TGTW: Red Wings Earn 3-1 Win over Maple Leafs in Winter Classic

The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the games lost by the NHL lockout. In the absence of actual games to write about, I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season.

It was a cold, sunny day in Ann Arbor Tuesday afternoon, great weather for the Detroit Red Wings to host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2013 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium. The sixth iteration of the NHL’s annual outdoor event made the Wings the first team in league history to go 2-0 outdoors, adding to their 2009 win in Chicago with a 3-1 victory over the Leafs.

The Red Wings came into the game reeling, having dropped out of first place in the Central Division with a pair of road losses in the week after Christmas. The Maple Leafs were even further down, three points out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture despite a shootout win in Ottawa on Friday, where Detroit would lose on Saturday night.

The game would start out chippy and remain physical throughout. Dion Phaneuf and Mikael Samuelsson got tangled up just 13 seconds in, with Phaneuf being sent off for high sticking and Samuelsson for unsportsmanlike conduct. At 3:25, Mike Komisarek was caught elbowing Pavel Datsyuk in the ribs and at 6:43 Johan Franzen added another unsportsmanlike conduct minor.

Franzen’s penalty would lead to the game’s first goal, scored as he exited the penalty box thanks to a tic-tac-toe passing play by Valtteri Filppula and Datsyuk

Datsyuk sent the puck to Filppula on the left wing to gain the Toronto zone, then jumped into the high slot around defender John-Michael Liles to get the puck back before sending it back to the still-moving Filppula. With Liles shifting to Filppula and Mike Komisarek moving to cover Datsyuk, Franzen came out of the penalty box and drove down the right wing, cutting to the side of the crease just in time to take a pass from Filppula and roof it over Toronto netminder James Reimer.

The Red Wings carried the play for much of the opening period but after Henrik Zetterberg went off for charging Phaneuf with with 4:44 left in the period, Toronto picked up the pace. Detroit killed the penalty but the Leafs kept the pressure up and were rewarded for it with 1:29 left, when Wings’ goalie Jimmy Howard stopped a blue line blast from Phaneuf but seemingly got lost in the goalmouth scramble for the rebound, with James van Riemsdyk finding the puck and poking it into the net to tie things up.

Detroit regained the lead on a great individual play by Samuelsson at 4:26 of the second period. Samuelsson – often blamed for Detroit’s offensive woes dispite having twelve goals on the season – poked the puck away from Clarke MacArthur at the Toronto blue line, stepped unchallenged into the high slot, and rifled a shot over Reimer’s glove.

The physicality would resume late in the middle period with Detroit defenseman Jakub Kindl boarding Toronto’s Tim Connolly, then Nikolai Kulemin roughing Kindl up a few shifts later. To start the third, Matt Frattin and Daniel Cleary went off for high-sticking and charging, respectively, at 4:43.

Kindl and Cleary would appear on the scoresheet again midway through the final period, combining to put the game out of reach for the Maple Leafs. After a shot from the left point by Kindl was blocked in front, Drew Miller poked the loose puck from the top of the crease to Cleary in the slot. Cleary shuffled it back to Kindl for another drive that found its way through Miller’s screen and past Reimer to make it 3-1 with 9:09 left.

Down by two and running out of time, Toronto’s patience disappeared. van Riemsdyk tried to start a fight with Cleary with 6:06 remaining, resulting in a roughing call to the Maple Leafs forward. Frattin went off for a second high-sticking double minor with 53 seconds left after getting his stick under Carlo Colaiacovo‘s visor. With just two seconds left, Tyler Bozak went off after catching Justin Abdelkader in the nose with his stick.

With the late penalties, the Red Wings finished the afternoon scoreless on seven power play tries. The Maple Leafs did not score on their three attempts with the extra skater.

Howard made 18 saves on 19 shots. Reimer stopped 22 of the 25 shots he faced.


The announced attendance of 113,411 would be a new world record for attendance at a hockey game. It is the same announced attendance as the 2010 “Big Chill at the Big House,” which was later certified as only 104,173. The official attendance will be announced at a later date.

