Public Service Announcement: Red Wings’ Nameplates Haven’t Changed

With the Red Wings opening up their preseason exhibition schedule tonight, I figured it was time to make the annual public service announcement about their jerseys.

Mike Green wearing the Red Wings’ preseason nameplate (Credit: Clark Rasmussen)

Yes, they’re wearing straight nameplates on their jerseys, including a pretty standard block font.

No, it’s not a permanent change.

Detroit does this every preseason and seemingly every year it causes some to question what happened to the team’s traditional vertically-arched nameplates.

Sean Avery, Tomas Kopecky, and Chris Chelios wearing the Red Wings’ preseason jerseys in 2002 (Credit: Clark Rasmussen)

Maybe you like the romantic-sounding “the players have to earn the fancy nameplate” reason.  Maybe you accept that vertically-arched nameplates for a 60-man preseason roster would be a lot of effort for the Red Wings’ equipment staff.

Whatever reason you like, it’s not permanent.  They’ll be back to the normal lettering come Opening Night.

Shanahan in The Players Tribune

Malik and WIIM already shared former Red Wing Brendan Shanahan‘s mailbag in The Players’ Tribune today but neither touched on the final note of the piece, which I think is absolutely fantastic.

What is the worst attempt at chirping/trash talking you’ve seen on the ice? — u/DrCoconutsss

I remember when I was in Detroit, Sean Avery stood up as Joe Sakic was skating by our bench. Sean was a young, enthusiastic hockey player who was well liked by us old guys, and as you might know, was known for trash talking. But when he stood up and yelled, “Hey Sakic!” Brett Hull grabbed him by the back of his sweater and yanked him down on the bench. Then he said, and I’ll never forget this, “You are not allowed to speak to Mr. Sakic.” And then Sean looked down the bench at the rest of the boys and we all just sort of nodded.

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.

Avery’s Suspension a Joke

Former Red Wing Sean Avery has been suspended indefinitely by the NHL following comments made to the press about Calgary Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf and Phaneuf’s girlfriend (Avery’s ex-girlfriend) Elisha Cuthbert.

“I am really happy to be back in Calgary, I love Canada,” Avery said on camera this morning in Calgary. “I just want to comment on how it’s become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don’t know what that’s about. Enjoy the game tonight.”

I’m no fan of Avery. I wasn’t sad to see him go when the Wings traded him to LA. That said, I think the NHL’s handling of him is absolutely pathetic.

In a league where players throw elbows at each others heads with no penalties called, where slew-foots and hits from behind are still issues, Avery is suspended indefinitely for an off-the-ice insult? At least the league has its priorities in order.

Was what he said tasteless? Absolutely. Was it true? Seems kinda like it. If Phaneuf was offended he could reply off the ice with words or on the ice with fists. Instead, the league stepped in where it had no right to.

And, yeah, the Dallas Stars support the suspension. Of course they do, none of them like Avery, he’s a locker room cancer. That doesn’t mean the suspension is right.

It’s the second time in less than a year that Avery has been targeted. In last year’s playoffs Avery annoyed Devils’ goalie Martin Brodeur by waving his stick in the netminder’s face. In that case the league was quick to announce an unprecedented mid-playoffs rule change banning that behavior.

I scream all night, nearly every game for the officiating to be consistant. Here is a prime example of the NHL’s bias against certain players and its tendency to use the officials (both on- and off-ice) to met out punishment not for breaking the rules but for p*ssing off someone at NHL HQ. It’s sad but its true and I hope blind hatred of Sean Avery doesn’t stop people from seeing it.

Wings vs. Rangers Pregame

Another game that won’t be on TV, not even on Center Ice Online. I get the feeling that the Joe isn’t equipped for that. Would it surprise anyone?

At least Detroiters have radio, Rangers fans don’t even have that locally. With 1270 covering the Tigers, the Wings game will be on “Free FM 97.1” (whatever that name’s supposed to mean). Streaming audio should be available at http://cbsplayer.str…CALLSIGN=WKRKFM

The Rangers’ official site says that Jaromir Jagr, Martin Straka, former Red Wing Sean Avery, Scott Gomez, and Henrik Lundqvist are all expected to play tonight. The great people over at Rangerland have the expected NY lineup.

