast team was atrocious. Paul Steigerwald couldn’t even remember the names of some of his own team’s players---Olli Jokinen plays for the Penguins in his world---and botched the pronunciation of others; apparently the Wings have a player named Agleketer. Meanwhile, Bob Errey couldn’t even properly recall his own time with the Red Wings; he reminisced about how the Wings racked up 62 wins only to suffer a heartbreaking loss to the Devils. Needless to say, the two of them were also biased in typically inveterate fashion; they are collectively known rightly as one of the most homerish duos in the league. To their minor credit, they did lavish some praise on certain Red Wings.
General impressions: the PK was very good; the PP was not so great, but then there were a lot of rookies playing on it; after the Wings scored their fourth goal, the top line didn’t see much playtime even when Crosby was on the ice, Babcock instead opting to give the youngsters more time on the ice. Generally a good effort; the first period went the way of the Penguins, but the Wings dominated the 2nd and 3rd frames.
Now to the players:
Abdelkader: Meh. He battled in the corners and did some dirty work in the crease, but his biggest contribution was making little Sid unhappy. The two were jawing at each other all game. Aside from this, Abdelkader was not particularly noticeable; then again, the top line got less and less time as the time went on---particularly after the Wings went up 4-1---and so he really didn’t get much time to show anything.
Almquist: Wow. Though small and not particularly good on defense, this guy’s offensive instincts and hockey IQ are as high as advertised. On both of his goals, he picked the correct time to shoot the puck and picked the correct place to shoot it. If he does as well in the AHL, it’ll be silly to let him go (he’ll be out of minor league options); if so, he might get Quincey’s spot after this season.
Andersson: Good enough. His skating has improved, and he plays as hard as we’ve become accustomed to. Unfortunately, at even strength he was handcuffed by his association with Cleary and Samuelsson. He did well enough on the PK.
Cleary: Sad. He was totally unremarkable. I can only hope that he was simply not trying, because his play on the PK appeared totally lackadaisical. If that's the case, then this was an extremely poor showing after what the management went through for him to maintain his spot on the team. I don’t recall him being used on the power play. He might have been there. I don't remember.
Datsyuk: Typically brilliant, though he was not trying very hard; this was, needless to say, not really a big deal given that this is the preseason and he is an established superstar. That said, he stickhandled wonderfully, defended ably, and scored a beautiful goal. Some of the Pens’ prospects seemed spellbound by his play.
DeKeyser: Excellent. He was functionally the Wings’ #1 defenseman, playing excellently on defense and ably on offense; indeed, he ended up on a breakway at one point and the Pens had to haul him down to stop him (sadly, there was no penalty shot). He did well with Kindl, and was substantially better than either Smith or Quincey.
Evans: Steady but unspectacular. He’s an AHL-caliber defenseman.
Ferraro: Impressive, if not flashy. While small, he’s feisty, hard on the puck, and full of effort. He’s got a right-handed shot---rare for the Red Wings---and has decent offensive instincts. He certainly seems to be better than Emmerton. Look for him to replace the latter next season.
Glendening: A basic grinder. Good on the PK, good speed, good effort, but ultimately unremarkable. While he performed decently in his first NHL game, he doesn’t appear to be anything special. He’ll be a decent call-up option in a pinch, but he’s got to improve if he’s going to have any sort of career in the big league.
Howard: Very good. He made some good saves while being bombarded by the Penguins early on, and let in only one goal on 16 or so shots in the first two periods.
Jarnkrok: Clearly unready for NHL action. This was his first NHL action, but he’s currently too small and too inexperienced to really make an impact of any kind. This was his first NHL action. That’s natural, as he doesn’t even have any AHL experience yet.
Kind: Very nice. He seems to have made significant progress in his two notable problem areas: defense and confidence. He laid down a nice hit, too. As with DeKeyser, he played substantially better than Quincey or Smith. Look for he and DeKeyser to make up the 2nd pairing this season.
Mantha: Like Jarnkrok, he’s simply not ready. He looked alright in his first few shifts, and then disappeared. It was obvious that he was dying to take some shots, but right now he just doesn’t have the experience to find the sweet spots in the offensive zone yet, and he was easily shut down by the Penguins.
Mrazek: Steady. Barring a catastrophe, he’ll be with the Wings in 2014-2015 (obviously).
Quincey: Not very good. He did a passable---but only passable---job on defense and took a few shots, all of which missed the net.
Samuelsson: Gah. He was terrible on the power play and invisible at even strength. Babcock seems to have agreed with this assessment, as Samuelsson’s playtime in the 2nd and 3rd periods decreased while that of the other bottom-sixers increased.
Smith: Worrisome. He showed no improvement over last season. Unfortunately, he was also paired with Quincey yet again. Not good.
Tatar: Quite good. He drove to the net to score the first goal of the game, and throughout the game exhibited his excellent stickhandling skills and willingness to go to the tough areas. Steigerwald and Errey seemed certain that he’ll be on the roster this season.
Tootoo: Invisible. He was simply an unnecessary piece of the roster, though admittedly he did not receive much playtime and is probably aware that barring a miracle, he won’t be on the roster in three weeks regardless of what he does.
Zetterberg: Good enough, though, like Datsyuk, he was obviously not putting forth maximum effort. As with Datsyuk, this was not a big deal.
Edited by Crymson, 16 September 2013 - 09:06 PM.