Right feels right
"I actually prefer the right side," said the left-handed shooting Stuart. "I've been playing the left all year, but before that, I played a lot of right. … I just feel more comfortable on the right. I feel it's my strong side."
The Red Wings have two right-handed shooters at defense -- Chris Chelios and Brian Rafalski. When Stuart joined the Wings, both Chelios and Rafalski were out with injuries.
Lilja has been one left-hander who has played the right side throughout his three-year stay in Detroit. Other lefties will play the right side, but Lilja and Stuart at the two happiest to flop sides.
Stuart said that in his experience, older players are less likely to feel comfortable on the opposite point than young players. And because there are so few righties in the league, they have less experience playing the left side than lefties do playing the right side.
And the reason why there are so many more left-handed shots than right? Forty years ago, a right-handed person was much more likely to shoot right-handed. You have a more powerful shot that way. Nowadays, if you're right-handed, you're more likely to shoot left-handed. With a dominant top hand, you can handle the puck better.
On the Red Wings, right-handed shots Brian Rafalski and Mikael Samuelsson are both left-handed. Chris Chelios, Kirk Maltby and Aaron Downey are right-handed shots who are right-handed.