Rompin’ and Stompin’

The preseason games may not count for much, but they sure can be enjoyable for the fans. Brett Hull scored a hat trick, Derek King added two more, and Curtis Joseph stopped 25 of 27 shots in his first home game in red and white, as the Red Wings continued their preseason dominance with an 8-2 victory over the Dallas Stars.

The Wings scored four goals in the opening period alone, while the Stars had trouble mounting any kind of offense against the Detroit net. On the first play of the game, Henrik Zetterberg‘s shot off a Brett Hull pass was deflected, but came right back to Derek King, who sent the puck fluttering back into the net between the ice and the leg pad of goalie Ron Tugnutt.

Soon thereafter, tough guy Derian Hatcher took a penalty for elbowing. Hull’s first goal of the game came just as the power play ended, before Hatcher could get back to the play. Igor Larionov passed to Luc Robitaille behind the net, and Robitaille sent it out in front where Hull was waiting unseen to slap it in for the 2-0 lead.

Hull scored his second goal just nine seconds into a slashing penalty on Aaron Downey. It was much the same setup as his first goal, the difference being that it was new defenseman Dimitri Bykov who sent the puck behind the net to Robitaille. Again, Hull waited in front of the net with no Dallas players even trying to get rid of him, and again, he snapped the puck in for the goal.

Sean Avery made his presence known he collided with Rob DiMaio, who picked a fight. Avery is certainly not one to turn down a chance to drop the gloves, and DiMaio definitely seemed to get the worse end of the deal, both in the fight and in getting an extra two minute penalty for elbowing.

King scored the Red Wings’ fourth goal, after Kris Draper nimbly evaded a Dallas defender, flew up the right wing side, and snapped a hard pass to King on the left side. King one-timed the shot, and the puck flew past Tugnutt.

The second period continued in much the same way, though the Wings did shut down the production somewhat, and the Stars did try to create a little more pressure. Hull scored his hat trick goal with 10:24 left to play, and the defensively lacking Stars rescued Tugnutt by sending Marty Turco in to take his place. The Stars finally got on the board two minutes later, when Manny Malhotra scored on a neat pass from DiMaio through traffic to the front of the net.

Zetterberg answered for the Wings during a penalty to Malhotra, slapping home a passing play by Sergei Fedorov and Brendan Shanahan.

Hatcher scored another goal for the Stars early in the third period, but a shorthanded goal by Jason Williams and a power play goal by Fedorov ensured that the game would go down as a rout.

The Wings continue their exhibition season Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The two teams are going to meet halfway and play at Hamilton, Ontario.

Wings Stay Unbeaten

The Detroit Red Wings continue to prepare their defense of the Stanley Cup in impressive fashion, lifting their preseason record to 3-0 with a 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Neither Curtis Joseph nor Manny Legace, the Wings top two netminders, have allowed a goal in the exhibitions.

Joseph made his first career start in Columbus last night, playing thirty-three minutes, twenty seconds. He stopped all ten shots he faced and helped Detroit kill off six Columbus power plays.

“You want to work on your game and be sharp,” Joseph said. “It was nice to get in there and get in a game against another team.” Joseph had not played since the Red and White Game in Grand Rapids last week.

“He was happy to get into a game and get into a rhythm,” Red Wings Coach Dave Lewis said. “He made some good screen saves. He looked good.”

Pavel Datsyuk, Jason Williams and Doug Brown scored for Detroit. Williams’ goal broke a 1-1 tie late in the second period. Brown’s insurance goal came with just under five minutes left to play.

Wings Down Leafs in Exhibition Home Opener

In their first game back at Joe Louis Arena since winning the Stanley Cup there last June, the Detroit Red Wings held off a late charge by the Toronto Maple Leafs and picked up a 3-2 win.

After leading the game 3-0 at the start of the third period, the Red Wings allowed goals from Tomas Kaberle and Robert Reichel to pull the Maple Leafs to within one. Kaberle’s tally came came on a Toronto power play at the 11:10 mark of the period when he deflected a wrist shot off of Detroit rookie Henrik Zetterberg and past netmider Mark Lamothe. Reichel scored during a six-on-four advantage for the Leafs with just 1:19 remaining.

Detroit had taken the lead early on a goal by Zetterberg at 5:55 of the first period. He and Darren McCarty broke in on Maple Leafs’ goaltender Trevor Kidd. Kidd ignored Zetterberg, leaving him open to punch a shot into the net after McCarty made the crossing pass.

