Wings hold public scrimmage after naming Z captain
PLYMOUTH, Mich. (AP) — Jimmy Howard isn't sure what to expect when the NHL season begins this weekend.
Will scoring increase or will goalies such as Howard have an advantage following the lockout?
"That's a good question. We're going to have to see," the Detroit netminder said. "I think as the season progresses, the goalies are going to get better, just because not a lot of us were able to find jobs overseas. ... Today was definitely a good start."
Howard and the Red Wings held a public scrimmage Tuesday night, and Howard's White team lost 4-2 to the Red team. Henrik Zetterberg, who was officially named Detroit's new captain before the scrimmage, banged a rebound past Howard with 5:42 remaining in the second period to break a 2-all tie.
Despite the loss, Howard was encouraged by his performance.
"To be honest, I felt really good out there — a lot better than I thought it was going to be," Howard said. "We've got to dive right into it, no matter what."
Detroit opens the 48-game season at St. Louis on Saturday night. The Red Wings play at home for the first time next Tuesday night against Dallas.
Detroit is one team that may not have to worry much about a post-lockout lapse in fan support. Admission to Tuesday's scrimmage was free, and about 90 minutes before it started, fans were already forming a line outside that wrapped from the front of the arena to the back.
"The way they came out here tonight, it's inspiring for us," Howard said.
They eventually packed the small venue, which seats around 3,500 for Ontario Hockey League games. In addition to the scrimmage, players competed in a brief shootout after the game.
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