They all miss Nicklas Lidstrom, dearly, and on a night where the Red Wings hosted the Colorado Avalanche, with Patrick Roy behind the bench and Joe Sakic upstairs as an executive, it was impossible not to think about what was missing.
On an big night honoring Nicklas Lidstrom and raising his No. 5 to the rafters, fittingly there were five goals in Thursday's game. Only problem was, Colorado had the advantage, defeating the Red Wings 3-2 in overtime.
'I arrived not knowing much about the Wings,' Lidstrom said during his speech Thursday night. 'I asked for for No. 9. The trainer said, 'Kid, that's just not gonna happen.''
In a pregame ceremony, the Wings will send Nicklas Lidstrom's No. 5 to the top of Joe Louis Arena, alongside the numbers of such luminaries as Gordie Howe and Steve Yzerman.
He had a Steve Yzerman jersey in his bedroom, skated at Joe Louis Arena as a youth, was a Red Wings fan as a youngster. Thursday morning, Legwand was able to put on a Red Wings sweater as a member of his hometown team for the first time.
The Wings acquired David Legwand from the Predators in exchange for forwards Patrick Eaves and Calle Jarnkrok (Grand Rapids), and a conditional 2014 third-round draft pick, which could become a second-rounder if Detroit makes the playoffs.
With Datsyuk (knee), Zetterberg (back surgery), Darren Helm (headaches) and Stephen Weiss (sports hernia) all unavailable, Holland acquired Grosse Pointe native David Legwand from Nashville just before the trade deadline Wednesday to bolster the slim center position.
In a surprising move just hours before the NHL trade deadline, the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning pulled off a major deal Wednesday, trading Ryan Callahan for Martin St. Louis. The Rangers had been trying to sign Callahan, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but weren't able to reach an agreement with the gritty forward.
The NHL trade deadline isn't what it used to be. With the salary cap, long-term contracts keeping stars on one team for greater lengths of time, and teams unwilling to trade away young (cheaper) prospects, the annual March shopping spree has been greatly diminished.
Coupled with a 4-2 Columbus victory over Dallas, the Blue Jackets leaped over the Red Wings to take a one point lead (69-68) in the final wild card standings.
With Henrik Zetterberg (back surgery) unavailable for the remainder of the regular season and the status of Pavel Datsyuk (inflamed knee) and Stephen Weiss (sports hernia) unclear, the Red Wings have three key offensive pieces out of the lineup.
After nearly eight years apart, Luongo was the centerpiece of a four-player trade between Florida and the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. The Panthers sent goalie Jacob Markstrom — once considered their future in net — and forward Shawn Mattias to the Canucks for Luongo and forward Steven Anthony.
The Red Wings are getting used to finding ways to win hockey games with all sorts of different personnel in different roles.
Still ailing from a knee injury suffered in early January, Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk will not travel to New Jersey for Tuesday's game.
You hear about football and basketball players who tend to excel at the pro level more than the college game. More offensive freedom, fewer restrictions, the physical play of the pro style might be suited for them. On occasion it's the case in the NHL, too.
Johan Franzen and Ottawa's Chris Neil didn't throw many punches Thursday when they played — but the zingers back and forth since then have been heavyweight title worthy. It was Franzen's turn Saturday, a day after Neil chided him for not wanting to fight late in Thursday's 6-1 Red Wings victory.
Toews had two goals and an assist at a picturesque Soldier Field, and the Blackhawks beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 on Saturday night in the finale of the NHL Stadium Series.
Johan Franzen didn't like trying to be goaded into a fight by Senators goon Chris Neil after he had just returned from a concussion-induced layoff.
With the pressure mounting and every game so important for the Red Wings, the line of Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco is producing. Meanwhile, Gustav Nyquist has 15 goals, and Luke Glendening has solidified the fourth line.
The Buffalo Sabres traded star goalie Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues on Friday night for goalie Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a 2015 first-round pick and a 2016 third-round pick.
The start time for the Red Wings' March 9 game against the New York Rangers has been moved up from 7:30 p.m. to noon, the Red Wings announced Friday.
There's something about playing here in Canada's capital that appeals to Franzen, who scored a hat trick in Thursday's rout. That's on top of the five goals Franzen scored in this arena Feb. 2, 2011, in a Red Wings victory.
Certainly it wasn't the best of situations for a player coming off a concussion. Here was Johan Franzen, in his only second game back, being goaded into a confrontation by Ottawa enforcer Chris Neil.
The captain's No. 5 will be sent to the Joe Louis Arena rafters on Thursday, March 6, before the team's game against the Colorodo Avalanche. Faceoff has been pushed back to 8 p.m., from the original time of 7:30.
In their first game back after the Olympic break, the Wings took a thriller from the Canadiens in overtime, 2-1. Gustav Nyquist scored with 27.3 seconds left in overtime, giving the Red Wings a valuable second point.
As for buyers, it sounds like they could be. But given their dicey playoff situation, they only are looking for non-rentals — which usually makes finding a trade partner more difficult. So don't be shocked if the Red Wings basically stand pat.
Franzen had played only one of the last 23 games before the Olympic break. Datsyuk played the last two games before the break, then played in the Olympics — but previously hadn't played since Jan. 1.
The Red Wings weren't exactly an offensive machine before the break —'th in the NHL at 2.53 goals — and beyond Zetterberg's absence there are serious concerns about just what they'll get from top scorers Datsyuk (knee), Johan Franzen (concussion) and Stephen Weiss (hernia surgery) in these final 24 games.
Datsyuk skated Tuesday with the Red Wings, who had their entire roster on the ice minus the Swedes who competed in the Winter Games final against Canada. '(The pain), it's still the same,' Datsyuk said.
But now he has shifted his focus back to the Pittsburgh Penguins and looks to get his first-place team to make a deep run in the Stanley Cup playoffs.