Bruce MacLeod, the Highlander, has the Red Wings’ lineup.

Red Wings Kick Off Road Trip with Win

The Detroit Red Wings started their four-game western road trip with a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings Monday night. The win extended their unbeaten streak against the Kings to 12 games.

Detroit netminder Chris Osgood, making his first appearance of the season, made 22 saves on 23 shots to earn the victory.

Los Angeles scored the game’s first goal on a miscue by Osgood. Handcuffed on a shot by Aaron Miller, Osgood let the rebound fall to the top of the crease. Former Red Wing Sean Avery and rookie Anze Kopitar rushed in to put it past the sprawling Detroit goalie with only 45 seconds remaining in the first period.

The Red Wings evened the score midway through the second with Jason Williams off for hooking.

Johan Franzen and Kris Draper carried the puck to the Kings’ blue line on a two-on-two when LA defenseman Rob Blake left Draper to put a big hit on Franzen. Franzen held the puck just long enough to get it to Draper, who skated in all alone to beat Kings netminder Dan Cloutier.

Just 1:37 into the third, a power play goal gave Detroit the lead. With Robert Lang controlling the puck at a bad angle to his right, Cloutier tried to cheat to the middle, but Lang threaded the puck just inside the post for his first of the season.

Lang scored again with 3:58 remaining in the game, locking up the Detroit win.

The Red Wings finished the night 1-for-5 on the power play and killed all eight of the Kings’ chances with the man-advantage.

Cloutier stopped 24 of Detroit’s 27 shots.

Detroit will be back in action on Wednesday when they visit the Anaheim Ducks.


The Red Wings haven’t lost to Los Angeles since October 12, 2002.

Rookie Howard Leads Red Wings over Kings

Rookie goaltender Jim Howard stopped twenty-two shots en route to his first National Hockey League victory as his Detroit Red Wings defeated the Los Angeles Kings Monday night, 5-2.

Howard, making his first start in the NHL after backing up Manny Legace and Chris Osgood for 13 games and going unbeaten in six AHL contests this season, allowed his first career goal on a penalty shot at 7:39 of the second period.

Kirk Maltby dove to block a possible shot by the Kings’ Joe Corvo. As Maltby spun and reached with his stick to continue blocking Corvo, it was knocked out of his hands. Referee Wes McCauley quickly called Maltby for throwing his stick and awarded an automatic penalty shot to Corvo.

The Red Wings had opened the scoring at 4:03 of the second after a scoreless first period. After a long stretch of uninterrupted play while the teams went end-to-end several times, Chris Chelios took the puck in the high slot and ripped a hard shot past Los Angeles goalie Jason Labarbera.

Chelios was using one of Kirk Maltby’s sticks after trying it out during the morning skate and breaking four panes of glass with it.

Just 1:58 after LA’s penalty shot goal, Detroit regained the lead as Mathieu Schneider continued his hot streak, scoring a power play goal from the top of the right circle.

Captain Steve Yzerman, returning to the lineup after sitting out Saturday’s game in San Jose, scored the eventual game-winner with 6:17 left in the middle period. Jason Williams sent a hard shot from the top of the right circle that Yzerman tipped in the slot. The goal was scored on the power play with a delayed penalty coming against the Kings.

Henrik Zetterberg added to the Wings’ total with 4:41 remaining in the game, scoring on his own rebound while on a three-on-two with Pavel Datsyuk and Mikael Samuelsson.

Nicklas Lidstrom added an empty net goal off an intercepted pass at the Detroit blue line with 1:43 left.

The Kings closed out the scoring with 1:01 remaining when former Red Wing Sean Avery deflected a Nathan Dempsey shot from the point at the edge of the crease, over Howard’s shoulder.

Labarbera, also a rookie, stopped 24 of the 28 shots he faced.

Detroit went two-for-six on the power play while holding the Kings scoreless on their seven chances.

The Red Wings will be off until Thursday night when they host the Calgary Flames.


Robert Lang left the game during the second period with a groin injury.

Lang Scores Overtime Winner to Beat Kings

Manny Legace‘s return from a knee injury turned out to be an exciting game, with the Wings letting a two goal lead slip away late in the third period. But thanks to Robert Lang‘s overtime winner, Legace’s stellar performance was not lost.

