Datsyuk, Howard Selected by Team Chara for All-Star Game

Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk and goalie Jimmy Howard were selected by All-Star team captain Zdeno Chara at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft on Thursday.

Datsyuk was the first overall selection of the draft. Howard was the last goalie selected, going in the tenth round (the round by which all goalies were required to be selected).

Team captains were Boston’s Chara, with Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul as an assistant, and Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson, assisted by Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers.

The full draft list is as follows:

Round 1
Team Chara: Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit
Team Alfredsson: Erik Karlsson, Ottawa

Round 2
Team Chara: Tim Thomas, Boston
Team Alfredsson: Jason Spezza, Ottawa

Round 3
Team Chara: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh
Team Alfredsson: Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles

Round 4
Team Chara: Marian Hossa, Chicago
Team Alfredsson: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia

Round 5
Team Chara: Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia
Team Alfredsson: Kris Letang, Pittsburgh

Round 6
Team Chara: Corey Perry, Anaheim
Team Alfredsson: Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay

Round 7
Team Chara:Carey Price, Montreal
Team Alfredsson: Brian Elliott, St. Louis

Round 8
Team Chara: Phil Kessel, Toronto
Team Alfredsson: Shea Weber, Nashville

Round 9
Team Chara: Ryan Suter, Nashville
Team Alfredsson: Daniel Sedin, Vancouver

Round 10
Team Chara: Jimmy Howard, Detroit
Team Alfredsson: Dan Girardi, NY Rangers

Round 11
Team Chara: Brian Campbell, Florida
Team Alfredsson: Keith Yandle, Phoenix

Round 12
Team Chara: Patrick Kane, Chicago
Team Alfredsson: Milan Michalek, Ottawa

Round 13
Team Chara: Dion Phaneuf, Toronto
Team Alfredsson: Henrik Sedin, Vancouver

Round 14
Team Chara: Jarome Iginla, Calgary
Team Alfredsson: James Neal, Pittsburgh

Round 15
Team Chara: Dennis Wideman, Washington
Team Alfredsson: Alexander Edler, Vancouver

Round 16
Team Chara: Marian Gaborik, NY Rangers
Team Alfredsson: John Tavares, NY Islanders

Round 17
Team Chara: Jordan Eberle, Edmonton
Team Alfredsson: Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia

Round 18
Team Chara: Tyler Seguin, Boston
Team Alfredsson: Jason Pominville, Buffalo

Round 19
Team Chara: Jamie Benn, Dallas
Team Alfredsson: Logan Couture, San Jose

Howard, Datsyuk Named to NHL All-Star Teams

The National Hockey League announced the list of 36 players selected to the 2012 All-Star teams on Thursday, joining six player voted in by the fans.

The Red Wings will be represented by goaltender Jimmy Howard and forward Pavel Datsyuk.

It will be Howard’s first All-Star appearance. In his third full NHL season, he has a league-leading 24 wins, with a .924 save percentage and a 2.05 goals-against average.

Datsyuk will make his second trip to the All-Star Game, having previously appeared in the 2004 contest. He was also selected to the 2009 roster but skipped the game with an injury. He currently leads the Red Wings in points with 43.

A notable omission from the roster is Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who reportedly requested the weekend off.

The All-Star Game will be played on January 29, hosted by the Ottawa Senators.

The full list of selected players is as follows:

Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins
Jason Pominville, Buffalo Sabres
Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames
Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild
John Tavares, New York Islanders
Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs
Joffrey Lupul, Toronto Maple Leafs
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers
Ryan Suter, Nashville Predators
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
Dan Girardi, New York Rangers
Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia Flyers
Keith Yandle, Phoenix Coyotes
Alex Edler, Vancouver Canucks
Dennis Wideman, Washington Capitals
Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets

Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings
Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues

Red Wings – Stars Pregame Notes

Ty Conklin gets the start for the Red Wings tonight, his third in a row. This means that Chris Osgood will go tomorrow in Phoenix.