NHLPA Charity Game Rosters Announced

Per the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff, rosters for Saturday’s “Rock Out the Lockout” NHLPA charity game in Windsor have been announced.

Team Red
Justin Abdelkader, #8 (Detroit Red Wings)
David Clarkson, #23 (New Jersey Devils)
Johan Franzen, #93 (Detroit Red Wings)
David Legwand, #11 (Nashville Predators)
Jamal Mayers, #22 (Chicago Blackhawks)
Steve Ott, #29 (Buffalo Sabres)
Mikael Samuelsson, #37 (Detroit Red Wings)
Drew Stafford, #21 (Buffalo Sabres)
Thomas Vanek, #26 (Buffalo Sabres)
Kyle Wellwood, #13 (Winnipeg Jets)
Kevin Westgarth, #19 (Los Angeles Kings)

Jonathan Ericsson, #52 (Detroit Red Wings)
Niklas Kronwall, #55 (Detroit Red Wings)
Jordan Leopold, #3 (Buffalo Sabres)
Nick Schultz, #55 (Edmonton Oilers)
James Wisniewski, #21 (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Jonas Gustavsson, #50 (Detroit Red Wings)
Michael Leighton, #49 (Philadelphia Flyers)

Team Black
Todd Bertuzzi, #44 (Detroit Red Wings)
Adam Burish, #37 (San Jose Sharks)
Dan Cleary, #11 (Detroit Red Wings)
Matt Ellis, #37 (Buffalo Sabres)
Cory Emmerton, #48 (Detroit Red Wings)
Darren Helm, #43 (Detroit Red Wings)
Shawn Horcoff, #10 (Edmonton Oilers)
Matt Martin, #17 (New York Islanders)
Brenden Morrow, #10 (Dallas Stars)
James Neal, #18 (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Sergei Samsonov, #14

Trevor Daley, #6 (Dallas Stars)
Mike Komisarek, #8 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
John-Michael Liles, #24 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Jeff Petry, #58 (Edmonton Oilers)
Ian White, #18 (Detroit Red Wings)
Ryan Wilson, #44 (Colorado Avalanche)

Jimmy Howard, #35 (Detroit Red Wings)

All players will be available for a free autograph session in the WFCU Centre concourse from 4:45 – 5:30 PM. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM.

Update, 12/8 – 10:10 AM: Event co-organizer Steve Ott tweeted a full roster including jersey numbers this morning. There will be overlapping numbers in some cases. On Team Red, Drew Stafford and James Wisniewski will wear #21 while Niklas Kronwall and Nick Schultz will wear #55. For Team Black, Todd Bertuzzi and Ryan Wilson will both wear #44, Shawn Horcoff and Brendon Morrow will both wear #10, and James Neal and Ian White will both wear #18.

Hudler, Bertuzzi Lead Red Wings Past Avalanche

Todd Bertuzzi contributed to two goals and Jiri Hudler notched his first of the season Saturday night, carrying the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche.

Bertuzzi opened the scoring with 7:02 remaining in the first period and the Red Wings on the power play. Johan Franzen gained the Colorado zone and dished off to Bertuzzi to carry up the right wing boards. Bertuzzi cut to the right faceoff circle and snapped a shot over the shoulder of Colorado goalie Peter Budaj.

Hudler made it 2-0 just 30 seconds into the second period. After stepping out of the penalty box on a carry-over penalty from the first period, Hudler took a long pass from Nicklas Lidstrom to break in alone on Budaj. Budaj stopped his first chance but Hudler kept control of the puck and sent it out front from behind the net, banking it off of Budaj’s skate and in.

Danny Cleary put the Red Wings up by three at 5:52 of the second. Bertuzzi carried the puck down the right wing and sent it to Cleary in the slot for a backhand chance over Budaj’s shoulder.

John-Michael Liles scored Colorado’s lone goal at 5:28 of the third period, moving from the slot to the left faceoff circle and outwaiting Henrik Zetterberg and Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard to get a shot at the open net.

The goal came on a five-on-three for the Avalanche. They finished the night one-for-five on the power play while the Red Wings went one-for-four.

