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.

Numbers Game Preview 2009

As I mentioned last year, I look forward to training camp not because it marks the start of the start of the season but because I’m a sweater numberphile and as camp rosters are released we see what players are switching numbers.

So far no news is out from the Wings camp but there are five regular players I’m keeping an eye on this season and a handful of likely Griffins, as well as one rumor.

I expected Darren Helm to switch from the #43 he’s worn for his entire Detroit career last year and I still think that’s an option this year. The #15 he’s worn in Grand Rapids is currently available and the #14 he wore in Medicine Hat of the WHL could become available if the Red Wings move Derek Meech to clear up their logjam on the blueline.

Assuming Helm doesn’t take #15, it seems a natural fit for depth defenseman Andy Delmore, who wore that number in his 2005 training camp stint with the Wings. His preferred number is #5, which no player other than Nicklas Lidstrom will ever wear again with Detroit. He wore Niklas Kronwall‘s #55 while playing in Germany for the Hamburg Freezers for the last two seasons, #5 having been unavailable.

Now that he’s assured a spot in Detroit, Ville Leino may look to move to a familiar number. He wore #89 with Jokerit and the Wings organization has never had a problem giving out high numbers, so that switch is possible.

Jonathan Ericsson will likely stay with his #52 as he’s had the opportunity to switch in the past without doing so. He reportedly was told by teammates that a big guy like him needed a big number. The #4 he wore last season in Grand Rapids is available, though, so it’s an option for him to switch to.

Jason Williams has returned to Detroit and it’s likely he’ll go back to the #29 he wore during his first stint as well as while he was in Chicago and Columbus. The #14 he wore in Atlanta could be available if Meech is moved but Helm could also be interested in it.

Patrick Eaves seems set to go with the #44 he’s worn in Ottawa and Carolina, now available with the departure of Aaron Downey. He wore the unavailable #9 at Boston College and #7 with the Binghamton Senators so he may have no attachment to #44 and could switch to something else.

That switch might be needed if the rumors of Todd Bertuzzi coming back to the Wings are true. Bertuzzi has worn #44 for most of his career, including his first stint with Detroit, but has worn #4 and #7 since then.

Doug Janik has worn #3 for most of his career but isn’t likely to take it from the injured Andreas Lilja. His fall-back #33 is also taken, as it was when he wore #21 for the Montreal Canadiens. If Leino changes, Janik could go with that number. Similarly, if Helm makes a switch we could see Janik go with the #43 he wore with the Hamilton Bulldogs. The #11 he wore with the Rockford IceHogs is unavailble.

Last on my watch list is Justin Abdelkader, who is unlikely to change from the #8 he inherited from Matt Ellis in 2008. He has previously said that he doesn’t worry about the number he wears but did choose #19 in Grand Rapids in honor of Steve Yzerman. He wore #89 in high school at Mona Shores so he could take that if Leino doesn’t. The #9 he wore in Cedar Rapids and for two years at Michigan State is, of course, unavailable, as is the #18 he wore for his freshman year at MSU.

The Red Wings’ official web site is, as per usual, no help. It has traditionally been late to add updated sweater numbers and currently lists Williams, Eaves, Delmore and Janik without numbers.

Sweater Numbers, Round Two

I just caught that RWC updated their camp roster again, this time with new player numbers.

Stephen Johnston has #71, not the #52 previously reported, so it looks like Jonathan Ericsson will be keeping that number. Free-agent tryout Kyle Deck has the #2 that appeared on Ericsson’s truck in the Stanley Cup parade.

Justin Abdelkader keeps the #8 that he inherited from Matt Ellis last season and Mattias Ritola keeps #42.

So far it doesn’t look like anyone expected to be on the Detroit roster at the start of the season will be changing. I had expected Darren Helm to switch to the open #15 but that’s been given to try-out Martin Ondrej.

Osgood, Red Wings Blank Kings

The Detroit Red Wings and goaltender Chris Osgood shut out the Los Angles Kings Tuesday night, with Detroit cruising to a 3-0 victory.

Osgood stopped 27 shots en route to his third shutout of the season and the 46th of his career. The win moved him past Rogie Vachon for sole possession of 15th place in all-time career wins.

Detroit scored one goal each period on the offensive side of the game.

Tomas Holmstrom got the Red Wings on the board at 6:57 of the first. Rushing into the Los Angeles zone, Pavel Datsyuk stepped around Dustin Brown on the left wing and threw the puck out front for Holmstrom to one-time past goalie Jason Labarbara.

Strong defensive play by Matt Ellis led to Detroit’s second goal with 5:13 left in the middle period.