The Stars are without a whole slew of players. Zubov, Fistric, Robidas and Morrow are all out and of course Sean Avery is suspended and unlikely to ever play for Dallas again.

Marty Turco starts in net for Dallas.

I’ll be missing this game at a holiday party. Last year this same party made me miss the game where Hasek upended Marian Gaborik. I hope this game has the same kind of result.

Red Wings’ Comeback Not Enough in Loss to Wild

The Detroit Red Wings came back from trailing by two goals to take a late lead Thursday night but couldn’t put away the Minnesota Wild, falling 6-5 in a shootout.

Brian Rolston scored on a slap shot from the slot and Marian Gaborik faked out goalie Chris Osgood in the shootout, giving the Wild the win when only Jiri Hudler could score for Detroit.

With just 49 seconds left in regulation, Eric Belanger tied the game for Minnesota. At the side of the net, Belanger gloved the puck out of the air and threw it onto his stick to put a shot in behind Osgood.

The Red Wings had taken the lead 19 seconds earlier when Dan Cleary backhanded the rebound of a Jiri Hudler shot from the blue line past Josh Harding.

The teams traded early goals just 1:03 apart, with Martin Skoula and Henrik Zetterberg scoring. Late-period goals by Marian Gaborik and Todd Fedoruk just 15 seconds apart put the Wild up by a pair before Valtteri Filppula pulled the Wings back to within a goal with 28 seconds left in the period.

Matt Foy gave Minnesota another two-goal lead at 3:00 of the second period.

A shorthanded goal by Dallas Drake cut the lead again at 7:32 and Niklas Kronwall tied the game 1:06 later, chasing starting goalie Niklas Backstrom from the Wild crease.

The Red Wings finished the night with 46 shots on goal, 15 of 19 stopped by Backstrom and 26 of 27 stopped by Harding. Osgood made 23 saves on 28 Minnesota shots.

Osgood Joins All-Star Roster

Detroit Red Wings netminder Chris Osgood will join three teammates and his coach in Atlanta for this year’s NHL All-Star Game, the league announced today.

With the starting lineup already determined by fan voting, the rest of the Western Conference team’s roster was announced Thursday. Osgood was named to the team, joining starters Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Nicklas Lidstrom.

The quartet of Red Wings will be coached by a familiar face, Detroit head coach Mike Babcock.

With Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo declining his starting spot in net for the Western Conference team, three reserve goalies were selected. Osgood will split time between the pipes with San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov and former Red Wing Manny Legace of the St. Louis Blues.

Ed Jovanovski (Phoenix), Duncan Keith (Chicago), Chris Pronger (Anaheim) and Sergei Zubov (Dallas) joined the team on defense.

The forward reserves are Jason Arnott (Nashville), Marian Gaborik (Minnesota), Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim), Shawn Horcoff (Edmonton), Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles), Rick Nash (Columbus), Henrik Sedin (Vancouver), Paul Stastny (Colorado) and Joe Thornton (San Jose).

Shorthanded Red Wings Dominate Wild in Win

Without two-thirds of their top forward line, the Detroit Red Wings still shut down the Minnesota Wild Saturday night, winning 4-1 while outshooting them 51-19.

The 51 shots were a season-high for Detroit.

Minnesota’s Marian Gaborik, who scored five goals on Thursday against the New York Rangers, tallied only one assist and was -2 with two shots.

Gaborik’s point came on a Kim Johnsson power play goal with nine seconds left in the second period. Gaborik sent a cross-ice feed from the right wing to Johnsson for a shot into the top of the net.

The goal made cut Detroit’s lead to 3-1.

Detroit got on the board with a power play goal at 6:57 of the first period. A Valtteri Filppula shot into the top of the net was knocked down by the stick of goalie Niklas Backstrom, sprawled out on the ice. Pavel Datsyuk was on the doorstep, though, and banged in the rebound.

Second-period goals just 45 seconds apart gave the Wings a 3-0 lead.

