Live (kinda) from the Consol Energy Center media room, which I’d prefer be named after Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Mike Lange, but…
• C SIDNEY CROSBYdid not seem too concerned about having to leave this game with a sore hip flexor, and coach DAN BYLSMA said any acts with Crosby moving forward would be of the precautionary variety. I didn’t expect to see him play Friday at Columbus anyway — especially with the “ultimate home game” scheduled for Saturday. For the sake of all those young folk getting into that game for free here is hoping Crosby can go.
=Bylsma said he didn’t get a great look at the hit by D BROOKS ORPIK on Red Wings LW JOHN FRANZEN, but he also said he didn’t expect the league to take any action. Orpik was given a game misconduct after being assessed majors for fighting and, most pertinent here, kneeing. I’ve not seen a great replay-look, but I’ve long argued the league should take kneeing seriously. However, if Capitals LW ALEX OVECHKIN can get away with it (as he often does), well…
= LW ERIC TANGRADI is one of several players fighting for a roster spot that Bylsma cited during his postgame chat with the media. I asked Tangradi (16:35, five attempted shots) if he viewed playing on a line with C/RW EVGENI MALKIN as a message from his coach.
“I don’t want to look too much into it. It shows the coaches still believe in me. I’m still trying to go out there and just play my game. That’s something I didn’t do in the past.”
For a young player, let alone the club’s top prospect, to be aware of his previous shortcomings is no insignificant sign. With his approach since July, when I first talked with him at prospect orientation, I’ve been nothing but impressed with his attitude.
A team official told me tonight that Tangradi has “come a long way” with his skating — one big hangup I heard a lot about last seaosn. The same official said that if Tangradi “just concentrates on getting to the net and working to stay there” he’ll go a long way towards playing in the NHL regularly by season’s end.
= C MIKE COMRIE on scoring the first goal at Consol Energy Center: “I’m not sue if it will be on the back of a Trivial Pursuit card some day, but it’s nice.”
= D ZBYNEK MICHALEK looked awesome on the penalty kill, on which he registered most of his team-high six shots. Hockey fans around here are going to love this guy. From what I can tell he is every bit the stout defender he was advertised to be.
= G MARC-ANDRE FLEURYstopping 20 of 21 shots in two periods was a great sign, and I don’t care what Bylsma said, I think it was important for him to get a good flow going in this game. Yes, this was only an exhibition contest, but Fleury’s end to last season was so bitter-tasting (for fans and him) that I feel he needed to feel good about himself again, and fast. I am a bit concerned the bouncy boards at CEC might end up keeping him awake at night, but it’s good to see that Fleury is back to his joking self.
“I was scared about letting in the first goal in the new building so I’m glad (Detroit G CHRIS OSGOOD) did.
“I feel really good right now. Getting used to the boards will take a while, but it will be OK.”