Three Red Wings Named to Canadian World Cup Team

Hockey Canada announced Saturday Team Canada’s roster for the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. Included among their selections are three members of the Detroit Red Wings: Centers Steve Yzerman and Kris Draper and left wing Kirk Maltby.

The roster was determined by Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson, Team Canada’s World Cup management team of Wayne Gretzky, Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini, and coaches Pat Quinn, Ken Hitchcock, Jacques Martin and Wayne Fleming.

Yzerman represented Team Canada at the 1996 World Cup, the only other time the tournament has been held. He also played for his country in 1998 and 2002 at the Olympic Winter Games, helping Canada to a gold medal in 2002. Yzerman played on the Canadian squad at the 1984 Canada Cup – the predecessor of the World Cup tournament – as well as at the World and European Championships in 1985, 1989 and 1990, and at the World Junior Championships in 1983.

Draper played alongside Maltby for Team Canada at the 2003 World Championships as the Canadians claimed the gold. He also played for the Canadian National Team in 1988-89 and 1989-90 and for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships in 1990 and 1991.

Maltby’s only previous international experience was in the 2003 World Championships.

The 2004 World Cup of Hockey will take place from August 30 to September 14, 2004. Team Canada will play in the North American Division alongside the United States, Czech Republic and Russia. North American Division games will be played at the Bell Centre in Montreal, the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Team Canada’s full roster is as follows:

Goaltenders– Ed Belfour (Toronto Maple Leafs), Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils), and Roberto Luongo (Florida Panthers)

DefensemenRob Blake (Colorado Avalanche), Eric Brewer (Edmonton Oilers), Adam Foote (Avalanche), Ed Jovanovski (Vancouver Canucks), Scott Niedermayer (Devils), Chris Pronger (St. Louis Blues), Wade Redden (Ottawa Senators), and Robyn Regehr (Calgary Flames)

ForwardsShane Doan (Phoenix Coyotes), Draper, Simon Gagne (Philadelphia Flyers), Dany Heatley (Atlanta Thrashers), Jarome Iginla (Flames), Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins), Maltby, Patrick Marleau (San Jose Sharks), Brendan Morrow (Dallas Stars), Brad Richards (Tampa Bay Lightning), Joe Sakic (Avalanche), Ryan Smyth (Oilers), Martin St. Louis (Lightning), Joe Thornton (Boston Bruins), and Yzerman

Hull’s 3rd Place Goal Lifts Wings over Kings

It was another milestone night for Brett Hull, and this time, the goal counted towards a win. Hull scored his 732nd career goal 1:51 into the overtime period to lift the Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings and move into sole possession of third place on the all-time goals scored list, behind only Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801). The Red Wings started the scoring early in the first period. In fact, they scored on their first two shots of the game. Brendan Shanahan got the crowd in the right mindset to see milestone goals by scoring his 544th career goal 2:27 into the first period. Mark Mowers made a sharp pass from behind the net, and Shanahan snapped off a shot which bounced off the left leg pad of goalie Roman Cechmanek and into the net. The goal tied Shanahan for 19th place overall with Maurice “Rocket” Richard.

Pavel Datsyuk didn’t break any records with his goal, but the Los Angeles defensemen may have broken something else afterwards, by kicking themselves for leaving Datsyuk unwatched. The goal came on the power play, with Kings’ captain Mattias Norstrom in the penalty box for hooking. Datsyuk left a drop pass for Hull on the left wing side, then circled around behind the net. The Kings all seemed to be keeping an eye on Steve Thomas in the high slot, so no one was ready for Hull to thread the puck through the goal crease to Datsyuk on the far side. Datsyuk banged the puck past Cechmanek to put the Wings up 2-0.

The Kings were hardly ready to give up being down by two goals. They refused to sit back, forcing Dominik Hasek to make some strong saves. Hasek held firm until he lost his temper late in the third. Los Angeles was in the middle of a shift of sustained pressure in Detroit’s zone. In all fairness, there could have been a goaltender interference penalty against Luc Robitaille, but none was forthcoming. Hasek appeared visibly upset, and thus was not set to stop Michael Cammalleri’s one-timer off Robitaille’s pass.

The goal gave the Kings new life, but they weren’t able to tie up the game until they got a lucky break. Steve Thomas was unable to handle Jiri Fischer‘s pass along the boards in the Red Wings’ zone. Martin Straka, recently acquired from the Penguins, grabbed the puck away and took a hard shot which beat Hasek high.