With 4:46 left in the period, Johan Franzen carried the puck behind the net for a wraparound attempt, coming out wide and using defenseman Sean Hill as a screen. Backstrom came off the near post and Franzen fired a shot into the top corner.

Dan Cleary scored Detroit’s second of the period on a long outlet pass from Nicklas Lidstrom. With the Wild pushing into the Detroit zone, Lidstrom grabbed the loose puck and flung it out to Cleary, behind the Minnesota defense in the neutral zone. Cleary caught up with it at the Wild blue line and broke in on Backstrom alone, snapping a shot past him.

Tomas Kopecky wrapped up the game’s scoring at 9:59 of the third period. Brian Rafalski threw the puck on net and Backstrom couldn’t control the rebound. Kopecky fought off a defender to get to the puck and shovel it into the net.

Backstrom finished the night with 47 saves to Dominik Hasek‘s 18.

Each team scored once on the power play. Detroit had seven chances with the extra attacker and Minnesota had two.

The Red Wings will be back on the ice after the holiday break, meeting the Blues in St. Louis on Wednesday night.

Mark Hartigan, who was planning to travel to Minnesota over the holiday break anyway, was called up from Grand Rapids to fill in for the injured Zetterberg… Kirk Maltby was also still out of the lineup… Cleary and Filppula replaced Tomas Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg on Datsyuk’s line.

Is This the Year? Thinking About NHL Marketing

I was shoveling the driveway today and it gave me a lot of time to think. Way much more time than I would have liked. I need a snowblower for days like this.


One of the things I was thinking about was the NHL’s latest marketing campaign. I complain about the way the league markets itself quite a bit but it’s harder to do that with their “Is This the Year?” commercial.

After the lockout I complained that EA and Molson had better “hockey’s back” commercials than the NHL itself did. Now, the league has finally done something right.

The “Is This the Year?” idea is a great one. Playing on the fact that anytime you watch a game, it’s history in the making. Any night you could turn on the TV and see something that’s never happened before.

That’s not hyperbole, it’s fact. How many people tuned into the Detroit – Columbus matchup on November 24th and saw the fastest two goals ever scored by the Red Wings? That’s a small thing but it validates the point the commercial makes.

But while I love the idea, the execution has three flaws that I consider fatal.

The commercial opens with Ryan Miller asking “Is this the year the Cup comes to Buffalo?” Eric Staal and Sidney Crosby add “To Carolina?” “To Pittsburgh?”

I understand that the players the commerical uses – Miller, Staal, Crosby, Vincent Lecavalier and Alexander Ovechkin – are the ones that the league wants to promote, but to include Carolina and Pittsburgh in that question is slightly ridiculous. Carolina won the Cup just two years ago and Pittsburgh won twice in the 1990s.

Would it have been so difficult to have Anze Kopitar ask “To Los Angeles?” with Marian Gaborik adding “To Minnesota?” It’s not hard to find teams that haven’t won the Cup that also have stars that can be used to promote the game.

One of the greatest lines in the commercial has Eric Staal asking “Is this the year we finally figure out who’s dad’s favorite?” If you know who he is and that he is one of three brothers in the NHL (with another on the way), that’s an excellent bit. The problem is that casual fans won’t know that. Would it have been so tough to add a two-second establishing shot of Eric and Jordan (and Marc, even, though the league probably doesn’t care about him as much) with their backs to the camera and nameplates visible, establishing their names?

Finally, with the commercial closing as the players all repeat the line of “Is this the year?” I love that Ovechkin’s line is in Russian. That said, would it have been so hard to include a Swede, a Czech, or any other nationality in to truely showcase the NHL’s international flavor? If you worked in Kopitar in the opening, he’s available to represent Slovenia. Gaborik could represent Slovakia. The homer Red Wings fan in me says Henrik Zetterberg could be the token Swede.