Lang’s goal came 1:39 into the extra session after Andreas Lilja found Nicklas Lidstrom‘s shot from the point along the boards behind the net. Lilja brought it back around and passed it into the slot where Lang put it past Los Angeles Kings’ goalie Jason Labarbera.

The Kings started the scoring 3:31 into the game while on the power play for a Mathieu Schneider hooking call. Michael Cammalleri took a shot from the left circle while Legace was screened.

Legace then came up big only moments later on a Sean Avery shot. Taking advantage of not going down 2-0, the Wings tied the game with a goal from Steve Yzerman at 8:18. The goal was set up by Daniel Cleary passing the puck around the left boards to the circle where Schneider fed Yzerman who had come in just left of the crease.

Legace and Labarbera traded great saves halfway through the second period to keep the game tied until Johan Franzen scored short handed at 12:34. Franzen was breaking for the slot and took a pass from Cleary.

Sixteen seconds into the third period Tomas Holmstrom scored when he pounced on a loose puck in front of the Kings’ net after Labarbera and Tim Gleason both mishandled the puck.

The Kings score four minutes later as Jeremy Roenick fired a shot from the left point to bring them within one goal again.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Wings up by two again with his second goal of the night from the slot after a nice give-and-go with Pavel Datsyuk on his left at 13:19.

Only 25 seconds later the Kings were within one goal again after Craig Conroy hopped on a rebound in the slot off a Pavol Demitra shot from the right circle. Then at 16:12 the Kings tied the game after Alexander Frolov tipped a Jiri Fischer pass just inside the Wings blue line. As Frolov was getting a handle on the puck, Legace came out to poke check, but Frolov moved around and slid the puck into the open net.

Both goalies faced a high number of shots, with Labarbera turning aside 34 of the Wings’ 39 shots, while Legace stopped 37 of the Kings’ 41 shots.

The Kings’ went one for six on the power play, while the Red Wings who were ranked first in the NHL going into the game, came up empty handed on their four chances with the man advantage.

The Wings next face the Minnesota Wild at home on Friday night.

Wings Defeat Kings as Yzerman, Woolley Return

Steve Yzerman and Jason Woolley each played their first game of the season Thursday night as the visiting Detroit Red Wings picked up a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Both players were held without a point on the night.

Johan Franzen‘s first career NHL goal ended up being the game-winner for the Red Wings. With 4:52 remaining in regulation and just 53 seconds after the Kings had tied the game, Franzen took a pass from Mikael Samuelsson that was tipped by Dan Cleary and wristed a shot past the left side of Los Angeles goalie Mathieu Garon, making the score 3-2.

The goal deflated the Kings, who had been buzzing after Jeremy Roenick tied the game at two with 5:45 remaining. Dustin Brown drove the net with the puck and was stopped by Red Wings goaltender Manny Legace. The puck bounced out to Roenick at the top of the crease and deflected off his skate and into the net.

The Red Wings had opened the scoring late in the first period. With 2:15 remaining, Jason Williams broken into the LA zone with Brendan Shanahan and Robert Lang. Williams fired a pass past Lang to Shanahan on the far side of the ice. Shanahan deflected the puck into the top of the net for his first even strength goal of the season.

The Kings tied the game 3:04 into the second, when Tim Gleason sent a long pass to Derek Armstrong at the Detroit blueline. Armstrong gained the zone and passed cross-ice to former Red Wing Sean Avery, who stepped into the slot alone and rifled a shot past Legace.

The Red Wings regained the lead momentarily in the third on a shorthanded goal by Kirk Maltby 5:29 in. Kris Draper chased Joe Corvo from behind the Kings’ net and forced him to make a bad outlet pass at his own blueline. Maltby jumped up from center ice and picked it off, skating in alone on Garon and beating him for his first of the season.

After the Red Wings killed off a late penalty, Henrik Zetterberg added an empty net goal to increase the Detroit lead. Avery started some pushing and shoving that ended with a Los Angeles power play, so the Kings pulled Garon again but Jiri Fischer closed the game’s scoring with a second empty net goal for Detroit.