Ellis forced the puck loose along the left wing boards in the Detroit end and Mikael Samuelsson picked it up, racing down the ice almost alone. Just as Rob Blake caught up with him, he snapped a shot into the top corner over Labarbara’s glove.

Johan Franzen finished the scoring at 2:55 of the third. A Samuelsson shot went wide of the net and off the back boards, coming back to Franzen at the side of the crease. He pulled it back in front of the goal between his own legs and jammed it across the goal line.

Labarbara made 24 saves on 27 Detroit shots on the night.

No power play goals were scored, with the Red Wings having three opportunities with the extra attacker and the Kings having two.

Henrik Zetterberg sat out with a sore back. Matt Ellis was in the lineup in his place… Chris Chelios also sat out, with Derek Meech taking his spot in the lineup.

Hasek Earns Second-Straight Shutout as Red Wings Blank Avalanche

Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek blanked his opponent for the second-straight game Tuesday night, with Detroit picking up a 1-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

Combined with a 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday and the final minutes of a 2-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues on New Years Eve, Hasek’s last 134 minutes played have been shutout hockey.

Hasek made 19 saves in the effort. Colorado’s Jose Theodore was nearly perfect as well, stopping 24 of 25 shots against.

The game’s lone goal came just after the expiration of a Detroit power play late in the second period.

With 1:39 left in the middle frame, Niklas Kronwall fired a shot on net that was stopped by Theodore. Stationed at the top of the crease, Tomas Holmstrom backhanded the loose puck to the side of the net, where Pavel Datsyuk stepped in and put it past Theodore.

Holmstrom was making his return to the Detroit lineup after a leg injury. Kirk Maltby also returned, coming back from a back injury.

It was Hasek’s third shutout of the season and the 79th of his career… Matt Ellis and Aaron Downey were healthy scratches.

Red Wings Fail to Finish, Fall to Predators

The Detroit Red Wings led the Nashville Predators twice on Thursday night but failed to finish them off, leaving room for the Predators to pick up a 3-2 win.

The Red Wings led in the first and second periods on power play goals by Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg.

Franzen’s goal came just 2:49 into the game. After barely holding the puck in at the Nashville blue line, the Wings worked it down low to Franzen. He backed up to the side of the net and backhanded a shot under goalie Chris Mason‘s arm for his first point of the season.

Zetterberg scored with 1:24 remaining in the second period to give Detroit their second lead. Pavel Datsyuk carried the puck into the Nashville zone and sent a centering pass to Zetterberg in the high slot. Zetterberg faked out defenseman Greg Zanon and rifled a shot past Mason.

Both times the Predators rebouned. Jason Arnott scored from right in front of Dominik Hasek with 7:40 remaining in the first period and Martin Erat evened things up just 32 seconds after Zetterberg’s goal, putting a rebound over the sprawling Hasek.

Radek Bonk scored the game-winner on a Nashville power play just 2:22 into the third. A blocked shot stopped right at Bonk’s feet in front of the Detroit goal and he roofed a shot over Hasek.

Detroit’s power play went two-for-eight in a night that saw the teams combine for 44 penalty minutes. Nashville was one-for-seven with the extra attacker.

Hasek stopped 26 of 29 shots in his first start in three games. Mason made 28 stops on 30 Detroit shots.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Saturday when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets to close out a stretch of nine-straight games against Central Division opponents.

Matt Ellis left the game with what the Red Wings’ PR staff described as a headache.

Red Wings Return Home to Down Canucks

The Detroit Red Wings returned home from their four-game West Coast road trip Wednesday night and continued their winning ways, picking up a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

The win was Detroit’s fourth in the last five games and their first against Vancouver at Joe Louis Arena since January 26, 2006.

Rookie Matt Ellis extended his scoring streak to four games with his second career goal to get Detroit on the board with 2:26 remaining in the first period.

A shot on net was knocked down at the top of the crease. Ellis battled a Vancouver defender to get to it while Tomas Kopecky crashed the net behind him. Canucks’ goalie Roberto Luongo was pulled out of position just as Ellis whacked the loose puck into the open net.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Red Wings up by a pair with a power play goal at 2:23 of the second period, tipping a blue line blast by Brian Rafalski past Luongo.

The Canucks got on the board on a delayed penalty just 3:10 later. A long shot wide of the net bounced off the back boards and back out into the slot, where Matt Cooke jumped up to put put a shot on net. The puck deflected off the skate of Kris Draper and past Dominik Hasek to cut Detroit’s lead to a goal.

Holmstrom’s second of the night re-extended Detroit’s lead with 4:20 left in the middle frame. Two Canucks collided with Pavel Datsyuk and the puck came to Henrik Zetterberg at the bottom of the left circle. He threw a cross-crease pass to Holmstrom for a tip-in from the open far side of the net.