In all, I’ll admit that they’re small nit-picks. The NHL took a great leap forward here, considering their previous advertising attempts. I’m happy to see that they are trying to improve and hope that they can keep it up.

Red Wings Hold Off Wild for 27th Road Win

The Detroit Red Wings tied a franchise record with their 27th road win of the season on Sunday, defeating the Minnesota Wild, 3-2. Detroit is now one road win shy of tying the NHL record.

The Red Wings’ top-ranked power play scored twice on Minnesota’s NHL-leading penalty kill, including the goal that was the difference, Brendan Shanahan‘s 102nd career game-winning goal.

With 6:32 remaining in the second period, Robert Lang sent a pass from the left wing boards down to Steve Yzerman, who moved the puck on to Brendan Shanahan in the slot for a quick shot past Wild goaltender Manny Fernandez, giving the Red Wings a 3-1 lead.

That goal came 3:03 after a similar power play goal put Detroit in the lead.

Lang had the puck in the same spot and passed down to Yzerman before cutting to the net. Yzerman got the puck back to him and he hesitated before putting a shot past Fernandez.

Minnesota had opened the scoring just 1:33 into the game, when Pierre-Marc Bouchard tipped a screened shot by Mattias Weinhandl past Detroit’s Manny Legace.

The Red Wings tied things up with 5:04 remaining in the opening period on a goal by Henrik Zetterberg.

Tomas Holmstrom got the puck behind the Minnesota goal and sent a blind backhand pass into the slot. Zetterbereg was jumping towards the goal and was wide open to put the puck home.

The Wild pulled to within one with a five-on-three goal with 3:01 remaining in the second.

Marian Gaborik fired a shot from the left circle that deflected off Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios and between Legace’s pads.

A scoreless third period was capped by the Red Wings controlling the puck even after the Wild pulled Fernandez for the extra attacker.

Legace faced only 18 shots shots and made 16 saves, while Fernandez stopped 34 of 37 shots against.

Detroit went two-for-four on the power play and held the Wild to one-for-four on their chances.

The Red Wings will be back in action on Monday night in the final of four games in five nights.

Nicklas Lidstrom‘s assist on Robert Lang’s second period goal was his 800th career point… Steve Yzerman is now on a seven-game point streak… Mathieu Schneider and Dan Cleary both missed the game with minor injuries.

Red Wings Hold Off Wild Comeback

The Detroit Red Wings took an early four-goal lead over the Minnesota Wild Monday night but had to fend off a second-period comeback to earn a 5-4 win.

Andreas Lilja‘s goal on a one-timer from the high slot with 8:07 remaining in the third period – his first goal as a Red Wing – stood up as the game-winner. Detroit took a 5-3 lead with the goal.

Filip Kuba pulled Minnesota to within one with 5:49 remaining in the game, scoring on a slap shot from the point that got past Detroit goalie Manny Legace despite Legace having a clear view of the shot.

The Red Wings had opened the scoring at 4:19 of the first period, when Steve Yzerman scored his 200th career power play goal. Jason Williams sent a shot from the point on net that was knocked aside by Minnesota goaltender Manny Fernandez. Yzerman picked up the rebound at the top of the crease and banged it back into the net for the Red Wings’ ninth-straight power play goal.

Detroit’s first even-strength goal since January 21 gave the Red Wings a two-goal lead just 53 seconds later. On a pass from Williams, Robert Lang put a one-timer from the slot between Fernandez’s pads.

Another 4:47 after that, Mikael Samuelsson scored Detroit’s third goal, backhanding the rebound of a Henrik Zetterberg chance past the Minnesota netminder.

Zetterberg himself scored Detroit’s final goal of the period, outwaiting the Wild defense and goalie while moving from one faceoff circle to the other before lifting a shot over Fernandez.

With Fernandez replaced in the Minnesota net by Dwayne Roloson to start the second period, the Wild came alive to cut Detroit’s lead to one.

A long outlet pass sprung Marian Gaborik free for a break in on Detroit netminder Chris Osgood, with Gaborik scoring at 3:53 to get the Wild on the board.