The Red Wings controlled the overtime period from its beginning, however. Hull’s historic goal was set up by Jason Woolley holding the puck in at the Los Angeles blue line, stick handling around two skaters, and sending the puck up to Mathieu Schneider. Schneider made the pass across the rink to Hull, who was ready and waiting with his classic one-timer. The puck sailed up and bounced over Cechmanek for the win.

Los Angeles outshot Detroit by a count of 28-20. The Red Wings’ next game will be on the road, Wednesday night against the Buffalo Sabres.

Ray Whitney started this game, but didn’t finish. He left sometime during the second period. Prior to tonight, Whitney had missed ten straight games with a strained groin…. Chris Chelios left the game with an injured right knee after colliding with Cammalleri late in the first period. Chelios tried to play a shift early in the second, but had to leave the ice.


The NHL’s 700 Goal Club just gained its newest member. Brett Hull‘s historic marker helped lead the Red Wings to their first win in seven games, a 5-4 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

Detroit outshot San Jose in the first period, but the Sharks opened the scoring. Matt Bradley shot the puck on net, and Manny Legace made the stop, but Mark Smith picked up the rebound and put the puck in over the goalie.

The Sharks’ lead was shortlived. Kris Draper knocked down a defenseman in the high slot, took a clean pass from Pavel Datsyuk, and slid the puck past goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

San Jose regained their lead early in the second. Nicklas Lidstrom had been sent to the penalty box for obstruction tripping (never mind the fact that Legace had just been plowed over by a San Jose player who made no attempt to stop or turn), and Brad Stuart was able to one-time a Teemu Selanne pass just past Legace’s outstretched glove.

The Red Wings got their own power play chance later in the period- a rare five-on-three, with Vincent Damphousse and Dan McGillis both in the box. Sergei Fedorov won the draw back to Igor Larionov, who passed the puck to Lidstrom. Lidstrom then passed up to Brendan Shanahan near the net, and Shanahan scooped the puck in past Nabokov.

Damphousse came out of the box, and the Wings continued with a five-on-four. Then, just as the penalty to McGillis expired, hockey history occurred. Datsyuk made a pass from the high slot to a wide-open Hull on the left wing side, and Hull one-timed the puck on net in classic style. Nabokov never had a chance.

Owen Nolan scored to tie the game back up before the period was over, and the see-saw play continued into the third period.

Henrik Zetterberg regained Detroit’s lead early in the third. Hull made the pass as the two crossed into the Sharks’ zone, and Zetterberg cut in front of a defenseman to get to the net, then fired the shot in past the goalie. The Sharks came right back a few minutes later with a power play goal by Scott Thornton, and the tie continued through the third, with both teams getting scoring chances.

Finally, with just 2:37 left to play in regulation, Patrick Boileau broke the tie. Fedorov and Shanahan set up the passing play, and Boileau came in towards the right faceoff circle to get the puck and put it high past Nabokov’s stick side. “I’m only 698 behind,” Boileau said, laughing.

The final count of shots on net was 30-26 in favor of the Sharks. The Red Wings will have a couple of days to relax and celebrate Hull’s 700th goal before hosting the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday evening.

Brett Hull wasn’t the only one relieved when he scored his big goal. Brendan Shanahan described the sense of relief by saying, “A piano came off his back and the back of the rest of the team.”…. Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717), and Mike Gartner (708) are the only other players to have scored over 700 goals. Heck, another few good seasons, and Hull could be sneaking up on Gordie Howe’s career total.

NHL Kicks Off Season in Carolina, Colorado and LA

The National Hockey League kicked off its 2002-2003 season on Wednesday with three games. The Carolina Hurricanes hosted the New York Rangers, the Dallas Stars visited the Colorado Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings hosted the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Kings’ game against Phoenix featured ceremonies leading up to the retirement of Wayne Gretzky‘s number. Gretzky’s former teammates and coaches were on hand as the banner bearing his #99 was unveiled in the rafters of the Staples Center.

It marked the third time that Gretzky’s number had been retired. The NHL removed it from use during the 1999 All-Star Game and the Edmonton Oilers, Gretzky’s first NHL team, followed suit later.

Also in honor of Gretzky, the Kings wore their old-style jerseys during their 4-1 win over Gretzky-owned Phoenix. The white, sliver and black jerseys were originally worn from 1988-1998 and were the only style of Kings jersey Gretzky wore.

In the other games of the night, Colorado honored their franchise’s eight straight division championship, a streak reaching back to their last season as the Quebec Nordiques, before battling to a 1-1 tie with Dallas. Stars’ netminder Marty Turco made forty saves in the effort.

The revamped New York Rangers downed the defending Eastern Conference Champion Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1. Rangers captain Mark Messier scored twice and new acquisitions Bobby Holik and Darius Kasparaitis were held pointless.

