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Friendly Confines has a family feel

Wings bring families to share in special occasion at Wrigley Field

Wednesday, 12.31.2008 / 10:15 PM ET / News
By Lindsey Ungar  - DetroitRedWings.com Special Writer
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Friendly Confines has a family feel
Kris Draper's son, Kiernan, gathers up some pucks at his dad's skates Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field. (Photo by Lindsey Ungar)
CHICAGO — Near the end of Wednesday’s practice, a couple extra Red Wings’ players appeared on the ice rink built at Wrigley Field.

One was about three feet tall, sporting a lime green jacket.

Six-year-old Kiernan Draper is not being recruited to fill a spot in the Wings’ lineup heading into Thursday’s Winter Classic. But his dad swung him over his shoulders and onto the ice for the final couple minutes of practice. Kiernan grabbed onto his dad’s Warrior stick, and Kris dragged him around the ice. Eight-year-old Kennedi, dressed head-to-toe in pink cold-weather gear also ran after her father.

All three had big smiles.

“I think for the kids that are here this is a great situation for them, it’s an experience that they’ll never forget,” Red Wings forward Kirk Maltby said. “I think they’ve been very fortunate, very lucky. They get to come down to the Joe, into the dressing room, but this is just a special case where this may never happen again for their dad.”

Maltby didn’t bring his kids, Ella (4) and twins Landen and Leighton (five months) because of the 20-degree Chicago weather.

Chris Chelios’ kids, who are much older and possess more advanced hockey skill, weaved through center ice and fought dad for the puck.

The rest of the Red Wings’ family and friends took the ice for a 45-minute skate later in the afternoon. Broadcasters Ken Kal and Ken Daniels joined in on the action, as well as former coach and current Chicago Blackhawks senior advisor Scotty Bowman.

CLASSIC STYLE: On Wednesday, the ice was lit with pockets of sunshine for both team practices.

Many players sported eye-black to help cut down on glare. But the Hawks players mixed up the traditional football look a bit, sporting their hometown area code in white marker across each black strip.

“If you need a smart aleck idea, you go to (forward Adam) Burish,” rookie Kris Versteeg said, who sported the area code 403 for Lethbridge, Alberta. “He had the area code idea.”

Thursday’s forecast calls for cloudy conditions with changes of late afternoon snow showers.

INJURY UPDATE: Lifelong Cubs’ fan Chris Chelios will dress for Thursday’s game.

“I think Chelios is an important part of our team,” Wings coach Mike Babcock. “We try to make the decisions the best to help us win, and that’s what we’re going to do again tomorrow.”

There hasn’t been a confirmation on whether Nicklas Lidstrom (ankle) will play in the Classic, but didn’t seem to have any problems skating Wednesday.

“The ankle is doing a lot better,” Lidstrom said. “They’ve been fixing my skate a little bit to relieve some of the pressure that was on that point. But it feels a lot better. I’m hoping I can play tomorrow.”




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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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