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Interview with Jeff Blashill January 1

4, 2021.

Detroit Free Press

There are unfamiliar and too familiar attractions as well. Detroit Red Wings played the first game in 310 days.

They are starting the 2021 season as a host. Carolina Hurricanes – the same team that left Wings 2019-20 on March 10, two days before the NHL closed the season due to the epidemic – on Thursday at the Little Caesars Arena.

Credit new goalkeeper Thomas Greiss for keeping the 2021 open, but his teammates are almost as ineffective as the hopes they’ve built during a two-week training session.

The result was a 3-0 loss, which was only close as Greiss made 41 saves.The Wings didn’t relieve themselves well on the other side – but they had Saturday’s match at the LCA.

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Sights and sounds

Dylan Larkin was the last to be featured in his first game since general manager Steve Yzerman begged him to be team captain. The only person in the stands on Thursday is the family or friend of the team members. It was a stark contrast to the last time Wings used the season opener to introduce a captain when Nicklas Lidstrom was introduced with a round of applause in 2006 taking over as captain from Yzerman.

Karen Newman sang the national anthem from above the entrance to Zamboni.The voices of the fans reacting to the action sounded loud when Wings took over the puck – and when a short fight broke out between Sam Gagner and Dougie Hamilton. In the second period

The coolest supporters are in a small portion behind the goals used by Hurricanes in the first and third periods with Little Caesars warriors’ cardboard.

Too familiar

Oddly enough, the first period was too similar to last season for teams that were determined to prove they were better.Nino Niederreiter scored 3:38 in the first phase, shifting away from Sebastian Ahho’s pass at Larkin Greiss’ ball pick made his first start since signing as a free agent in October, doing what he could to keep Hurricanes at bay, making 12 saves during the opening.The Canes dominate the wing in the encounter. Winning 71%, The Wings was unable to build momentum after the suspension came out and fired 7-1 in the first seven minutes of the second period.

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Not good enough

The Wings performed better in the second half of the second period, receiving more shots from former teammate Petr Mrazek in the Carolina net.Anthony Mantha had a good chance of playing fire, but Mrazek scored. Robby Fabbri’s dominant crowd with Filip Zadina, Sam Gagner, Filip Hronek and Jon Merrill had some jumping and buzzing around the net.The Faceoffs got a little better, with Wings winning 37%, although it didn’t get the expected response after. That first period, and the response was not there to start the third period either. The Wings scored one goal in the net in the first 14 minutes to 12 from Canes. Ryan Dzingel scored during the play. Power play took 2:35 to play and Andrei Svechnikov found the 1:05 empty net to play for the final score.

Contact Helene St.James at hstjames@freepress.com.Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more about the Detroit Red Wings and subscribe to our Red Wings newsletter.Her book The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon. A personal copy of Barnes & Noble and Triumph books is available via her email.