Alumni Showdown Roster Review

I’ve been (finally) going through my photos from the Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park on New Years Eve and my lack of familiarity with some of the Toronto players has been causing some problems. I look at my photos and say “Who is that guy and why don’t I see a #28 listed on the roster?”

Well, it’s because the announced rosters weren’t the final rosters. A couple players were listed for one game and played in the other or were listed with different numbers or were listed and didn’t actually play. I went back through the player introductions to put together a complete list and I figured I’d share it out for posterity.

Game One

Toronto Maple Leafs

# Name Pos.
33 Doug Favell G
1 Mark Laforest G
1 Peter Ing G
4 Mike Pelyk D
4 Cory Cross D
33 Matt Martin D
3 Brad Marsh (A) D
4 Greg Hotham D
24 Dan Daoust F
21 Mark Osborne F
19 Bill Derlago F
9 Stew Gavin F
15 Pat Boutette F
12 Rob Pearson F
15 Claude Loiselle F
10 Brad May (A) F
14 Dave Reid F
19 Tom Fergus (A) F
26 Mike Krushelnyski F
7 Dave McLlwain F
8 Todd Warriner F
20 Mike Johnson F
16 Nikolai Borschevsky F
32 Lou Franceschetti F

On the Toronto side, Doug Favell wasn’t listed on the roster but did play. Jamie Macoun and Shayne Corson were listed but didn’t play. Mike Johnson wore #20 after being listed without a number.

For Detroit, Ken Holland was on the roster but did not play.

Game Two

Toronto Maple Leafs

# Name Pos.
29 Mike Palmateer G
31 Curtis Joseph G
29 Felix Potvin G
24 Bryan McCabe (A) D
34 Jamie Macoun D
4 Dave Ellett D
15 Bob McGill D
33 Al Iafrate D
34 Bryan Berard D
27 Darryl Sittler (C) F
22 Rick Vaive (C) F
17 Wendel Clark (C) F
93 Doug Gilmour (C) F
14 Dave Andreychuk (A) F
16 Darcy Tucker (A) F
18 Kevin Maguire F
4 Gary Leeman (A) F
9 Russ Courtnall F
7 Gary Roberts (A) F
7 Lanny McDonald (A) F
22 Tiger Williams F
16 Mike Walton F
28 Tie Domi (A) F
11 Mike Gartner F
25 Joe Nieuwendyk (A) F
32 Steve Thomas (A) F
11 Steve Sullivan F

For Detroit, the only oddity was that Joe Kocur was introduced in and played the first period wearing Bob Probert‘s #24 jersey.

For the Leafs, several things were different. Macoun played after having been on the Game One roster. Curtis Joseph wore his usual #31 and Felix Potvin wore #29, having been listed with #35 and #36, respectively. Bryan McCabe wore #24 instead of #29. Up front, Gary Leeman wore #4 instead of #11, Tie Domi wore #28 instead of #20, and Mike Gartner wore #11 instead of #22.

As I said, compiling this list is nothing groundbreaking, I just wanted it to be documented somewhere so I figured I’d write it up.

Alumni Showdown Rosters

Possibly lost in the shuffle yesterday between the Griffins/Marlies tilt at Comerica Park, the Red Wings’ visit to Nashville, and other build-up to tomorrow’s Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Bill Roose had the rosters for Detroit’s two alumni teams for today’s Alumni Showdown.

Kocur was listed as wearing his usual #26 but announced that he would don #24 in honor of Bob Probert.

On Dr. Jack Finley’s Hockeytown Doc

I was recently asked to take a look at Dr. John Finley’s new book, Hockeytown Doc – A Half-Century of Red Wings Stories from Howe to Yzerman.  By coincidence, the request came on the heels of posting my thoughts on Tal Pinchevsky’s Breakaway: From Behind the Iron Curtain to the NHL – The Untold Story of Hockey’s Great Escapes.  I’m not looking to get into the business of book reviews but with no NHL games, I’m already reading more.