Howard stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced in net for Detroit. Budaj made 22 saves on 25 shots.

Red Wings Hold Off Avalanche Comeback, Move into First Place with Win

The Detroit Red Wings weathered a late comeback attempt by the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday night, holding on to earn a 3-2 win.

The victory gives Detroit 94 points in the standings, one more than both the San Jose Sharks and the Boston Bruins for first place overall in the league. San Jose has three games in hand on the Red Wings while Boston has one.

Valtteri Filppula, Johan Franzen, and Kris Draper scored for Detroit. Colorado got goals from John-Michael Liles and Milan Hejduk.

Liles opened the game’s scoring with a blast from the high slot through a screen just 3:10 into the game. Ryan Smyth prevented Detroit netminder Ty Conklin from getting a read on the puck.

Filppula evened things up with 19 seconds left in the opening period, lifting a rebound chance past Avs goaltender Andrew Raycroft.

Franzen drove to the net and scored on his own rebound to give the Wings a 2-1 lead at 7:03 of the second and Draper banged home a nice feed from Derek Meech 6:30 later.

Hejduk scored with Raycroft on the bench for an extra attacker in the game’s final minutes but Colorado was unable to tie the game.

Conklin finished the night with 25 saves on 27 shots while Raycroft stopped 27 of 30 shots against.


The Red Wings were without Marian Hossa, who sat out after being injured Tuesday night in St. Louis.

Sweep Success: Red Wings Rout Avalanche to Advance to Conference Finals

The Detroit Red Wings took advantage of an injured and nearly-eliminated Colorado Avalanche Thursday night, scoring eight goals en route to an 8-2 victory to finish off a four-game sweep.

All eight goals were scored by Detroit’s Swedish contingent. Johan Franzen had his second hat trick of the series while Henrik Zetterberg and Mikael Samuelsson each scored twice. Tomas Holmstrom also scored.

Franzen’s goals gave him eleven in the playoffs and nine in the series, a new four-game series record.

Tyler Arnason and John-Michael Liles scored power play goals for the Avalanche, who were without Peter Forsberg, Ryan Smyth, Wojtek Wolski and Peter Stastny.

Detroit started the scoring at 4:33 of the first period, when a heavy Samuelsson shot from the right wing got through Colorado goalie Jose Theodore and glided into the net.

The Avalanche responded 2:18 later, with Arnason taking a feed from behind the net by Andrew Brunette and banging it past Detroit netminder Chris Osgood.

Holmstrom scored on a two-on-one with Zetterberg with 1:26 left in the period and Franzen scored his first of the game just 47-seconds later, working the give-and-go with Valtteri Filppula on another odd-man rush.

Zetterberg added a power play goal at 2:15 of the second period, scored on a blast from the blue line with Holmstrom screening Peter Budaj, who replaced Theodore to start the second period.

Only 3:30 later, Zetterberg added his second of the night, golfing a blind backhand shot from his own rebound off Budaj and into the top of the net.

Franzen netted his second on a shorthanded two-on-one with Zetterberg, throwing a bad-angle shot into the open side of the net with 8:23 left in the period.

With 2:45 left in the middle frame, Franzen finished the hat trick, tipping a Nicklas Lidstrom shot past Budaj with the Red Wings on a power play.

Samuelsson added his second of the night on a tip-in at 8:02 of the third period and Liles wrapped up the series scoring 2:24 later, beating Osgood on a shot from the blue line through screen by Brunette with Colorado on a two-man advantage.

The Avalanche finished the night with two goals on five power play chances while the Red Wings scored twice on four attempts with the extra attacker.

Osgood made 29 saves on 31 Colorado shots. Theodore stopped 12 of 15 first-period chances and Budaj finished the night with 20 saves on 25 shots.

The Red Wings will play the winner of the San Jose-Dallas series in the Western Conference Finals. Dallas currently leads the series 3-1.


Chris Chelios sat out of the game with what was described as a lower-body injury. Andreas Lilja took his spot in the lineup.

