DETROIT - From the red carpet ceremony before the game to the pre-game ceremony to the 5-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators, it was everything the Red Wings could have asked for in their final home opener at Joe Louis Arena.
The Wings got three goals from Mike Green, two from Darren Helm and three assists from newcomer Thomas Vanek as they got their first win of the season.
1. Mike Green : Blashill has said that one of the ways they plan to evaluate Green this season is the number of shots he takes because when he's taken a lot of shots in the past, he has a lot of offensive success. Green took that and ran (skated) with it against the Senators. At 11:43 of the first period, Thomas Vanek won the puck and passed it to Green in the slot. At 17:17 of the first, Green's power-play shot from the mid-slot beat Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond glove-side. Green completed the hat trick at 13:24 of the third on a nice pass from Luke Glendening. Green said it was his first career hat trick at any level of hockey. It's the first three-goal game by a Wings defenseman since Nick Lidstrom on Dec. 15, 2010 and only the fifth by an NHL defenseman in the last five years.
Quotable: "Yeah, got lucky. Outstanding plays by Vanek there, Tats (Tomas Tatar) and Glenny. Trying to get more of a mentality of shooting. But I think overall the team played great. We kept the pressure on them, didn't sit back. I think that's why we were able to finish off here." - Green
2. Darren Helm : Wings coach Jeff Blashill has had different lines for each of the first three games with one exception - Helm's line with Vanek and Gustav Nyquist. Helm got free for a breakaway at 14:15 of the first and Henrik Zetterberg got him the puck. Helm scored the final goal of the game, a power-play tally just five seconds into the man-advantage on a pass from Vanek. Helm has three goals and one assist in three games.
Quotable: "It's been big so far. It kind of gives me the ability to go out and play and not force things. I've never really a guy that's been too focused on getting points but when they're not going in, it definitely makes it a little harder on you. Right now it seems to be working and I'm still focusing on things away from the puck that I need to be doing to be successful." - Helm
3. Thomas Vanek: As he did in the final preseason game, Vanek showed that he can do more than put the puck in the net, he can get the puck to someone who puts it in the net. Vanek assisted on two of Green's three goals and on Helm's second of the night. That gives Vanek two goals and three assists in the first three games.
Quotable: "I've known Thomas Vanek since he played Sioux Falls in the USHL. I wanted Thomas Vanek on this team. He brings an elite offensive ability that's hard to get when you don't draft high. I listened to a lot of people that I know real well that said he's got a great heart and he wants to win. That's all he's shown. He's an interesting player because he doesn't always look because of his gait that he's working as hard, but he wins puck battles. I've been real happy so far." - Blashill
4. Fighting: The Wings lead the NHL with four fighting majors in the first three games, not really what Detroit has typically been known for over the years. Jonathan Ericsson dropped the gloves with Dion Phaneuf at 5:48 of the first and then Justin Abdelkader fought Chris Neil at 11:27 of the third. Ericsson also had a fight in the first game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, against Ondrej Palat. Brendan Smith fought Braydon Coburn in the Tampa game.
Quotable: "Bruise Brothers. Leading the league in majors, I like it. One thing we talked about is looking after each other and stick up for each other. You have to have a feeling among your group that you look after each other." - Blashill