Regarding the attendance..
The arena was an absolute mess. At least half of the concession stands were closed and the ones that were open had the bare minimum number of people working. Lines were long, slow, and a few of the carts had run out of beer while we were waiting. I'm guessing the labor shortage hit them pretty hard and they couldn't get anyone to work. You would think that opening night would be the one game of the season that they would have all the concessions open, instead it felt like Disney on Ice. But anyway, this could have been a reason why a lot of the seats were empty during the anthem and when the periods started. I missed the Hawk's first goal while I was waiting in line for a beer that ended up being a bud seltzer.
No one has mentioned it yet but Studenic had a solid game. He was getting involved in the corners, winning battles, and just looked like a solid 4th liner. I was never really impressed by him until this game. White looked better than expected too.
Oh yeah, and Bernier was a beast. Great pickup this summer.