Red Wings-Lightning Game-Day updates 2: Red Wings ready to play in front of packed arena again

MLive’s Ansar Khan has already filed his game-day notebook ahead of tonight’s game vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning (7:30 PM on BSD/BS Sun/97.1 FM), and Khan notes that the Red Wings’ players are excited about playing in front of a raucous home crowd again:

“We didn’t get a chance to play in stadiums that had the ability to go to capacity last year and so it’s been a ton of time for us,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “I think anybody, a player, a coach, would tell you that fans, how much they mean to the game, how much they mean to the energy and the momentum. So, it’s always special opening night, but given the fact we haven’t see this type of atmosphere in a while it will be that much more special. We have great fans throughout the state of Michigan, very passionate. I think the best fans in the NHL. This means a lot of them. We have a connection with the city for certain and we respect how much this means and want to go out and put out a good effort on a nightly basis.”

Last year began with only 250 fans, mostly players’ families and friends, allowed in the building and ended with some general admission tickets sold but only a maximum of 750 fans allowed in the seats. Tonight will be the first time since March 10, 2020 – what turned out to be the final game of the season before the pandemic shutdown — that LCA will host a significant number of fans.

“All the players are even more so excited this year with the fans being back in the building,” defenseman Danny DeKeyser said. “I think it’s going to be a great night. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen full buildings and the noise the fans bring. They bring another side of the game that we didn’t have for the last year-and-a-half.”


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.