Opening Night: What We’ve Learned

NHL: Washington Capitals at Chicago BlackhawksOct 1, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Patrick Sharp (10) stands with teammates as the 2013 Stanley Cup championship banner is raised to the rafters before the game against the Washington Capitals at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL regular season is finally here. We’ve waited for this day for three or more months (depending on how your team finished). It’s finally here, all is well in the world, we have football, post season baseball, and now more important than anything else, we have hockey.

We were blessed to see three games tonight, all of which ended quite dramatically. First we had the Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens, then Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks, and finally Winnipeg Jets at Edmonton Oilers.

So what did we learn on the first night of the 2013-2014 season?

  • The Atlantic Division is going to be a brutal fight. Literally. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens game saw a total of five fights. Two of them between Colton Orr and George Parros. Anyone still wondering why the Panthers traded for Krys Barch?
  • Advocates against fighting in the NHL just reloaded with new ammo after George Parros went to the hospital after landing on his head during a fight.
  • The Montreal Canadiens like to draw out pregame introductions. Yeah, I’ve waited for a while to watch hockey and honestly, I wasn’t super pumped about the half an hour intro, at least Chicago had a banner to raise.
  • The Capitals powerplay is still red hot and really scary. Alex Ovechkin is still the league’s best scorer on the powerplay, Ovi scored his first goal of the season on the powerplay to tie the Blackhawks at one a piece half way through the first period. The Capitals ended the game 3-6 on the powerplay in their loss to the Blackhawks.
  • Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, and Lars Eller make one hell of a line. The three combined for 5 points in the first period of the game, and continually put pressure on James Reimer. Eller scored his second goal of the night shorthanded late in the third to pull Montreal back into the game.
  • James Reimer set the bar for Jonathan Bernier. Reimer looked like he never missed a beat. Toronto’s defense left him hanging on multiple occasions, and Reimer came up huge when they really needed him. Reimer stopped 34 of 37 shots in the Leafs win over the Canadiens.
  • The Chicago Blackhawks are still dominate, scoring 3 unanswered goals in the third period to win 6-4.
  • Ales Hemsky is happy about having tomorrow off. He’ll need it to recover after catching a case of dangleitis in the second period. Missed it? Here you are, you’re welcome. http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=-6&id=449908&cmpid=rss-whatsnew
  • The Jets defense must have better things to do than play hockey last night, and once again, Ondrej Pavelec looked out of it most of the night, but the same can be said for the Oilers and Devan Dubnyk.
  • Mark Scheifele is bound to have a break out season this year. He looked great against Edmonton, scoring a goal on a beautiful shot.
  • The Oilers have some more work to do if they want to make it into the playoffs this season, they have quite the division to compete with now.
  • The Oilers and Jets are two very physical teams, they were putting each other into the boards every chance they had.
  • It looks like the NHL may have finally moved on from the ridiculous “Let’s put out our enforcers and let them drop the gloves off the opening faceoff,” movement that was going on last season.

Hockey is back, let us rejoice! More great games are slated for tomorrow night, including Buffalo at Detroit, Toronto at Philadelphia, and Anaheim at Colorado. Do what you have to do to gain the favor of the Hockey Gods for the betterment of your team. You know what would be a good start to making the Hockey Gods happy? Follow us on twitter @TMMotS, and like our Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TooManyMenOnTheSite. That sounds much easier, and much, much cleaner than sacrificing a lamb in the back yard.

Topics: Ales Hemsky, Alex Galchenyuk, Alex Ovechkin, Brendan Gallagher, Chicago Blackhawks, Colton Orr, Edmonton Oilers, George Parros, James Reimer, Jonathan Bernier, Krys Barch, Lars Eller, Mark Sheifele, Montreal Canadiens, Ondrej Pavelec, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets

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