Detroit Leads Series 3-1

When a hockey writer can lead off with a glorious headline like that, why waste time trying to think up something clever? The Red Wings are starting to make up for lost time, scoring the goals that couldn’t get through the Hurricanes’ defensive trap before, and giving Carolina a taste of their own medicine by shutting them down to win Game Four 3-0 and bring a commanding 3-1 series lead home to Detroit.

The first period started just as it had in the three preceding games: tight checking and low in scoring chances. The Red Wings did have an early power play, but Carolina’s penalty killers were in fine form and did not allow the Wings to set up a scoring chance. Hurricanes goaltender Arturs Irbe was tested by only four quality chances in the first twenty minutes, while Dominik Hasek at the other end of the rink had to deal with only three good Carolina scoring chances. The most notable of these happened just as the period was drawing to an end. Rookie Erik Cole dodged around Chris Chelios to go into the zone all by himself, but Hasek came way out of the net and dove towards Cole’s skates, stick outstretched, and took the puck away.

The Red Wings finally managed to open the scoring early in the third period. Freddy Olausson got around a Carolina defender and got the puck to Boyd Devereaux at the blue line. Devereaux squeezed past another defender and carried the puck up the right side, looking as if to shoot the whole way up, but instead he threaded a pass through to Brett Hull coming up the left wing side. Hull dropped to one knee and one-timed the shot off the goalpost and into the net.

The Red Wings dominated most of the game after that. Carolina’s best scoring chance came during a phantom high-sticking penalty to Luc Robitaille. Ron Francis had Hasek beaten, but his shot clanged off the post.

Igor Larionov added an insurance goal early in the third period. Tomas Holmstrom got the puck over to the left side boards in Carolina’s zone, then tied up the Carolina player going after it. Jiri Fischer took a few steps forward from the blue line to get to it. Fischer faked a shot, but instead passed to Larionov just at the right side of the net, uncovered. Larionov held the puck just long enough for everyone to realize what he was going to do, but not long enough that anyone could do anything about it, before flipping it into Irbe’s unguarded net.

Detroit really shut down the Hurricanes after that, lining up and preventing the puck from getting into their zone under Hurricane control. It was basically a game of keep-away, doing to Carolina what they have done to all the other teams in the playoffs. The Red Wings brought one final goal with 5:17 remaining to put the game away for good. Sergei Fedorov brought the puck across the blue line, with Brendan Shanahan following and heading for the net. Fedorov deked past Sean Hill and passed the puck between Hill’s legs, past Marek Malik, and to the outstretched stick of Shanahan. Shanahan made short work of that one, tipping the puck past Irbe for the goal.

Once again, the Red Wings outshot the Hurricanes, this time by a count of twenty-seven to seventeen. Game Five of the Stanley Cup Finals will be Thursday evening back at Joe Louis Arena.

Brett Hull’s goal was his 100th career playoff goal. He is the fourth leading playoff goal scorer of all time, surpassed only by Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Jari Kurri…. Igor Larionov broke his own record set in Game Three. He is still the oldest player to have scored in a Stanley Cup Final, just two days older now….. Dominik Hasek also broke his own record, set in Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals, with his sixth playoff shutout this year…. Finally, Scotty Bowman broke legendary coach Toe Blake’s record by winning his 35th Stanley Cup Finals game.

Onward and Upward

It was a hard-fought, high scoring game, and the Vancouver Canucks certainly were not going to let the Red Wings win it easily. Yet win it they did, with star performances from Chris Chelios, Igor Larionov, and Brett Hull, taking a 6-4 victory to win the Western Conference Quarterfinal series four games to two.

Dan Cloutier has not been the same since he let in Nick Lidstrom‘s shot from center ice in Game Three. The Canucks started him in net for Game Six anyway, and the Red Wings got off to an early lead. Tomas Holmstrom scored the first goal just over a minute into the game. Igor Larionov put the puck towards the net, and Holmstrom was able to get the rebound and lift it in past Cloutier.

Larionov scored a few minutes later. Cloutier came out of the net to clear the puck away, but Luc Robitaille beat him to it and sent it out front to Larionov, who made an easy shot into the empty net. Vancouver pulled Cloutier and replaced him with Peter Skudra after that, and that shook up the Canucks enough to let them take advantage of their first power play of the game.

Jiri Fischer took a roughing penalty for retaliating against Matt Cooke who was knocking Sergei Fedorov around, and the Red Wings ran into penalty trouble. A minute into the penalty, Ed Jovanovski fired the puck from the blue line, and it bounced off the leg of Chris Chelios and down into the net between Dominik Hasek‘s legs.