Over at Winging it in Motown, J.J. posted his thoughts on Friday but I’ve deliberately not read what he wrote, so our opinions may have some overlap.

Dr. Finley has assembled 23 chapters of anecdotes and personal thoughts formed over fifty years on the Red Wings’ medical staff.  His viewpoint from three rows behind the bench and inside the dressing room is unique.

It’s that perspective that makes the book worthwhile.  Some of these stories are things we’ve heard before.  His chapter on the Russian Five, for example, has a lot of overlap with Breakaway.  However, there were parts of those familiar stories that were new, things that only he could tell.

My personal favorite chapter was “Spring Fling,” in which he tells stories of the team party he and his family hosted every year.  A party so appreciated that, as Dr. Finley says, Bob Probert once asked to be invited back even if he was traded away from the Wings.

Another thing that struck me was how similarly former Red Wings’ czar Jack Adams and current team Vice President Jimmy Devellano were described.  This probably shouldn’t be a surprise, given Adams’ attempts at union-busting and Devellano’s recent “cattle” comment but it wasn’t until reading Dr. Finley’s words that the idea really clicked for me.

I do have some nit-picks about the book.  As a collection of 23 relatively-independent chapters, there’s a decent amount of repetition.  The roles of certain people are described multiple times, for example.  We’re told that Original Six-era dressing rooms were made up of “benches above which were hooks” several times.  Additionally, I caught at least one mistake in a player’s name, with Kris Draper being called Chris Draper.

As I said, those are nit-picks, the only things I could find wrong in an otherwise well-crafted piece of storytelling.

If you missed Dr. Finley’s signing at Hockeytown Authentics on Saturday, he has two more appearances scheduled in the coming weeks.  On October 14 he’ll be at the Kroger in Bloomfield Hills and on October 28 he’ll be at the Kroger in Troy.

Red Wings – Blackhawks Pregame Notes

It’s Chris Chelios Heritage Night in Chicago tonight but some say he’s been tainted by his time in Detroit. Personally, I love the fact that the Red Wings took a Chicago icon and turned him into one of our own. The Blackhawks can try to claim Bob Probert all they want, we still love him. We made them hate their hero.

The Red Wings sit atop the Central Division (and the Western Conference) while the Blackhawks are in the basement. Both teams are slumping a bit as of late, though slumping is relative. The Wings are 6-3-1 in their last ten but the three losses are of only seven total on the season. The Blackhawks are 5-4-1 over the same time period and have lost two in a row to the Colorado Avalanche.

Chicago will start backup goalie Corey Crawford. Jimmy Howard gets the start for Detroit after the Wings’ players convinced Mike Babcock to give Chris Osgood the start at home on Sunday, with the chance to get his 400th win in front of the Joe Louis Arena crowd.

Changing up the goalie schedule to accommodate a possible milestone worries me. Especially with how the Wings usually play on Sundays.

Drew Miller is back onto the Wings’ fourth line in place of Kris Draper.

Chicago will be without Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, and Victor Stralman.

May Asks for Chelios’ Sweater Number, Sparks Jersey Retirement Talk

Brad May could be switching to a new sweater number.

The enforcer was given #20 when he joined the team on a pro tryout at the end of the preseason and kept that number for his first regular season game after signing a one-year deal on Thursday. Ansar Khan reports that May has asked Chris Chelios for permission to switch to #24.

“(Chelios) was really cool,” May said. “I just figured it’s his (number). He’s such an icon, I figured I’d call him.”

“I like the number – Chris Chelios, Bob Probert. But I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I may ask, but now that I’m 20, who knows?”

May had previously worn #24 during his stint with the Anaheim Ducks.

Like May, Chelios also asked permission to wear #24. When he came to Detroit in 1999 he called the number’s previous owner – Probert – to run it by him.

George Malik asks whether or not the Wings should retire #24 for Chelios.

He mentions Brendan Shanahan‘s #14 being put back into use but Sergei Fedorov‘s #91 remaining out of circulation, as well as the #16 of Vladimir Konstantinov.