Red Wings Win on the Road, Take 3-0 Series Lead

The Detroit Red Wings proved that they learned from their first-round mistakes Tuesday night, winning Game Three of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup with the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

In their first-round series with Nashville, the Red Wings failed twice on the road in Game Three and Game Four, allowing the Predators back into the series.

Pavel Datsyuk scored twice and Henrik Zetterberg added another, while Johan Franzen continued his hot streak with his 23rd goal in the past 25 games.

Cody McLeod opened the game’s scoring for the Avalanche, tipping a shot from the right wing by T.J. Hensick past Chris Osgood during a delayed penalty at 5:17 of the first.

Datsyuk scored on a Detroit power play with 7:46 left in the period to tie the game. Zetterberg drove to the net and was tied up in front, working the puck on to Datsyuk to rip into the top of the net.

Just 58 seconds later, Franzen put the Red Wings out in front. Brett Lebda picked up the loose puck in the right circle and threw it back across the ice to Franzen in the slot to rifle in past Colorado goalie Jose Theodore.

Datsyuk’s second of the night put Detroit up by a pair 6:36 into the second period. Brian Rafalski‘s shot from the point was knocked down at the top of the crease by Theodore but Datsyuk was there to scoop up the rebound and put it into the net.

Andrew Brunette pulled the Avalance back to within a goal with the first of his two power play goals, tipping a John-Michael Liles shot from the blue line past Osgood at 8:08 of the second.

Zetterberg extended the Detroit lead again with 7:36 left in the period, scoring another power play goal. Zetterberg sent the puck from behind the net to Datsyuk on the right wing, then moved out to the far side of the crease to get the puck back for a tap-in.

Brunette scored his second at 5:19 of the third period, banging in the rebound of a Joe Sakic chance after Osgood lost it in his skates but the Avs would be unable to pull even.

All three Colorado goals came with an extra attacker on the ice, either during a power play or a delayed penalty. The Avalanche finished the night two-for-five on the power play while the Red Wings went two-for-seven.

Osgood stopped 30 of 33 shots against in his first playoff win in Denver since 1996. Theodore made 31 saves on 35 shots.


The Avalanche saw Peter Forsberg and Scott Hannan return to the lineup but lost Ryan Smyth before the start of the game and Peter Stastny in the first period.

Red Wings Hold off Colorado Comeback for Game One Victory

The Detroit Red Wings held off a comeback attempt by the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night, preserving a 4-3 lead throughout the third period to claim victory in Game One of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup.

Detroit netminder Chris Osgood stopped John-Michael Liles with eight seconds remaining in the game to end Colorado’s comeback attempt. It was one of his 18 saves on the night.

All four Red Wings goals were scored on Jose Theodore, who left the game after the fourth. He was replaced by Peter Budaj in the Avalanche crease and by Tyler Weiman on the bench, leaving the arena due to illness.

Colorado got on the board first with Ryan Smyth getting away from Andreas Lilja behind the Detroit goal to feed Peter Stastny out front for a quick shot back in past Osgood at 8:53 of the first.

Just 53 seconds later, Henrik Zetterberg evened things up for the Red Wings. Zetterberg gained the Colorado zone and dropped the puck to Brian Rafalski, who put it back down to Pavel Datsyuk along the left wing boards. Datsyuk sent it down low to Zetterberg as he cut to the net and put it past Theodore.

Dan Cleary put Detroit out in front with 6:12 left in the period, powering a shot in on Theodore that the goaltender deflected high into the air before dropping in behind him and bouncing into the net.

With 2:37 left in the period, Johan Franzen tipped a Niklas Kronwall shot past Theodore for a power play goal, giving the Red Wings a 3-1 lead after the first period.

Franzen scored again 1:13 into the second.

Mikael Samuelsson jumped in to grab a loose puck from Andrew Brunette along the left wing boards. Samuelsson worked it out to Valtteri Filppula who moved it on to Franzen for a one-timer from the top of the right circle.

Liles scored 4:04 later to cut Detroit’s lead back down, blasting a shot from the left wing off of Osgood’s pad and into the net.

With 3:31 left in the second, Milan Hejduk scored the game’s final goal to pull the Avs to within one. One a three-on-two, Smyth moved the puck to Stastny who got it along to Hejduk to lift over Osgood’s pad.