With 3:07 remaining in the period, Todd White got behind the Detroit defense on an end-to-end rush and Brian Rolston hit him with a pass, giving White an opening to rifle a shot past Osgood to pull the Wild within two goals.

Minnesota cut Detroit’s lead to one goal just 58 seconds later, when Andrei Zyuzin was left wide open on the left wing to blast a shot past Osgood.

Legace replaced Osgood in the Detroit net to start the third period.

Detroit finished the game one-for-three on the power play and held Minnesota scoreless on five power play chances.

Osgood made seven saves on ten shots through the first two periods, with Legace stopping one of six shots against in the third for the Red Wings. Fernandez made ten saves on 14 shots against Minnesota in the first period while Roloson went 12-for-13 in the final two frames.

The Red Wings will be back in action when the return home to Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday to host the St. Louis Blues.

Wings Tie Wild, Extend Home Unbeaten Streak

As usually happens, the Minnesota Wild played a tight defensive game without a whole lot of scoring chances. Once they take a lead, they rarely give it up to their opponents, thanks to their strong defensive system. The Red Wings, however, forced the Wild to give up the lead twice in the third period, forcing a 2-2 tie and extending their home unbeaten streak to nine games.

The Red Wings weren’t without their chances. Pavel Datsyuk had two good chances to score in the first period, as did Henrik Zetterberg, but goaltender Dwayne Roloson was solid and refused to let the puck by.

Curtis Joseph was just as solid for Detroit. He stopped Wes Walz on a shorthanded breakaway about eight minutes into the second period, and the fans showed their appreciation by chanting, “Cujo! Cujo! Cujo!”

Minnesota opened the scoring with just 15 seconds left in the second period. The play had gone end to end repeatedly, each team trying hard to score before the period was over. Pascal Dupuis knocked the puck away from Brendan Shanahan in the Wild’s zone, clearing it up to speedy Marian Gaborik. Nicklas Lidstrom just couldn’t catch up with Gaborik quickly enough to stop him. Gaborik’s shot hit Joseph’s leg pads, but managed to find the way between them and across the goal line.

Minnesota’s lead didn’t last very long into the third period. Roloson’s stick had been knocked away from him, but with the Red Wings pressuring offensively, no one could take the time to get the stick back to the netminder. Niklas Kronwall held in a clearing attempt by Sergei Zholtok, then passed the puck to Zetterberg. Zetterberg one-timed a centering pass, which hit Zholtok’s stick in the high slot and deflected right pass Roloson.

The Wild regained the lead when Walz got to the side of the net by himself just in time to redirect a shot by Willie Mitchell, but Kris Draper tied the game back up less than a minute later. Draper was forechecking alone in the Minnesota zone. Mitchell’s clearing attempt hit Draper’s skate. Draper knocked Mitchell away, took the puck onto his stick blade, spun around, and fired towards the net. The puck sailed into the small space between Roloson’s blocker and right leg pad.

The Red Wings would have had offensive control of the overtime period, if they hadn’t been called for having too many men on the ice with 1:42 left to go. Lidstrom, Draper, and Kirk Maltby killed off most of the four-on-three penalty. Shanahan and Steve Yzerman replaced Draper and Maltby to finish off the game by keeping the puck tied up in the corner of Minnesota’s end of the ice.

The Wings outshot the Wild by a count of 37 to 24. Nineteen of Detroit’s shots came in the third period. The Red Wings’ next game will be Sunday night, when they face the Blackhawks in Chicago.

Draper is one goal away from tying his personal best season total of 15 goals…. Injury Update: Derian Hatcher skated for the first time Friday morning. He is still on schedule to return in the third week of March. Darren McCarty and Steve Thomas are still quite a way off from being able to return to the ice, but Tomas Holmstrom should return on Sunday against Chicago and Chris Chelios should return sometime next week. Dominik Hasek is cleared to start skating again on Saturday.

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