Personally, I think it’s a travesty that the #6 of Larry Aurie is not represented in the Joe Louis Arena rafters and would not raise any of those numbers before Detroit’s first real star was recognized. The Ilitch family’s refusal to honor Aurie is confusing and downright ridiculous.

At this point the only numbers I’d even think about retiring are #6 and (when the time comes) Nicklas Lidstrom‘s #5. After Aurie’s number is retired we can talk about another old-timer in Red Kelly‘s #4.

Chelios should have his number retired, just not here. Though he won two Cups and ended his career with the Red Wings (and one more Cup with Montreal) I believe he’ll always be remembered as a Blackhawk and his #7 should hang at United Center.

Shanahan and Fedorov should wait, we shouldn’t even be talking about them until they retire from playing. And as I said above, they don’t get consideration until Aurie is taken care of.

Konstantinov, as much as it pains me to say it, should not have his number permanently retired. It should remain out of circulation until all of his former teammates have left the Red Wings. Only then should it be brought back.

Wings Tie Stars While On the Mend

Twenty-four hours can improve a team’s defensive outlook greatly. It might be an exaggeration to say that the Red Wings looked like a completely different team against the Dallas Stars than they did the night before against Ottawa, but they certainly looked like a team ready to put a bad game behind them. The Stars, on the other hand, had an embarrassing loss of their own against the Columbus Blue Jackets to shake off, and the two determined teams skated to a 3-3 tie.

Dallas got the first goal of the game 5:49 into the first period. The puck bounced away from a tangle of players along the right boards. It went right out in front of the net, where Ulf Dahlen was able to flip it past Curtis Joseph and just under the crossbar.

Shortly afterwards, Brenden Morrow was given a penalty for interference against Kirk Maltby, and the Red Wings’ power play extended its scoring streak for another game. Pavel Datsyuk passed the puck from behind the net to Brett Hull. The rebound from Hull’s shot came back to him, and he sent it back to Datsyuk. Datsyuk then slipped a pass through to Nick Lidstrom at the left faceoff circle. Lidstrom took a split second to settle the puck before wristing the shot high past goalie Marty Turco.

Joseph and Turco both made some impressive saves throughout the first and second periods, but Turco blinked first. Jason Williams made a pass which sent Boyd Devereaux and Datsyuk up the ice on a two-on-two rush. Devereaux stumbled slightly as he carried the puck over the blue line, but he got back up and made a clean pass across to Datsyuk anyway, and Datsyuk tapped it right into the net to give the Red Wings the lead.

The Stars began to lay on the offensive pressure then, trying to get back into the game, but Joseph and the reinvigorated Detroit defense held them off until only 8 seconds remained in the second period. Scott Young took a wild shot on net from the right half-boards. Joseph made the save, but the rebound bounced straight out front to Mike Modano. Modano’s shot deflected slightly off the leg of Jiri Fischer and past Joseph to tie the game back up.

The Stars took the next lead of the game 7:30 into the third period while Henrik Zetterberg was serving a penalty for holding. Sergei Zubov took a shot from the right side. The rebound bounced off the skate of Darrell Sydor and over to Dahlen, who had skated around behind the net without attracting attention. He was able to stuff the puck past Joseph before anyone quite realized he had it.

A Detroit power play tied the game back up. Brendan Shanahan faked a shot from his usual power play spot on the left side, but instead he passed the puck to Williams waiting in front of the net. Williams was able to angle a shot into the tiny space between Turco and the goalpost.

The Red Wings dominated the overtime play. Sergei Fedorov had two breakaways, but he shot the puck wide of the net both times. Turco held his ground against the seven shots that did get to him. Meanwhile, Joseph made two huge stops at the other end of the rink, and the game ended with a 3-3 tie.

The game was also nearly equal in terms of total shots on net: the final count was 37 to 35 in favor of the Stars. The Red Wings’ next game will be on Tuesday evening when they host their ancient rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks.


