Red Kelly (right) and Gordon Howe catch their breath between turns on the ice. For other color shots of the Wings and their rivals in action, see the following pages.
The Detroit Red Wings (in the bright red uniforms) have reigned as the Yankees of postwar hockey. Over the last six years, they have won the National Hockey League championship six consecutive times and three times have gone on to win the grueling Stanley Cup matches played after the close of the regular schedule. The Red Wings invariably present a strong, energetic defense, as the photograph above illustrates—Dean Prentice of the New York Rangers is met by Defenseman Benny Woit (No. 5) as he tries to drive in on Red Wing territory, already densely populated with back-checking Wings.
On the attack, the Red Wings in general play a slam-bang, puck-hounding game, relying on manpower rather than on finesse to wear down their opponents. Their offensive sorties frequently have the advantage of a "fourth forward," the great Red Kelly, perennial All-Star defenseman and a natural play-builder, shown at right (No. 4) as he leads a rush toward the Rangers' goal. Three of the last four seasons, Kelly has ranked among the top ten scorers, the only defenseman to climb into that exalted circle.
In recent Toronto- Montreal game, hard played as are all their clashes, Maurice Richard (white jersey) scrambles to get his stick on a loose puck which has just bounded off Goalie Harry Lumley, the only one of the Toronto players who has located its whereabouts
In melee in front of Canadiens' goal, Dean Prentice (white jersey), young Ranger forward who has played especially well in recent games against Montreal, battles for control of the puck with substitute Goalie Charley Hodge, "Spider" Mazur and Bud McPherson