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The Malik Report

Mr. Hockey talks about making the most of birthday games

Red Wings legend Gordie Howe, who turns 83 today, gave a rare interview to DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose to discuss his status as a fantastic birthday hockey-playing performer:

“It was really funny to play on your birthday,” said Howe, in a phone conversation with DetroitRedWings.com. “Guys would desperately try to get me the puck on my birthday.”

Yet there was one person, Howe said, who didn’t see it that way.

“Jack Adams didn’t think too much about birthdays,” said Howe, of the former Red Wings GM. “He just thought that guys were too distracted with their birthdays and not focused on playing.”

Focus never was a problem for Howe, who compiled 801 goals and 1,049 assists in 1,767 career games. He was a big birthday performer, scoring four goals with 11 assists and four minor penalties. Howe had four mulit-point birthday games, including two three-point efforts. He collected three assists in a 6-4 loss to Montreal in Game 1 of the 1956 Stanley Cup finals; and scored a goal with two assists in a 4-2 win over Chicago in Game 3 of the 1963 semifinals. The only time that Howe did not contribute offensively on March 31 was on his 25th birthday. That day the Boston Bruins held Howe scoreless and dealt the Red Wings a 6-2 loss in Game 4 of the 1953 Stanley Cup semifinals. The Bruins eventually won the series in six games.

“That’s probably the one birthday that I remember,” Howe said, jokingly.


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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.