The Detroit Red Wings will look to break a 47-year-old club record tonight at home against the Buffalo Sabres.
A Wings win would be their 15th consecutive win at home, snapping the mark set in 1965 at the old Olympia Stadium by the legendary team featuring Gordie Howe, Norm Ullman, Alex Delvecchio and Roger Crozier. (Of note, Detroit would go on to the Stanley Cup Finals that year, losing to the Montreal Canadiens.)
The Wings are 17-2-1 at home this season and haven’t lost in Motown since Nov. 3. Some of the streak’s highlights:
— Began with a 5-0 win over Anaheim on Nov. 5.
— The Wings have scored five goals or more seven times, including a 7-1 romp over Winnipeg and an 8-2 destruction of Los Angeles.
— Despite only playing 20 games at home this season, the Wings are third in home goals with 78.
— Detroit’s big performer at the Joe this year? Surprisingly, it’s Valtteri Filppula. He leads the team in goals (nine) and points (24) at home and is second in assists (15). He also ranks 15th in the NHL in home points.
As for tonight, the Wings are getting a near-perfect opponent to try and break the record against. Buffalo hasn’t won on the road since Dec. 3 and is riding an eight-game road losing streak, which is also a franchise record.
UPDATE: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, if the Wings win tonight they’ll be just the fifth team in the NHL modern era (beginning 1943-44) to win 15 straight at home in a single season.
Alumni rosters announced for Bruins-Habs at Gillette Stadium
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)
The hope was that the Columbus Blue Jackets would be jolted into a great, long winning streak, and their season would be saved.
The reality of John Tortorella’s first month behind the bench has been, well, reality. The Jackets are 8-7-0 since Todd Richards was fired. Better than 0-7-0, sure, but at 8-14-0 overall, they remain last in the Eastern Conference.
Fifteen games in, Tortorella is still trying to get his message across.
“A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”
The Jackets play Wednesday in New Jersey, where they’ll look to shake off Sunday’s disappointing home loss to San Jose. Columbus held a 3-1 third-period lead in that one. The Sharks scored four straight to win 5-3.
The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a one-year, two way contract, the club announced today.
Zubrus was given a tryout with the Sharks last week.
The 37-year-old played 74 games with the Devils last season, scoring just four goals with six assists. His contract was then bought out.
According to a Mercury News source, the decision to sign Zubrus lay “mainly” with his former coach in New Jersey, now San Jose’s bench boss, Pete DeBoer.
“He looks good,” DeBoer said of Zubrus last week, per CSN Bay Area. “He looks close. It’s tough to find six-foot-four, 215-pound guys who can play. … He’s an easy guy to play because he’s defensively reliable. He plays a big possession, heavy game. There’s a lot to like there.”
In a related move, the Sharks have reassigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the AHL.