Igor Larionov was a healthy scratch for tonight’s game, allowing Sean Avery to rotate into the lineup. Tomas Holmstrom and Dmitri Bykov are still out with their respective injuries”¦.Head coach Dave Lewis used Scotty Bowman‘s example and rearranged the forward lines to shake up the team after Saturday’s game. What did he come up with?
Line 1: Brett Hull, Henrik Zetterberg, and Sergei Fedorov””A goat, a kid, and Sergei, who is neither goat nor kid, but certainly seemed to match well with the other two.
Line 2: Brendan Shanahan, Kris Draper, and Kirk Maltby””Not sure if it was a demotion for Shanny, or a promotion for Draper and Maltby, but with Shanahan’s innate grittiness and Maltby’s and Draper’s tendency to score goals exactly when no one expects them to, it could work pretty well.
Line 3: Jason Williams, Pavel Datsyuk, and Boyd Devereaux””a high-energy line of three young guys who are excited to be playing. They will make some rookie mistakes sometimes, but this is a line that can make good things happen.
Line 4: Luc Robitaille, Sean Avery, and Darren McCarty“”Leftovers? Okay, they were the three left without anywhere else to go, but a line with the highest scoring left winger of all time and two of the best agitators in hockey is bound to accomplish something. Just let it remind you of Steve Yzerman playing with Joey Kocur and Bob Probert, back in the day.

Scotty Bowman’s Early Christmas Gift

After being shut out by the Chicago Blackhawks in Detroit on December 17, the Red Wings traveled to Chicago to return the favor, defeating the Blachawks 5-0 before a sellout crowd at the United Center.

Brendan Shanahan opened the scoring with 6:26 left in the first period. Kris Draper passed to Sergei Fedorov in the right corner, and Fedorov sent it out to Shanahan at the right circle. Shanahan sent off a quick wrist shot, and the puck slid past netminder Jocelyn Thibault.

Detroit increased their lead and their momentum with only nineteen seconds left in the first. The Red Wings won an offensive zone faceoff, and Luc Robitaille got the puck back to Chris Chelios at the blue line. Chelios fired hard and the puck flew past Thibault.

The Red Wings ended their power play drought 4:49 into the second period, while Michael Nylander was in the box for high-sticking. Brett Hull fired hard from the left point. Tomas Holmstrom was able to take the rebound from Thibault and pass it between his legs over to Luc Robitaille, who flipped it into the net to score his first goal in ten games and the Red Wings’ first power play goal in twenty-five tries.

Hull added to the Red Wings’ lead five minutes later. Steve Yzerman got the puck in the right corner, then sent a centering pass out front. Boyd Devereaux was too well covered to take the pass, but Hull was right behind him to take the puck and snap it past Thibault.

The Chicago bench decided at this point to pull Thibault from the net and send in backup goalie Steve Passmore. However, Passmore had to face a five-on-three Detroit power play right away as, Darren McCarty and Ryan Vandenbussche were given offsetting penalties for fighting. Vandenbussche was also called on an interference minor and Bob Probert was given a roughing penalty and a misconduct for taking a swipe at Dominik Hasek, all at the same time.

Yzerman fired the shot from the point, and Shanahan passed the rebound across the crease to Igor Larionov, who lifted the puck into the net behind Passmore. The Red Wings continued on a five-on-four power play, but this time Hasek had to make a sprawling save to stop a Chicago breakaway opportunity by Steve Sullivan.

The Red Wings took their lead and shut down the Blackhawks’ offense almost completely in the third period, holding them to only five shots in the twenty minutes of play.

Thibault stopped twelve of sixteen shots before being pulled, and Passmore was able to stop eight of the nine shots sent against him. Hasek stopped all twenty-three of the shots he faced, to earn his fifty-ninth career shutout and bypass Ed Belfour and Patrick Roy to become the shutout leader among active goaltenders. This game, coupled with the 3-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on December 21, marks the first time the Red Wings have earned back-to-back shutouts since January of 1998.

The Red Wings will travel to face the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.