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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Scott Merryfield, Sep 26, 2017.
Preseason is winding down, so it's time for a new season thread.
I went to the Red Wings - Penguins preseason game last night -- was invited by a friend who had free tickets. While I am not a Wings fan, I was interested in checking out the new Little Caesars Pizza Arena, which is located in the same part of town as Ford Field (Lions), Comerica Park (Tigers), the Fox Theater, Motor City Casino, etc.
I came away with both positive and negative impressions on the new arena.
The design of the concourses is very open, with a great variety of restaurants and beverage choices. Most of the restaurants are accessible from both inside and outside the arena, so you do not need a ticket to the game to patronize them.
There are video screens all around the concourse, and a huge one outside the arena, so you will not miss any of the action if you leave your seat.
There were some cool things for the fans, such as a bench area where you could have your photo taken sitting on the bench with replicas of Wings players.
Appears to be more restroom capacity, so hopefully those long lines at Joe Louis Arena will be a thing of the past. It was difficult to know for sure, since the arena was less than half full for this game.
The sound system sounded great.
We sat in the upper bowl. The leg room was the worst for any arena or stadium I have ever sat in. I had to tuck my legs slightly in to even get my feet on the floor, and I am only 5 foot 10 inches tall. The people with me and in front of us all found the seating very uncomfortable, and my legs began cramping before the game even started.
The upper bowl is extremely steep, which does prevent the people sitting in front of you from blocking your view. However, the seat backs of the row in front of you only came up to my shin. Combined with the minimal leg room mentioned above, I think there are going to be a lot of accidents with people falling over the seats in front of them.
Prices, as expected, were high. Our seats in the upper bowl are priced at $75. A quality beer was $9 - $13. Parking on the same side of the freeway as the arena was $40 (we parked on the other side for $20). Lower bowl tickets start at $170, with seats near or on the glass going for $275. The cheapest seat -- upper bowl in the end zone - is $65.
So, while overall the arena looks impressive, I doubt I will be going to many events there. The seats in the upper bowl are too uncomfortable and definitely overpriced based on the lack of comfort, and I am not paying $170 to sit in the lower bowl for a regular season hockey game. I'll only be going if I get free tickets like last night.
By the way, those uncomfortable $65 hockey seats cost $130 for the Eagles concert in late October. I assume they are the same price for the Paul McCartney concert, but we didn't check.
Montreal's season began last night. They have quite a few new faces, and I liked what I saw from several. Jonathan Drouin is being given a shot as the #1 center after playing mostly the wing in Tampa, and he did not look out of place in the role. He is certainly the most skilled center that Pacioretty's ever had on his line. Drouin made a great play to set up Pacioretty for a goal, and had a wicked goal to win the shootout. The 19 year old rookie defenseman Victor Mete did not look out of place on the ice, as Mikhail Sergachev had last season during his brief trial before being sent back to the juniors. It's only been one game, but Mete actually has a chance to stick with the team -- I had originally assumed he would get his 5-9 game trial and then be sent back to the London Knights of the OHL. Also, Charles Hudon showed some offensive skill after spending most of the last three seasons as one of the top scorers in the AHL.
On the other hand, additions Ales Hemsky and Mark Streit did not impress. Streit looks every bit of his 39 year age, and Hemsky only stood out for the two dumb penalties he took. Hopefully Streit will be gone once Schlemnko returns from injury and Jerabek has some time in the AHL to adjust to the North American rink size and style of play after coming over from the KHL.
Flyers fan here.. Haven't paid much attention to it, as the season began with a four-game West Coast Rd. trip.
The Canadiens are off to a horrible start. It could be a long season. The only bright spot so far has been 19 year old rookie defenseman Victor Mete. He does not look at all out of place, and has been getting quite a bit of ice time on the top pairing with Shea Weber. It is going to be difficult to send him back to the juniors in London -- I think he may stick for the entire season.
A little more about the Red Wings new arena. I had lunch last week with a friend who is a diehard Wings fan and has been a season ticket holder for 23 years, with his seats always being in the upper bowl. He is so disenchanted with the horribly cramped seating in the upper bowl at the new place that he is selling as many of his tickets for this season as he can, and will not be renewing next season. From what others have said, the seating in the much more expensive, lower bowl sections is fine, but it is horrible in the upper bowl (at $65 - $75 per seat). I mentioned above that I personally experienced the terrible seat conditions of the upper bowl for a preseason game. It's shameful that a brand new, supposedly state of the art arena would completely neglect the fans in the less expensive seats.
The USA Hockey National Team Development Program opened its home schedule on Friday. We saw a very entertaining game, with Team USA losing to Miami (OH) University 7-5 (with an empty net goal in the final second). Both USA squads look very promising this season, and the home schedule includes games against The University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Ferris State University -- all of which have very good NCAA Division I programs.
USA Hockey's National Team Development Program (NTDP) U17 team opened its home schedule last weekend, after the U18 squad played at home the previous weekend. This younger team looked very impressive, with lots of players who skate fast and can really handle the puck. The team's top prospect is Jack Hughes, who will probably be getting a lot of press before the 2019 NHL Draft as potentially the #1 overall pick. It's a little early to be making those predictions, but Hughes does look like quite the talent.
Check out these highlight's from Sunday's game. Especially note the goal Hughes scores, which starts around the 1:10 mark in the highlights. He skates through half the opposing team and buries a great shot up high. His assist on Caufield's goal just before that in the highlights is a nice pass, too.
This thread's been idle for awhile, but I wanted to share this item regarding US NTDP player Jack Hughes. He just broke the program's record for points in a season for a U17 player in 15 fewer games. He was moved up from the U17 squad to the U18 team just after the holidays, and is still dominating play. Jack will very likely be the #1 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, and his older brother Quinn will most likely be a top 10 pick in this season's draft -- he's currently a defenseman at the University of Michigan and played in the NTDP the past two seasons. And supposedly their youngest brother, Luke, is a better defenseman than older brother Quinn was at the same age -- he'll probably be playing for the program soon, too.
Keep an eye on Jack Hughes. This same program has produced such talent as Patrick Kane, Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel recently, and Hughes is of a very similar talent level.
Instead of starting a new thread (hockey doesn't seem that popular around here), I will just post in this old thread.
Montreal Canadiens' defenseman Shea Weber is considered to have the hardest slapshot in the league, and one of the hardest of all time. Check out Minnesota Wild player Joel Eriksson Ek, who blocked not one, not two, but three Weber blasts on a single power play shift last night. He left the ice after the third shot, did not return to the game, and was seen leaving the arena in a walking boot.
Not sure if this was one of the bravest, or dumbest, things I've seen a hockey player do. Weber has injured several players over the years with his wicked shot -- including breaking the hand of teammate Brendan Gallagher a few years ago. Getting in front of one of his blasts takes guts, but three times is crazy!
Oh, and to add insult to injury, not only didn't the off-ice officials give Eriksson Ek credit for three blocked shots on the sequence that knocked him out of the game, they have Weber blocking three shots from Eriksson Ek that shift!