Detroit Red Wings presented by AT&T
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow the Red Wings of YouTube! Follow DetroitRedWings on Periscope! Follow the Red Wings on Vine! Follow the Red Wings on Google +! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Follow the Red Wings on Pinterest! Follow the Red Wings on Tumblr! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App

  • RSS

'Classic' goal special for hometown Lebda

Red Wings defenseman cherished Wrigley Field experience

Thursday, 01.1.2009 / 6:28 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
Share with your Friends

\'Classic\' goal special for hometown Lebda
CHICAGO -- With one snap of the wrists, Detroit defenseman Brett Lebda etched his name into his hometown’s sports history. 

The 26-year-old Lebda, who grew up in suburban Buffalo Grove, Ill., scored the Red Wings’ final goal of the NHL’s Winter Classic with 16:36 left in the third period.

Though his third goal of the season had to be reviewed, it held extra significance for the Chicago native.

“Just coming out …coming out of that dugout and seeing the sight, it was pretty cool,” Lebda said. “You’re usually on the other side of the fence there sitting in the stands, and just to be out there and playing in Wrigley Field was a pretty neat experience.”

With the Red Wings holding a 5-3 lead, an errant puck from Henrik Zetterberg found its way to the young defenseman, who let a wrist shot fly from just above the slot. The puck hit goaltender Cristobal Huet, and directed high into the net. The referee closest to the net initially waved off the gaol, but the call was made to the replay booth.

The goal was confirmed after the review, giving the Wings the big lead that they never relinquished. 

“I wish I would have known it went in right away,” Lebda said. “I would have changed my celebration a little bit, ha ha. But other than that, you can’t be picky, and I’m just glad we got the two points. It was a lot of fun. A good experience, I think, for all of us.

“And it was really a heart-felt experience for myself, just playing here at Wrigley, too.”

Being a Cubs’ fan his whole life made the day even more special for Lebda.

“Cubs all the way,” he said. “I don’t go to many Sox games. I loved the Cubs, grew up on the Cubs, and still go to a lot of games during the summer.”

Lebda tried to use his past Wrigley Field experiences to help out his teammates, warning them about the famous Windy City gusts that rip through the ballpark on occasion.

“That’s what I was telling the guys the whole week,” Lebda said. “I was worried about the wind because I’ve been in here when it’s been howling, and it can whip through here pretty good. … It wasn’t too bad.”

Lebda played 19 shifts for 11:40 worth of ice time.

Another Chicago native, Red Wings veteran defenseman Chris Chelios, said that it was great for Lebda, but wished that the goal would have been more prominent to the players and audience. The former Blackhawks’ captain said that he didn’t see Lebda’s goal go in.

“It’s great that he got it, being (from Chicago),” Chelios said. “I didn’t see it, and I don’t think he saw it. It happened so quick. Obviously, the crowd couldn’t see the puck because their reactions for the goals were a little delayed. It’s just too bad he couldn’t celebrate it right when he got it.”

Lebda was very complimentary of the event as a whole, as a Chicago native and participant, saying that the Winter Classic should only improve in the future.

“The ice was a lot better today than it was yesterday,” he said. “And I think with this new system, I think they’ll just get better and better as they do it and learn every year. So it wasn’t bad. It was playable and both teams had to deal with it.”


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
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Site Map