On June 8, 1983, the Illitch family, the city of Detroit, and the Red Wings organization drafted and adopted an 18-year-old kid named Steve Yzerman. That kid would blossom before our very own eyes and transform in the man we now know as The Captain. He was a goal scorer, an all-star, and a leader. He was quiet and humble, but knew when to stand up and speak when things needed to be said. He changed his game to become a complete player and was willing to do whatever it took to help his team win a Stanley Cup. He was the ultimate everything and to this day still remains the greatest Red Wing of all-time. And no one will ever surpass him for that title.
It's been 28 years, 5 months and 22 days since the day that changed the Red Wings franchise forever. Today, November 30, 2011, the man we still love and admire returns to his adopted home for the first time as a member of opposition.
He'll most likely be in a suit I'm sure and he may even be sporting some blue, but, make no mistake, that man's heart is filled with red and white. When, not if, he's show on the jumbotron the fans in the Joe will stand and cheer. It will be deafening. It will be emotional. It will be wonderful. We love Yzerman and we love the Red Wings because of him.
Whether you remember him as a baby-faced kid netting 50-60 goals a season or the seasoned two-way veteran that raised three Stanley Cups, the bottom line is we will always remember Steve Yzerman. He is the greatest and no one will ever surpass him.
Welcome home, Steve. We missed you.
Raw Charge is your SBNation Lightning blog.
Puck drop is just after 7:30p ET on Versus.
The Expected Lineup
Johan Franzen -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Todd Bertuzzi
Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Jiri Hudler
Danny Cleary -- Darren Helm -- Fabian Brunnstrom
Drew Miller -- Justin Abdelkader -- Tomas Holmstrom
Nicklas Lidstrom -- Ian White
Niklas Kronwall -- Jonathan Ericsson
Brad Stuart -- Jakub Kindl
Jimmy Howard (starting)
Scratches: Mike Commodore and Cory Emmerton
Injuries: Jan Mursak (ankle) and Patrick Eaves (jaw)
|LIGHTNING||HOW THEY MATCH UP||RED WINGS|
|2.70 (16th)||Goals Per Game||2.91 (9th)|
|3.04 (T-20th)||Goals Against Per Game||2.23 (6th)|
|15.7% (18th)||Power Play %||19.4 (7th)|
|83.3% (16th)||Penalty Kill %||80.5% (22nd)|
|Steven Stamkos (15 goal)||Goal Leader||Johan Franzen (10 goals)|
|Steven Stamkos (25 points)||Points Leader||Johan Franzen (22 points)|
- The Red Wings are 24-5-2-0 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Lightning. It's Detroit greatest winning percentage against any team in the NHL. Are you sure we don't want to move to the Southeast Division?
- Tampa should start Mathieu Garon tonight. If they don't then they are just asking to be blown out. Dwayne Roloson is old and sucks at goalie right now. He's 6-6-1 with a 3.46 GAA and a .887 SV%...and those numbers include one shutout. Ouch.
- Steven Stamkos is still good. Four goals and five points in his last three games. I think we know who Lidstrom will be out on the ice against.
- Who is the Lightning's 2nd leading point getter? If you guessed Martin St. Louis, you are only half correct. Marty is tied with Marc-Andre Bergeron. Just last season Bergeron signed with Tampa to play for their AHL team, now he's tied for third among all defensemen in scoring. Quite the resurgence for the Bergie down south.
- I've said it before and I'll say it again...Feed the Mule. The Wings are 12-0-0 when he registers a point and are 2-7-1 when he doesn't. Let's hope he adds to his total tonight. He's got a long way to go still to get to 50.
Prediction: I have to believe the Lightning are going to come out strong to give their GM a win in his hometown. I also have to believe that the Wings are going to want to beat their former Captain. I believe a lot of things, but what I do know is that this Detroit team is better than this Tampa Bay team. Therefore, the Red Wings will win this game 3-1 and Henrik Zetterberg is your player of the game.
Let's Go Red Wings.