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NHL Anaheim Ducks

Opening Night 2011 Colorado Avalanche vs Detroit Red Wings

After a very emotional retirement ceremony for Peter Forsberg and memorial service for fallen former Avalanche players of the Lokomotiv team, the puck drops to start the season against none other than arch rival, the Red Wings with a sold out crowd.

The night started out so strong. For the first 10-15 minutes the Avalanche were dominating the puck out shooting the Wings 10-5. Every player on the ice was giving so much and the fans were all giving right back. It was like watching a whole new team compared to last season and like they were finally backing up all that talk. Then something changed…

Toward the end of the 1st period, the Red Wings took control of the puck. Avalanche offense was having trouble keeping the puck let a lone on the right side of the ice. They were also doing the usual “Hail Mary” shots occasionally mixed in with an actual attempt to set up a goal that usually went wide. The defense had some great hits and blocks keeping the Wings from setting up for a goal, but all in all they too were struggling to do their part.

There is one player who stood out above the rest and never stopped playing at the level he started the game at, Semyon Varlamov. While 2 goals got past him (the 3rd goal was on an open net), he made 36 incredible saves. He was diving on top of the puck, pouncing it off the pads or stick, grabbing it in the glove, anything he had to do. He was carrying the wait of this team and showing the sold out crowd exactly what to expect from him the rest of the season. It was a very nice, surprising change from the preseason and hopefully he can keep it up. Also, hopefully the rest of the team can bring their game up to match his. Can’t wait for him to get in net tomorrow against the Bruins and see him play again.

Sure would be nice to see the Avalanche beat the Wings at the next chance, but they still have work ahead of them. I’d love to here your thoughts on last nights game and prediction for the future of the season.