Let’s start with the positives. The line of Jason Spezza flanked by Milan Michalek and Nikita Filatov was easily the best of the night contributing two goals in the third period to get the Senators on the board.
Spezza had a few chances earlier in the game and just couldn’t finish, but he made a great pass to Michalek for his second goal of the night. Additionally, they were the only three players to finish with a plus-one rating on the night.
Another positive to look take into account is the fact that Stephane Da Costa had a strong game considering he was on the ice for two goals against. His first period saw him utilize his active stick and show off his great hand-eye coordination as he got in the way of a few Red Wing passes. He certainly didn’t look out of place.
“I thought Da Costa stepped up and played a good game for his first game in a little while,” said Paul MacLean, who made his return to Detroit as an opponent. “He was on the puck, he did good things with the puck and had a good stick on it.”
As for the negatives, it must be reiterated that there will many frustrating moments with this team over the season and the best thing to do is take things game by game. For most of the first period, the Senators kept up good pace with the Red Wings despite a few breakdowns here and there.
But like it usually goes, one mistake ends up with the puck in the back of your net and that’s exactly what happened on a miscommunicated line change. Todd Bertuzzi was left wide open to go in all alone on Craig Anderson and made no mistake going up high.
More defensive breakdowns turned into an ugly second period and past for the Senators as the Red Wings capitalized on every single mistake and quickly built up a 4-0 lead. Luckily, they had a better third period and can easily carry it over for the next game.
“I think we got a good lesson from a good hockey team on how to play the game at a high speed,” said MacLean after the game. “We were a little bit slow in our transition game and they caught us from behind and made us pay for it.”
Working with such a young team means not getting too high on the highs and equally not as low on the lows. If everyone can find a way to go through the motions of the game but find at least one positive to build off every night, it will help with the potentials of rough games to come.
The Senators now travel to Toronto for the first installment of the Battle of Ontario this season tomorrow night. The game will be broadcast on Hockey Night in Canada at 7 p.m.
Parting shots: The Red Wings began the evening by honouring the memory of Brad McCrimmon with his family in attendance. Sportsnet’s broadcast even showed Vladimir Konstantinov going over to Maureen McCrimmon during the game to offer his condolences. … Da Costa got a taste of some rough play in the third period when he was hit hard along the boards by Dan Clearly. The rookie came out of it with some stitches over his eye but none the worse for wear.
The Binghamton Senators kicked off their own season tonight and raised their Calder Cup champions banner. Former B-Sens players Ryan Potulny, who now plays for the visiting Hershey Bears, was able to be honoured along with the team. Check out this great shot courtesy of the AHL’s Twitter account and JustSports Photography: