Detroit Red Wings

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Joe Louis Arena auction gives you chance to own Al the Octopus


Now that the Detroit Red Wings are comfortably inside their new home at Little Caesars Arena, it’s time to clean out The Joe and sell off what’s left inside.

Beginning on Saturday through Dec. 16, fans will have the opportunity to bid on various pieces of Joe Louis Arena memorabilia. Some of the items available include full player lockers, various arena signs, banners and photos, and a puck freezer.

But the coolest item up for auction — aside from this players’ lounge toaster which may have been used to toast bagels by the likes of Steve Yzerman and Nick Lidstrom — is definitely what hung above the ice for oh, so many years.

That’s right — you can own Al the Octopus.

If you’re going to pony up and give Al a new home there’s a “removal & handling” fee of $300, but if you’re already putting out the cash for the giant Red Wings’ mascot, what’s another couple hundred bucks? And you’ve gotta pick it up yourself. Fortunately, the octopus comes in parts, so you’ll just have to worry about finding enough rope to tie down his head to the roof of your car.

Al would make a great addition to any backyard rink, neighborhood rooftop or local hill to scare outsiders away. It’ll pair nicely with the San Jose Sharks’ mascot head they skate through before games should that ever become available.


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

The Buzzer: Milestones, shutouts and NHL firsts

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Players of the Night:

Marian Gaborik, Los Angeles Kings: 

Gaborik scored twice and helped propel a four-goal third period for the Kings, who came back from a 2-1 deficit after 40 minutes to win 5-2 against the visiting Minnesota Wild. Gaborik’s second goal of the night was his 400th of his NHL career. It came against the team he achieved his highest scoring prowess with.

Gustav Nyquist, Detroit Red Wings: 

Nyquist scored twice and added a helper as the Red Wings toppled the Western Conference-best Winnipeg Jets at Little Caesars Arena. Nyquist’s first-period marker held up as the game-winner in a big game for the Red Wings, who responded after getting shellacked 10-1 by the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks:

Markstrom made 30 saves in a 3-0 win for the Canucks against the Carolina Hurricanes. His shutout was the first of his NHL career.

Highlights of the Night:

Boo Nieves, the owner of one of the coolest nicknames in the league, scored his first NHL goal on a slick wrist shot in the first period of a 4-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

John Gibson committed this theft tonight. The victim failed to press charges:

Shea Weber did his best Clayton Kershaw impression to score against the St. Louis Blues:

Factoids of the Night:

Gaborik had a pretty good night:

And Nikita Kucherov put himself in some pretty elite company, both in Tampa Bay Lightning history, as well as NHL history in general:



Devils 4, Blue Jackets 1

Rangers 4, Penguins 3

Blues 4, Canadiens 3

Red Wings 5, Jets 1

Lightning 6, Islanders 2

Predators 5, Stars 2

Sabres 4, Avalanche 2

Canucks 3, Hurricanes 0

Golden Knights 4, Ducks 3 (SO)

Kings 5, Wild 2

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Free-falling Red Wings get trampled again

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On Friday, the Detroit Red Wings wanted to let their play do the talking. What happened on Saturday night probably isn’t what they intended to say.

It’s an ugly time to be a Red Wings fan, surely.

Not convinced that a six-game losing streak was bad enough back in October, the Red Wings dropped their seventh straight in the most brutal of fashions on Saturday night in Montreal while testing new waters.

The Canadiens scored a touchdown and added a field goal in a 10-1 drubbing of a Red Wings team that looked completely lost and disinterested at Bell Centre.

Their total goals allowed during their current debacle? 36

How many have they scored themselves? 14

In the words of Inspector Gadget: “Wowzers.”

Indeed. It’s been a lacklustre and lackadaisical run for the Red Wings.

Saturday’s game was the kind of game that leads to heads rolling, and surely some changes need to take place in Detroit. Likely in the form of a full-fledged rebuild, perhaps one under a new management from the top down.

According to QuantHockey, the Red Wings are the only team above an average age of 29 years old, and thus the oldest team in the NHL. 

That number isn’t changing with some of their declining veterans still commanding big minutes. They have one goal scorer in double digits and only one player with 20-plus points. If you subscribe to plus-minus, Detroit has just three players above zero. If possession metrics are your thing, the Red Wings are sub-50 percent and have the seventh lowest expected goals percentage.

If the Red Wings were looking for any letup in their upcoming schedule, they won’t find it. Despite the respite of playing their next five at Little Caesars Arena, they’ll have to face the top two teams in the Western Conference in the Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues, along with the surging Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs during that span.

That means it could get worse before it gets better in Mo-Town.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

The Buzzer: Bob blanks Rangers; Sabres drop fourth straight

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Player of the Night: Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets

Bob made 36 saves and recorded his 21st career shutout in helping the Blue Jackets to a 2-0 win over the New York Rangers. The win was the Blue Jackets’ third in a row while New York was blanked for the first time this season.

Highlight of the Night: Bob was on his game:


• Despite the loss, Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding for the Rangers in stopping 40 shots.

Artemi Panarin’s power play goal in the third period put the game out of reach:

• New York has dropped two in a row since their six-game winning streak.

Tomas Tatar snapped a 1-1 tie midway through the third period and Dylan Larkin added the insurance tally as the Detroit Red Wings beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1.

• The Sabres, who have now lost four straight, had their chances, but Jimmy Howard stopped 19 of 20 shots and was thankful for one of his posts:

Factoid of the Night:

Columbus 2, New York Rangers 0
Detroit 3, Buffalo 1


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

The Buzzer: Zucker tricks Habs; Lightning remain unstoppable


Players of the Night: Devan Dubnyk and Jason Zucker, Minnesota Wild

The Wild pair were the main cogs in Minnesota’s 3-0 shutout of the Montreal Canadiens. Dubnyk did his job between the pipes stopping all 41 shots he faced for his 25th career shutout. Zucker, meanwhile, netted all three goals for his first career hat trick. Zucker has now scored the Wild’s last five goals.

Highlight of the Night:

Welcome back to the goal scoring column, Brian Boyle.


Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl once again teamed up to break another team’s spirits in overtime. Edmonton has now won back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Jaromir Jagr scored his first goal with the Calgary Flames and Johnny Gaudreau chipped in three points during a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

Carter Hutton made 27 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped both Arizona shootout attempts during a 3-2 St. Louis Blues victory. Alex Pietrangelo scored his seventh goal of the season. The Blues have won 12 straight over the Coyotes.

• The Coyotes have not won in regulation in 18 games this season. Per the NHL, they’re one loss shy of tying the 1999 Calgary Flames’ dubious record.

• The Philadelphia Flyers got goals from Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier while Brian Elliott made 38 saves during a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Giroux and Voracek each added a pair of assists.

• Chicago has not beaten the Flyers in the regular season in Philly in 14 meetings, dating back to Nov. 9, 1996.

Jakob Silfverberg scored twice 35 seconds apart early in the third period to power the Anaheim Ducks past the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. Rickard Rakell handed out three assists.

Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos scored in a span of 2:02 in the first period to power their way to a 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings. Kucherov and Stamkos combined for five points, with Kucherov potting his league-leading 16th goal of the season.

• Congrats to Oscar Fantenberg for scoring his first NHL goal.

• The Tampa power play is just unfair:

Factoid of the Night:

Edmonton 3, New Jersey 2 (OT)
Philadelphia 3, Chicago 1
Minnesota 3, Montreal 0
St. Louis 3, Arizona 2 (SO)
Calgary 6, Detroit 3
Anaheim 4, Vancouver 1
Tampa Bay 5, Los Angeles 2


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy