It looks like talk about the NHL Premiere games not generating any buzz may be true.
I don't claim to have my ear to every news source in Detroit at all times, but I'm shocked at how few reports on the Wings' two games in Stockholm came across my RSS reader this weekend. Yeah, there are the usual blog posts balancing overreaction with panic (I'll get to that in a minute) but mainstream media coverage of what is supposed to be a major event has been minimal.
Me? I have an excuse, I was working all weekend. That's why I didn't get my thoughts together until midway throught Monday. The mainstream media gets paid for this, I can only take their silence to mean that no one cared about these games.
As for whether or not to panic based on what happened on Friday and Saturday, I'm not ready to give up just two games into the season.
What those games reminded me of were back-to-back games in Calgary and Edmonton late in November on a Western Canada road trip. The Red Wings always play horribly in those games and they're scheduled every year. The fact that those kind of games came at the start of the season against the St. Louis Blues is the only difference.
Yes, the number of turnovers and the five power play goals against are things to be concerned about. There are 80 more games to work that out.
Yes, Jimmy Howard as the backup is still a concern. But there's absolutely nothing that can be done for that aside from signing Dan Cloutier or bringing up Daniel Larsson, both of which would require Howard to be abandoned after the team spent five years developing him. It's not gonna happen right now.
The losses were not a matter of needing more grit or any other change to the lineup. They were an issue of consistency. Every line had moments where they played well. They also had giveaways and goals against. We'll see if those even out as the season continues.