Budaj finished the night with 20 saves on as many shots. Theodore stopped 12 of 16 shots.

The Red Wings scored the lone power play goal of the game on one of their five chances with the extra attacker. Colorado was scoreless on three tries.

Game Two of the series will be on Saturday afternoon from Joe Louis Arena.


Colorado’sPeter Forsberg missed the game with a groin injury… Wojtek Wolski left the game after the first period with an undisclosed injury… To circumvent the NHL’s new rule banning twirling an octopus while carrying it off the ice, Detroit zamboni driver Al Sobotka twirled one in the zamboni entrance at the start of the game.

Penalty Killers Lead Red Wings over Avalanche

The Detroit Red Wings took a 4-3 lead over the Colorado Avalanche into the third period on Saturday and their penalty killers helped them keep it through two Colorado power plays in the period, including a five-on-three chance.

Goaltender Manny Legace led the way for the Red Wings in the third, stopping all nine shots he faced including two big Avalanche chances during a flurry with the two-man power play.

The Avalanche had two chances with a two-man advantage on the game and could not score on either. Detroit’s game-winning goal came on their only five-on-three chance.

With the game tied at three and 2:58 remaining in the second period, Robert Lang scored the game’s final goal to put Detroit in the lead. With Colorado down to three men on the ice, Pavel Datsyuk was free to send a pass from down low through the crease to Lang on the other side, where he was open to bank the puck in off the skate of Colorado netminder David Aebischer.

The Red Wings had opened the game’s scoring just 49 seconds into the game. Behind the goal, Kris Draper sent the puck to Brendan Shanahan, who passed it into the slot for Datsyuk. Datsyuk quickly sent it back on net and past Aebischer to put Detroit on the board.

The Avalanche pulled back into a tie 46 seconds later, when Ian Laperriere tipped a soft shot from the point by John-Michael Liles past Legace.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Red Wings back out in front with 2:57 remaining in the period. Mark Mowers carried the puck away from the goal through the bottom of the right circle before spinning to send a pass through the crease to Holmstrom on the far side, open for an easy tip-in.

With 1:09 left in the period, Detroit took a two-goal lead on their first power play. Mathieu Schneider sent a shot on goal from the high slot through a screen. The puck deflected off Colorado blueliner Patrice Brisebois and into the net.

Colorado came back in the second period, starting with a power play goal at 1:29. Brisebois fired a shot from the point that Andrew Brunette deflected at the top of the crease to beat Legace.

With 6:37 remaining in the period and the teams skating four-on-four, Rob Blake scored to tie the game. Blake sent a shot from the point that may have deflected off of Chris Chelios and past Legace.

Lang’s game-winner came 3:39 later.

The Red Wings ended the game two-for-five on the power play and held the Avalanche to one goal on eight power play chances.

Legace made twenty saves on 23 shots while Aebischer stopped 28 of 32 shots.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Monday when they host the Nashville Predators.


Mowers was in the lineup for the second-straight game as Henrik Zetterberg rests a hip flexor. Zetterberg is expected to play on Monday… Monday’s matchup is the rescheduled November 21 game. As such, Nashville will begin the game with a 1-0 lead.

Two Red Wings Named U.S. Olympians

Detroit Red Wings defensemen Chris Chelios and Mathieu Schneider were two of the 23 players named to the United States’ mens ice hockey rosrer for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. The roster for the team was announced on Monday.

Chelios, along with Keith Tkachuk of the St. Louis Blues, will be making his fourth trip to the Olympics. He was previously named to Team USA in 1984, 1998 and 2002, as well as for the World Cup of Hockey in 1996 and 2004.

“There’s no doubt the intangibles Chris Chelios brings to any team have to be discussed,” said Wings general manager Ken Holland. “We brought him back for his ability to play, but also because of his leadership and competitiveness. When he’s on your team, he believes your team is going to win, and he has an impact on the players around him.”

“I feel very lucky at my age and am looking forward to the challenge,” said Chelios, who will turn 44 in January.

