Red Wings From
The Rocking Chair

October 5, 1996 - New Jersey 3 / Detroit 1

After posting a perfect pre-season record, the Red Wings came out flat in their season opener against the New Jersey Devils. The final result - a notch in the loss column. "Deja vu", anyone??! I'm not convinced that First Game losses are a tradition Detroit should strive to keep, but if it's a tradition that spurs them on to another winning season, well then, I can take an opening disappointment.

The Wings just never got it together last night. Multiple penalties interrupted any possible play-making and prevented any sustained flow of the game. While the short-handed situations appeared to be a tad lopsided in favor of the Devils, but I'm not comfortable enough yet with the new enforcement of some rules to comment on the ineptness or inexperience of the referee. But coupled with the inexperience of more than the usual number of Detroit rookies (particularly defensive), the frequent penalty calls were a definite deterrent to the Red Wing offense. Konstantinov and Coffey were sorely missed.

Which brings us to the trade situation...looks like we will have to get used to the absence of Paul Coffey. While no deal has yet to be announced, it appears that Paul is regretfully gone from the Red Wings' roster. Personally, if the Primeau/Shanahan deal ever gets finalized, I will gloat over Wings management's skillful negotiating. Primeau never was quite as good as he should have been and Brendan should more than compensate for him. I don't like the loss of Coffey, however. Last season, he was too instrumental in Detroit's success. Best of luck though to him!

Anyway, welcome back Red Wing fans to another season...maybe THIS will be our year! See you Wednesday.


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