And a good morning it is! Here we go with the morning links.
Pens bag their first W of the season in a game in which we began to glimpse and embrace the new system. There are some great quotes from players explaining how the changes work for what they can do well. Read it.
Mike Lange was recognized during the game for his incredible work as a Penguins broadcaster over the last 40 years.
Brandon Sutter had a good game, and is willing to adapt to play with Malkin. The new Pens had immediate impact, particularly Hornqvist and Comeau.
Pascal Dupweeeeee looked like he didn't miss a beat. If anything, he looked better than he did last December. First Penguin with 4 points in season opener since Francis and Lemieux in 1995.
Olli Maatta is Finnish so he doesn't understand the sophomore slump concept. He had some gorgeous assists while playing on the second pairing with Paul Martin and looked like Olli we all know and adore.
The Ducks had a lot of issues on defense and were unable to contend with the Penguins speed through the neutral zone. Gibson went 33-for-39 and had a forgettable night, but the feeling in the Ducks dressing room was that they left him out to dry. Bruce Boudreau thought they often looked "in awe" of the Penguins.
Flyers, Bruins and Caps all lost, making for an ever better night. Flyers home opener was spoiled by the Devils, who came to score (and allow) goals. Luke Schenn was on the ice for 5 ES goals against, and his partner Del Zotto was a -4 on the night.
This Chris Pronger thing, I don't get it at all. He was hired by the NHL Player Safety Department while still eligible to stay on LTIR (or they will move him to non-roster IR). Utterly ridiculous is all I have.
The Caps lost in SO to the Canadiens, and this pretty goal by Burakovsky (his first NHL tally) was their high point of the night, if you don't count this spectacular Ovechkin dive, which delivered an amazing artistic value on top of excellent acrobatics. Also, this Barry Trotz postgame conference picture is all kinds of hilarious.
The Red Wings defeated the Bruins 2-1 on the strength of good special teams. Watch this Gustav Nyquist PP goal. Nick Cotsonika has a great article breaking down the Babcock uncertainty on both sides.
Thursday night fights is apparently a thing now. TJ Oshie fought Mats Zuccarello (for real), and Zach Sill smacked Clayton Stoner for messing with Olli. That was badass, as Stoner is a big dude and a more proficient fighter.
The injury bug bit again, as Evander Kane left the game and did not return, and Dan Boyle (broken hand) will be out 4-6 weeks.
Radko Gudas treated us to the first ugly hit of the young season, elbowing Scotty Upshall in the head. People are speculating this was in retaliation for the water bottle thing.
The Oilers managed to lose to the Calgary Flames (supposedly the worst team out West) who were playing a second game of a back-to-back set. A disgruntled Oilers fan tossed a jersey on the ice, with cell phone and all. That was the first game of the season, people.
Will tanking be a problem for the NHL in 2014-15? I disagree with most things in this article, but it's a legitimate question to ask. Remember that #30 finisher is guaranteed one of top 2 picks.
The Blackhawks embezzled 2 points from Dallas (coach Q said cops should be called), earning the W on this Patrick Kane shootout goal. Season openers are all well and good, Kaner. It would be even better to be able to do it when it really matters, like an Olympic medal game or something important like that.
The Minnesota Wild opened their season by taking the Avs behind the woodshed. Semyon Varlamov was lifted for Reto Berra after the 5th goal.
A great, terrific read on the San Jose Sharks. After an off-season of dysfunction and turmoil, they plan to stick together, calm down and carry on.
Over in Nashville, Legwand was back in town last night and it was like he never left, as he went to the wrong penalty box. Geno's buddy Nealer Wants Puck wore a brand new yellow jersey with something on it that confused me a little. It looked, sort of, like the letter A.
Happy Friday everyone!