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Notebook: Drake reminded of his longevity

Wings' forward reaches 1,000; Chelios returns, Holmstrom remains out

Tuesday, 03.11.2008 / 2:05 PM ET / News
By Kevin Fitzhenry  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
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Notebook: Drake reminded of his longevity
Drake has added grit and some punch since returning to Hockeytown last July. Here he mixes it up with Blackhawks forward Adam Burish earlier in the season.
DETROIT – The 1,000-game milestone has perhaps lost some of its luster over the years with 30 franchise clubs and over 700 players currently in the NHL. Not since the days of the Original Six has playing 1,000 games been considered a major accomplishment.

But that won’t tarnish the achievement for one Red Wings’ player tonight.

“It just means you’ve been in the league a long time,” said right wing Dallas Drake, who will play in his 1,000th career game when the Red Wings host the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at Joe Louis Arena.
 
“Not a lot of guys get the opportunity to play as long as I have,” Drake said. “Early on in your career you’re just trying to stay in the league as long as you can. Then, big picture is you want to win the Stanley Cup.”

Only two other current Red Wings -- defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom (1,239) and Chris Chelios (1605) -- have played more games. Left wing Kirk Matlby (931) and center Chris Draper (945) could possibly reach the milestone as early as next season.
  
Drake, who was drafted by the Red Wings in the sixth round of the 1989 draft, played only 119 games in Detroit before being traded to the Winnipeg Jets. He played in St. Louis for six seasons before singing with Detroit as a free agent last July.
 
“It’s a hug accomplishment,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s a great edition to our hockey club because of the integrity, commitment, character, and how hard he plays the game. When you bring in good people it’s contagious. He has lot a fun with the game; he’s here first thing in the morning and he wants to play. It’s a real honor to have him here.”

During tonight’s game, many of Drake’s former teammates will congratulate him via taped messages on the JLA Jumbotron over center ice.

Drake said he certainly appreciates the thoughts of his teammates.

“You ask any player and that’s what they miss the most about the game: is the camaraderie of the dressing room,” he said. “No matter what happens, you can always have a good time with the guys.”
  
Drake is currently one assist away from 300, yet another milestone he can accomplish tonight against Chicago. He also played in career game No. 300 against the Blackhawks on March 20, 1997.

INJURY REPORT: Tomas Holmstrom will miss his second straight game with a sore groin. Holmstrom, who has not skated since Friday had an MRI and ultrasound; both producing negative results.
He said he hopes to begin skating by the end of the week.
 
Chelios will be back in the lineup tonight. Chelios has missed six games with a right leg injury.

HOW SWEDE IT IS: Fans attending tonight’s game will receive a treat: a free poster featuring Detroit’s “Swedish Eight.” (Jonathan Ericsson, Andreas Lilja, Holmstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Mikael Samuelsson and Johan Franzen.)
 
The players seemed to enjoy gathering for the photo shoot, which occurred at Joe Louis Arena last week.

“It was fun,” Holmstrom said, “We don’t get a lot of opportunity to do that kind of stuff.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
11 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
12 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 54 18 20 25 38
H. Zetterberg 55 10 28 5 38
T. Tatar 54 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 55 14 16 -1 30
P. Datsyuk 40 9 21 14 30
J. Abdelkader 55 14 15 -2 29
M. Green 47 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 41 5 11 6 16
D. DeKeyser 51 7 8 12 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 5 .933 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89