Nicklas Lidstrom put Detroit up 2-0 late in the period with a goal originally credited to Jason Williams.

The eventual game-winner came off the stick of Jiri Fischer, back in the Detroit lineup after being diagnosed with a thickening of the heart. At the 2:44 mark of the second period, Fischer fired in a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle on a rebound attempt.

Manny Legace started the game for Detroit and stopped all fourteen shots he faced. Lemothe replaced him midway through the second and stopped twelve of fourteen shots.

Kidd stopped fifteen of the eighteen shots he faced in net for Toronto before being replaced by Mikael Tellqvist, who didn’t allow a goal on twelve shots.

Curtis Joseph did not play against his former team, he is slated to start Wednesday in Columbus and Friday against Dallas. He will not play Saturday when the Red Wings play the Maple Leafs in Hamilton, Ontario… Tuesday’s game was the first in Joe Louis Arena since NHL-mandated netting was installed at both ends of the rink.

Devereaux Out After Slash

Detroit Red Wings left wing Boyd Devereaux is expected to miss a month after a slash during Friday’s exhibition game in Dallas left him with a broken thumb. The thumb swelled on Saturday and Devereaux was unable to practice on Sunday. He was fitted with a cast after a trip to the hospital.

Devereaux had scored against the Stars, continuing his impressive preseason. He was reunited with right wing Brett Hull and center Pavel Datsyuk, one of the Red Wings’ most consistant lines last season, for the first time of the preseason on Friday.

“They’ve got very good chemistry,” Red Wings head coach Dave Lewis said. “It’s too bad.”

With Devereaux out until October 21 against Calgary, one more forward will make the Opening Day roster. Rookie Henrik Zetterberg seems to have locked up the spot left open by the injured Steve Yzerman and Jason Williams will likely also make the team. This leaves two roster spots open for Sean Avery, Stacy Roest and Doug Brown.

Curtis Joseph will not start tonight against his former team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. He is set to make his Red Wings debut on Wednesday in Columbus and play his first home game on Friday against Dallas. He will not dress Saturday when the Red Wings play the Maple Leafs in Hamilton, Ontario.

And, They’re Off….

The Red Wings got their pre-season off to a promising start with a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars.

The first period was somewhat penalty-filled. The referees seemed to want to prove they were serious about this year’s crackdown on obstruction, mandated by the NHL office, and the hooking and holding penalties were plentiful. The Wings’ goaltender Manny Legace and the Stars’ new acquisition Ron Tugnutt held the game scoreless, facing seven and four shots respectively in the first twenty minutes of play.

Sean Avery got his season off to a good start by scoring the first goal of the game just over six minutes into the second period, on an assist by Derek King. Avery assured the fans he wasn’t going to give up his grinding style of play less than three minutes later by starting a fight with Dallas rookie Steve Ott. Both players were sent to the penalty box for five minutes to cool off, and Avery picked up an extra two minutes for the cross-check that started the fight.

About midway through the second period, the goaltenders switched out. Marc Lamothe came into the net for the Red Wings, while newly promoted number one goalie Marty Turco came out for the Stars. Turco, unfortunately for him, gave up a goal on the first shot he faced.

To make matters worse for Turco, the Stars were on a power play at the time. Boyd Devereaux stole the puck away from the Stars and set up the re-acquired Stacy Roest for the short-handed goal.

Devereaux scored a goal of his own 1:26 into the third period. His goal on a pass from Brett Hull helped ensure the victory for the Wings.

Jason Arnott finally put the Stars on the board about five minutes later with a power play goal assisted by Bill Guerin and Mike Modano, but it was too little and too late for Dallas.

The total shots on goal were twenty-five to twenty-two in favor of the Stars. The Red Wings’ next pre-season game will be Tuesday night at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Jiri Fischer did not make the trip to Dallas, remaining instead in Detroit after further medical testing stemming from an abnormal EKG reading on September 12. He has been cleared to play and is expected to participate in practice this weekend.

Forwards Fight for Position

The Red Wings have five forwards battling for three, possibly even only two, open roster spots in Detroit. Sean Avery, Doug Brown, Stacy Roest, Jason Williams and Henrik Zetterberg are trying to make a roster that doesn’t have room for all of them.