Buoyed by their momentum, the Canucks scored again thirty-four seconds later. Two Canucks got going on a two-on-one towards Hasek’s net. Steve Duchesne was able to hold position and take the passing lane away, but Henrik Sedin held onto the puck, then fired it over Hasek’s shoulder and into the net.

The Red Wings played a calmer game in the start of the second period, keeping control of the puck and letting the momentum slip away from Vancouver. It paid off for them when the Canucks ran into penalty problems. The problem? The penalty went to Detroit.

Steve Duchesne went to the box for cross-checking, and Vancouver was trying to set up their scoring play, but Kris Draper got the puck away and into the Canucks’ zone. He squeezed between the boards and Jovanovski, managing to put the puck towards Skudra, as Jovanovski knocked him down into the goal crease. The puck rebounded towards center, and Nick Lidstrom skated in and put it into the net.

Just thirty seconds later, during the same penalty, the Red Wings scored yet another shorthanded goal. This time, Steve Yzerman and Chris Chelios got the puck out of the defensive zone, and up to Brett Hull, who got in all alone against Skudra. He went up the right wing side, almost to the goal line, before taking a tight angle shot that rang off the far goalpost and into the net over the sprawling Skudra.

Hull scored again before the end of the period. This one was a Detroit power play goal, while Murray Baron sat in the penalty box on a holding call. Larionov carried the puck into the zone and tapped it to his left at the blue line. Hull got the pass, took a few strides towards the goal, and unleashed a powerful wrist shot which went into the net high over Skudra’s shoulder.

Vancouver scored again in the third, just at the very end of a holding the stick penalty to Jason Williams. Jovanovski fired from the blue line. The puck hit Mathieu Dandenault, and Hasek dropped to stop it. The puck stayed free, however, and Henrik Sedin scraped it into the net.

Hull answered with another power play goal with just over five minutes left to play. Chelios sent the puck from the right point up to Larionov behind the net, and Larionov centered out front to Hull. In classic Brett Hull style, he one-timed a laser-quick wrist shot, down on one knee. The puck bounced off Jovanovski and in for the hat trick.

The Canucks weren’t quite ready to give up yet. They pulled their goalie when they gained an offensive zone faceoff with 3:30 remaining, and they were able to score. The Red Wings had a tough time clearing the puck, and Trevor Linden’s shot caused Hasek to drop down low to block. The rebound came free, and Cooke was able to get it and put it into the mostly empty net.

Darren McCarty was sent to the box for holding with 2:34 left. Skudra had to come back in for the faceoff, but edged off again once Vancouver had puck control, giving the Canucks a six-on-four advantage. Hasek made the necessary big saves, the penalty was killed off, and the series was won.

The Red Wings will begin their Western Conference Semi-Final series next week, probably on Thursday. Their opponent will be either the St. Louis Blues or the Los Angeles Kings, depending on whether or not the Kings can gain a victory over the Colorado Avalanche in Game Seven of their series.

Detroit’s pair of shorthanded goals were the fourth fastest pair of shorthanded goals ever scored in the playoffs?. This was Brett Hull’s first ever playoff hat trick. It was also his twenty-second career playoff game-winning goal, second place all time. The only person ahead of him is Wayne Gretzky, with a total of twenty-four?. This is only the second time one of Scotty Bowman‘s teams has been down 0-2 in a playoff series and then come back to win. The other one was the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992, and they went on to win the Stanley Cup. A good omen for the Red Wings? We’ll know for sure in about a month and a half.

Americans, Canadians Battle for Gold

The puck drops this afternoon on what is likely the biggest hockey game in decades as Team USA faces off against Team Canada for the Olympic gold medal.

“This is the greatest thing that has happened for a long, long time,” Team Canada executive director Wayne Gretzky said Saturday. “This will be the most-watched hockey game in the world — ever.”

For Team Canada, it is a chance to bring a gold medal back to the country that invented the sport for the first time since 1952.

For Team USA, it is the opportunity to relive the country’s most cherished sports moment, the 1980 “Miracle on Ice.”

The United States has a 24-5 scoring advantage through five games (4-0-1).

But if the game is low scoring and one goal means the difference between gold and silver, Canada has some of the finest scorers ever in Lemieux and Yzerman.

“They know us, we know them,” Brooks said. “There are no secrets in this one.”

Gretzky can only guess at the letdown Canada will feel if it comes this close to winning, only to lose to (oh, no) the United States — or, conversely, the elation if it wins.

“Nobody remembers who wins the silver,” he said.

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