Legace finished the game with 26 saves on 28 shots, while Garon stopped 16 of the 19 shots he faced. Neither team scored on the power play, Detroit having three chances and Los Angeles having seven.

The Red Wings are back in action on Saturday night from Phoenix, where they will meet former Wings Brett Hull and Boyd Devereaux, longtime Detroit associate coach Barry Smith will be behind the bench, and former Detroit goalie Curtis Joseph could be between the pipes.

Off to a Good Start

“We’re counting on our young guys this year to contribute more,” said coach Dave Lewis. “We think they’re ready for it.”

The younger Red Wings certainly seemed to be ready in this year’s home opener against the Los Angeles Kings. Jiri Fischer and Pavel Datsyuk both contributed goals. But, since this is Detroit, a veteran team, it took a veteran to put the game away. Captain Steve Yzerman‘s goal gave the Wings a 3-2 victory over Los Angeles.

Former Wing Sean Avery started his usual abrasive style of play early, trying to stir up some trouble with Derian Hatcher. Hatcher was too sensible to take the bait. The Red Wings came to play hockey, and play they did.

Detroit’s strong pressure in the Los Angeles zone caused Luc Robitaille to take a holding penalty against his former teammates 4:27 into the game. Detroit’s power play unit controlled the play very well. Offseason acquisition Ray Whitney did an excellent job of holding the puck in the zone against the Kings’ clearing attempts, but the Wings didn’t score until their next power play opportunity.

When Avery went into the box for tripping, the Red Wings were prepared for the man-advantage. The Kings’ penalty-killers were focused on trying to interrupt Brett Hull‘s and Pavel Datsyuk’s passing, so no one noticed Jiri Fischer sneaking towards the net. Datsyuk threaded a pass through a few pairs of legs, and Fischer one-timed the puck past Roman Cechmanek to put Detroit on the board at 10:10.

The Red Wings seemed to back off a little bit in the second period, and the Kings were more than willing to take advantage of that situation. Their shot total, a measly six shots in the first, skyrocketed to fourteen in the second period alone. Dominik Hasek looked comfortable handling most of the shots (he likes a lot of work, remember). The only one which didn’t look right was the one that got by him.

Eric Belanger shot the puck on net from the left circle. The puck bounced off Hasek’s helmet and fell towards the right side of the net. All the skaters were scrambling to grab for the puck and take each other out of the play. In the confusion, Belanger was able to circle behind the net and stuff the puck in from the right side to tie the game with 7:49 left in the second.

Detroit came out to start the third period with quite a bit more energy than they had in the second. Avery tried to start trouble then with Kirk Maltby, but then Darren McCarty drew Avery into taking his third penalty of the game. The Grind Line’s energy spread to the rest of the team, and shots on net were plentiful, but Cechmanek stood his ground.

Zigmund Palffy gave the Kings a one-goal lead midway through the third. Jozef Stumpel was held up by Hatcher, but he managed to center a pass from the left corner. Palffy was on hand to lift the puck high over the sprawling Hasek.

Nicklas Lidstrom took a hooking call with 7:38 left to play, leaving an even tighter margin of time for the Red Wings to try to get back in the game. Their hopes were fulfilled when Lubomir Visnovsky was sent to the box for tripping, and the power play unit could get to work.

The passing work was incredible: crisp, accurate, and completely out of reach of the Kings’ penalty killers. Hull passed from the top of the left circle to Whitney at the blue line. Whitney sent the puck across to Lidstrom at the right side, and Lidstrom one-timed the puck towards the net. Datsyuk tipped the puck on its way through, deflecting it past Cechmanek.

Just as everyone was about to settle in for overtime, Yzerman decided he wanted to open his 21st season in style. He scooped the puck away from the Detroit net and sent it ahead to Whitney, who was moving up through center ice. Whitney carried into the Kings’ zone, wheeled away from three defending players, and dropped the puck back to Yzerman. The Captain sent a wrist shot high over Cechmanek with less than two seconds remaining””and the crowd went wild.

The Red Wings outshot the Kings by 38 to 23 over the course of the game. Detroit’s next game will be on the road Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators.


Los Angeles defenseman Mattias Norstrom left the game with an arm injury in the first period.