Zetterberg, playing the North American game for the first time, has two goals and six assists in the first three scrimmages of training camp. He seems to have a lock on one of the open roster spots. As the only non-NHL player on the Swedish Olympic team last winter, Mats Sundin compared him to national hero Peter Forsberg.

“I don’t think so,” Zetterberg responded. “He’s (Forsberg) one of the best players in the world. I don’t think I’m much up to him.”

Williams is also making a strong push to join the Red Wings’ roster full-time. Playing on a line with Zetterberg, Williams had a hat trick in the first day of scrimmages. After playing in nine playoff games last spring, including an impressive Game Three in the Western Conference Finals against Colorado, Williams is ready to play a larger role in the Red Wings organization.

“Being out there definitely sort of opened my eyes, saying, ‘I could be a potential player, star player in this league, playing on a line like that,’ ” Williams said of that Game Three, when he played alongside Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan.

Avery is the Wings’ best agitator, but he won’t put up the numbers to get noticed in camp. Fighting is banned from Detroit’s preseason scrimmages but Avery has taken part in some shoving-matches, showing that the fire is still there.

“Everyone knows what I’m going to bring to the game,” Avery said. I don’t think they’re counting on me scoring 20 goals. I’m an energy guy who will try to wear down the other team’s defense for seven or eight minutes and add that as much as I can.”

Brown is attempting a comeback with the Red Wings after spending last season as a part-time color commentator with UPN 50 and Fox Sports Detroit. Wearing number 71 on his jersey after his familiar number 17 was taken by Brett Hull, Brown has been one of the most-watched players at camp. He said Monday he is close to where he wants to be physically.

Roest is starting his second tour of duty with the Red Wings organization. He’s coming off of two unimpressive seasons in Minnesota after being taken from the Red Wings by the Wild in the Expansion Draft. Roest has surprised the Red Wings before, making the Detroit roster in 1998-99 after an outstanding exhibition season.

Griffins Unveil Detroit-styled Jersey

The Grand Rapids Griffins, new American Hockey League affiliates of the Detroit Red Wings, unveiled new third jerseys styled after those of their parent club on Thursday.

The jerseys are based on the Red Wings’ home sweaters, featuring red sleeves with a white stripe and white numbers and a white body with a red stripe and red numbers and letters. A red and white version of the Griffins’ logo takes the place of Detroit’s Winged Wheel crest.

The jersey is the Griffins’ first-ever third jersey and will be worn during all twelve Friday night home games this season.

“It’s only fitting with our exciting new affiliation that the Griffins players reflect this dynamic new era in what they wear on the ice,” said Bob Sack, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Griffins. “So, what people will see is a scheme that is reflective of our partnership with the Red Wings, emphasizing red and integrating a new third jersey to round out the ensemble.”

The Griffins’ home and away jerseys and the team’s logo also received several subtle changes.

Replica versions of the new jerseys are expected to go on sale in late September or early October.

DetroitHockey.Net Officially Launches

After several days of testing, DetroitHockey.Net officially launched Wednesday night.

The site went active on Monday, but still had minor kinks to be worked out that wouldn’t be found without users interacting with the it. All errors that were found were fixed by Wednesday evening, and DetroitHockey.Net officially replaced later that night.

Several small changes were made to DetroitHockey.Net that did not exist on Aside from asthetic changes on the site’s message boards, a function was also created that allows users to email a page from DH.N to a friend.

The official launch of DetroitHockey.Net comes just under two weeks before the site’s sixth birthday. DH.N was launched as “YzerFan19’s Detroit Red Wings Page” on September 15, 1996.

Fischer Signs, Only McCarty Left

The Detroit Red Wings resigned promising young defenseman Jiri Fischer on Tuesday. Fischer, 22, helped the Red Wings claim the Stanley Cup in his first full season with the team.

Financial terms were not disclosed for Fischer’s two year deal. He made $975,000 last season.

Fischer had two goals, eight assists and 67 penalty minutes in a career-high 80 games last season. He also notched three goals, three assists and 30 penalty minutes in 22 playoff games.

With the signing of Fischer, Detroit has only unrestricted free agent Darren McCarty left unsigned. The Detroit Free Press reports that McCarty will be signed before training camp opens next week, eliminating the possibility of a holdout like the one McCarty staged in the fall of 1999.

The Red Wings are also looking to sign a veteran defenseman before their defense of the Stanley Cup begins in October.

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