4 October 2009

NHL Premiere 2009 in Stockholm – Day Two

St. Louis Blues 5-3 Detroit Red Wings, 3 October 2009

Friday night’s season opener saw the Blues withstand some early dominance by the Wings to overturn a two-goal deficit in the second period with some opportunistic finishing, then hold on with some comfort in a more defensive third period. Game two on Saturday featured…well, pretty much the same thing in the end, strangely enough.

As before (see HERE), the following is merely a fairly unfocused stream of observations and highlights plus a fairly unfocused stream of amateur photographs. (I did manage to venture down to the glass – or near to it, at least – for warm-ups this time. I happened to be at the Wings’ end, hence the uneven spread of shots. No anti-Blues bias intended.)

  • Expert planner that I am, meal time is once again spent in the Arena. A 77kr hot dog/drink combination providing far greater VFM than Friday’s caviar and pheasant.

  • A second Håkan Andersson interview still doesn’t illuminate me any. Still seems like a decent bloke though.

  • Culture vulture that I am (ahem), I should note that pre-game entertainment came courtesy of Swedish 80s rock throwbacks Bullet, an example of whose work can be found HERE. (Friday saw the not dissimilar Backyard Babies take the stage.) The crowd again are left mystified and disappointed by the absence of native Eurodance leviathan, Basshunter.

  • An brief appearance by Mats Sundin in one corner of the rink, for a TV interview, starts a mild commotion in the crowd. A subsequent Darren Pang sighting in the same place does not.

  • The newly-decisive Sundin later carries out the ceremonial puck drop, receiving a huge standing ovation from the crowd, who are clearly expressing relief that the next three months will be free of “Where will Mats play?” speculation.

  • Battle of the backups tonight, as Ty Conklin and Jimmy Howard start.

  • The Wings almost overwhelm the Blues in the first few minutes, taking a 2-0 lead and having another negated by a high-stick call. Conklin is quickly getting reacquainted with Tomas Holmström’s (and Dan Cleary’s) rear end.

  • A much more physical game than Friday’s – Backes, Tkachuk and Stuart prominent playing the body.

  • A big PP goal late in the first by Tkachuk keeps the Blues in the game.

  • The game turns on two quick goals in the second period for the Blues – both clear scoring chances, but as the cliché goes, both efforts Howard “would like to have back”.

  • A rare cheer for a Blues player when Patrik Berglund’s goal is announced.

  • Again, the Blues aren’t put under huge pressure in the third period, this time adding an insurance goal (again on the PP – the Wings’ PK still looks a weakness).

  • As one final chance passes, Johan Franzén demolishes his stick against Conklin’s goal. The typical impassive Swede.

1 comment:

  1. No Basshunter??!!! No wonder this sport is so unpopular...
    I'll have to listen to the bands that are apparently better than Basshunter later when I have a better internet connection. Probably nothing can beat Chaka Khan though.