The assist extended Zetterberg’s career-high point-scoring streak to ten games and moved him into sole position of first place in the NHL’s scoring race.

The Canucks would push back in the third but their one goal would not be enough.

Daniel Sedin scored a power play goal just 1:47 into the period, getting to a rebound in front of the Detroit net and lifting a backhander over the screened Hasek’s shoulder.

Each team scored once on the power play. Detroit had four chances with the advantage while Vancouver had five.

Hasek stopped 13 of Vancouver’s 15 shots on the night. Luongo made 36 saves on 39 shots against.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Friday when they host the San Jose Sharks.

Detroit was without Dallas Drake, expected out for two games with a hairline fracture in his cheekbone.

Red Wings Beat Coyotes to Wrap Road Trip

The Detroit Red Wings wrapped up their four-game West Coast road trip Saturday night, earning a 5-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Detroit got on the board just 4:37 into the game, seconds after the end of a power play. Dan Cleary got the puck down low and skated to the side of the Phoenix net before putting it out into the crease. A driving Niklas Kronwall couldn’t put it in but Jiri Hudler jumped up to bang the loose puck past goalie Mikael Tellqvist for his first of the season.

The Red Wings thought they had a two-goal lead at 9:13 but for the third time this season, an apparent Detroit goal was erased by a goaltender interference call on Tomas Holmstrom.

Still down by only one, the Coyotes were able to tie the game with 7:15 remaining in the period.

A rare giveaway by Pavel Datsyuk at the Detroit blue line put the Coyotes in on a four-on-one. Peter Mueller sent the puck from the right wing to Steve Reinprecht all alone in the slot to rifle a shot past Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek.

With 2:45 left in the period and just after the end of a Phoenix power play, Derek Morris put the Coyotes up by a goal on a blast from the high slot.

Kirk Maltby led the Red Wings’ comeback in the second.

With 8:34 left in the period, Maltby tipped a blast from the point by Chris Chelios through a Matt Ellis screen and into the Phoenix net to tie the game.

Hasek was on the bench for an extra attacker with a delayed penalty coming to Phoenix when Maltby put Detroit back out in front with only 26 seconds left. Maltby sent the puck down low to Henrik Zetterberg and moved into the right circle before getting it back and ripping a shot over Tellqvst’s shoulder.

Brett Lebda and Zetterberg would add third-period goals.

At 4:57 of the period, Lebda scored with Tellqvist stuck behind his own net. The Phoenix goalie had tried to play the puck to Ed Jovanovski but Ellis jumped up to take it away, sending it out front for Lebda to backhand into the open net.

Zetterberg scored his league-leading 17th point of the season with 5:23 left in the game. Datsyuk got the puck behind the net and drew in two defenders, leaving Holmstrom open to take a pass and send it across the crease to Zetterberg for an easy tap-in.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had three tries with the extra attacker while Phoenix had six. The Red Wings did score on one delayed penalty.

Hasek finished the night with 19 saves on 21 shots. Tellqvist stopped 37 of the 42 Detroit shots he faced.

The Red Wings finished their road trip with a 3-1 record. They will be back in action at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday when they host the Vancouver Canucks.

Zetterberg’s two points extend his point-scoring streak to nine games, a career high… Mikael Samuelsson returned to the Red Wings’ lineup after missing three games with a groin injury… Detroit was without Dallas Drake, who suffered a facial injury on Thursday in San Jose.

Same Old, Same… Oh, Nevermind

After the first period, I fully expected this game to be another like Detroit’s matchup with Anaheim earlier this week. Thankfully, the second and third periods were a bit better to the Red Wings.

San Jose made their mark – both on the scoresheet and on the Detroit lineup – early. Mike Grier scored a power play goal and Kyle McLaren got away with interference on Dallas Drake, driving Drake into the end boards and out of the game. The Red Wings would say nothing more than that Drake got “his bell rung.” McLaren would get what was coming to him later when Aaron Downey went toe-to-toe with him.

Detroit got on the board in the second period with goals by Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg. Both were on hard shots from the high slot, something the Wings haven’t been doing well. Those shots haven’t been getting through but tonight they did.

Another thing that had been going against the Wings but went for them tonight: Quick whistles. Detroit lost out on a goal in Chicago earlier this season on a quick whistle but tonight they were saved when the officials lost sight of the puck in Chris Osgood‘s crease.

Matt Ellis‘ third-period goal – the first of his NHL career – ended up as the game-winner. Pavel Datsyuk added an insurance marker on a five-on-three made possible by a slash to the stick of Kris Draper by Mike Grier – another play that has gone in reverse against Detroit earlier this season.

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