Schneider, seemingly a lock for the team after his strong play in the 2003-04 season and early this year, will be making his second Olympic appearance for the United States. He was named to Team USA for the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, but did not make the team in 2002. He also played for Team USA at the World Cup in 1996 and 2004.

“With his ability to skate and handle the puck… the way he played two years ago and this year, it became pretty obvious that he had to be on the team,” Holland said.

“We think our depth on defense is as good as it’s ever been,” Team USA general manager Don Waddell said.

Almost half of the team has ties to Michigan, either having come from the state, played for the Red Wings, or played for one of the area’s college teams.

The full roster is as follows:

Goaltenders (3)
Rick DiPietro
Robert Esche
John Grahame

Defensemen (7)
Chris Chelios
Derian Hatcher
Jordan Leopold
John-Michael Liles
Aaron Miller
Brian Rafalski
Mathieu Schneider

Forwards (13)
Jason Blake
Erik Cole
Craig Conroy
Chris Drury
Brian Gionta
Scott Gomez
Bill Guerin
Mike Knuble
Mike Modano
Mark Parrish
Brian Rolston
Keith Tkachuk
Doug Weight

Red Wings Bounce Back with 7-3 Win over Avalanche

The Detroit Red Wings had a lot of reasons to be down heading into Wednesday night’s matchup with the archrival Colorado Avalanche.

On the ice, they were on a season-high four-game winless streak. Of the ice, concerns about defenseman Jiri Fischer‘s health were still at the front of everyone’s mind. And just 1:30 into the matchup they had another thing to come back from, as the Avs already had a 1-0 lead.

Detroit was able to get past all of that and pick up a 7-3 win over Colorado, a win that comes at the time when it is most needed.

After Andrew Brunette opened the game’s scoring with a power play goal, Detroit took over.

Mikael Samuelsson scored the first of his four points just 48 seconds later, at 2:18. Jason Williams skated around the Colorado net for a wraparound attempt and picked up his own rebound as he skated along the goal line to Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj‘s left. He sent a crossing pass through the crease and Samuelsson was on the far post to knock the puck in.

Robert Lang scored on a two-on-one with Samuelsson at 5:32 of the second to give the Wings their first lead of the game.

Ian Laperriere tied it 2:22 past the game’s midway point. Alex Tanguay controlled the puck behind the net and sent it out to Laperriere, who blasted home a shot from the slot.

Detroit regained the lead on Dan Cleary‘s first goal as a Red Wing just 2:19 later. Samuelsson ripped a shot on net from the right circle and it was kicked aside. The long rebound came to Cleary in the left circle, who rifled it through the scrambling Budaj.

A power play goal by Brendan Shanahan put Detroit up by two with 1:30 remaining in the period. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the blue line that Shanahan tipped in front of the net, setting the score at 4-2 after two periods of play.

The Avalanche pulled to within one when John-Michael Liles scored at 7:14 of the third. Joe Sakic sent a pass from the right circle to Liles on the edge of Detroit goalie Manny Legace‘s crease. Liles put the puck on net and Legace got a piece of it but not enough.

With 4:16 left, another two-on-one put the Red Wings back up by two. Pavel Datsyuk made a quick move at the Detroit blue line to break past a defender and he and Jason Williams faced Budaj and a lone defenseman. Datsyuk got the puck to Williams, who redirected it into the net from the top of the crease.

Samuelsson added his second goal and fourth point of the night with a wicked wrist shot from the slot just 55 seconds later and Johan Franzen added a shorthanded empty-net goal with 54 seconds remaining.

Legace ended the night with 24 saves on 27 shots, while Budaj stopped 22 of the 28 shots he faced.

The Detroit power play went one-for-three on the night. Colorado, whose power play had been slumping of late, scored on two of their seven opportunities.

The Red Wings will be back in action for an afternoon game from Anaheim on Friday.


Jamie Rivers took Fischer’s spot in the Red Wings lineup and Kyle Quincey was called up from Grand Rapids to serve as an extra defenseman… Fischer was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon and has been placed on the 24-day disabled list. Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill expects the situation to be sorted out in a month to six weeks.