The Malik Report
Justin Abdelkader jammed his left shoulder while hitting Luca Sbisa during the second period of yesterday's 5-3 Red Wings win over Vancouver, and he didn't return for the 3rd period...
But Wings coach Mike Babcock told MLive's Ansar Khan that the Wings don't believe that Abdelkader's injury is serious:
As part of Sportsnet's Hometown Hockey series, which traveled to Brandon, Manitoba on Sunday, Sportsnet aired a video in which Stephen Brunt shared the tale of a connection between Brandon's most famous hockey alumnus, Brad McCrimmon, and an unlikely mentee in former Red Wing Todd Bertuzzi.
This is an incredibly sweet video and I strongly encourage you to listen to McCrimmon's wife, son, daughter, and even Todd share the kings of things that we rarely hear about but "make the man"...
Brad and his brother Kelly, who is the owner, general manager and coach of the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings, helped Jordin Tootoo deal with the suicide of his brother Terence during the brothers' tenure with the Wheat Kings...
Sometimes you win games in dominant, aesthetically-pleasing fashion, and sometimes you've got to gut it out and grind it out, persevering against both the opposition and yourselves. The Red Wings won the latter kind of game today, taking a 5-3 decision from the dominant Canucks thanks to strong play, strong second efforts, superb goaltending and an unwillingness by the Wings to allow their mistakes to break them (all en route to a 4-game winning streak, the first 4-gamer of the season):
Detroit Water and Power certainly didn't have its best moment early on...
With the weird power outage, the Red Wings and Canucks had to re-set themselves, and Vancouver most certainly got off on the right foot via a pair of Sedin twin chances that Jimmy Howard had to stop, but from then on out, the Wings out-skated and out-hustled the Canucks for the balance of the 1st (save the Jonathan Ericsson brain fart that yielded a Radim Vrbata goalpost shot).
Update: Here's more from Krupa:
Detroit Lightning and Power's infrastructure is just absolutely dreadful, an honest-to-goodness situation in which the City of Detroit's lack of spending on basic city services have negatively impacted the City's residents and businesse.
The Wings' new rink should be under the authority of team sponsor DTE Energy, but the CIty's immediate downtown area is goverened by the City-owned power service, and about half of the lights went out at the Joe on Sunday afternoon, forcing players to head back into their locker rooms and the fans to wait nearly half an hour for the lights to come back on:
The outage was blamed on a "power shortage," which isn't inconceivable when a public utility's cables are probably literally held together with duct tape and rust.
From the Red Wings' PR department:
The Detroit Red Wings today removed Brendan Smith from injured reserve and assigned defenseman Xavier Ouellet to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Smith, 25, has missed the team’s last five games with a hand infection after a fight on Nov. 18 at Columbus. The Mimico, Ontario, native has skated in 18 games with Detroit this season, recording six points (2-4-6) and a plus-three rating. In 137 career NHL games, the blueliner has tallied 40 points (8-32-40) and 126 penalty minutes. Prior to joining the Red Wings full-time, Smith registered 86 points (27-59-86) in 152 games with the Griffins from 2010-13 and 87 points (26-81-87) in 95 games with the University of Wisconsin from 2007-10.Ouellet, 21, has appeared in five games for Detroit this season and tallied his first NHL point (Nov. 22 at Toronto) and scored his first NHL goal (Nov. 28 at New Jersey) while with the team. He has appeared in nine career regular-season contests and one playoff game. The Bayonne, France, native has skated in 83 games for Grand Rapids over the past two seasons, showing 22 points (5-17-22) and 26 penalty minutes. He also skated in 223 QMJHL games with the Montreal Juniors and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada from 2009-13, recording 160 points (41-119-160) and 177 penalty minutes.
If you're wondering why there is only one NHL game on the schedule, it doesn't have anything to do with the NFL--it has everything to do with the Canadian Football League instead, because the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Calgary Stampeders are playing for the Grey Cup at 6 PM EST, and TSN is airing the game in Canada.
Today's one NHL game is of course the Detroit Red Wings' Sunday matinee game against the Vancouver Canucks (2 PM EST on FSD/City TV/97.1 FM), and Rogers' Hometown Hockey is going to air on the NHL Network prior to the game, spotlighting Brad McCrimmon's hometown of Brandon, Manitoba (where McCrimmon and Jordin Tootoo's alma mater, the Brandon Wheat Kings, play).
The Wings are coming off a 5-4 shootout win over New Jersey, and have won 3 straight and 5 of 6; Vancouver defeated Columbus 5-0 on Friday and have also won 3 straight, 4 of 5 and 9 of their 13 November games, so the Wings' hopes of extending their winning streak to 4 games intersects with a surging opponent today.
The Red Wings' prospects had a particularly busy Saturday's worth of work, but this Tweet from Bob McKenzie notes an announcement which have longer-ranging implications for Tyler Bertuzzi, Zach Nastasiuk and Joe Hicketts:
As McKenzie noted, Hicketts had a little injury scare on Saturday, but was okay; the Wings' three Canadian WJC-eligible prospects may be joined by Americans Dominic Turgeon and Dylan Larkin and possibly Swede Axel Holmstrom at the World Junior Championships, which will be taking place in Toronto and Montreal starting on December 26th.
In Glen's Falls, New York, the Red Wings' AHL affiliate--which contains no WJC-eligible prospects as Anthony Mantha's just too old to play for Canada--played their first game in the Red Wings' old home, the Adirondack Civic Center, and the Grand Rapids Griffins came out on top, defeating the Adirondack Flames 6-1, in front of Miracle On Ice Olympians Dave Silk and Dave Christian, no less.
The Red Wings have some particularly high standards for retiring numbers, which is fine and dandy, but modern era Red Wings' ranks all but include a small section of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the fact that the Wings have no "Ring of Honor," no "Legends Row," no visible tributes to the Konstantinovs, Holmstroms, the Grind Line or the 2001-02 Hall of Fame team save that one little trophy case on the concourse that contains a Vladimir Konstantinov jersey, a pair of Steve Yzerman's gloves, Mike Vernon's 1997 Cup-winning mask and a Gordie Howe jersey all trailing the four small commemorative Stanley Cups the Wings organization received from the NHL.
You get your number retired to the rafters, you earn a banner, or you live on in the memories of the fans and the media guide that's now released as a PDF instead of printed form. #14, #24, #25, #33, #39, #96, they're all still in circulation, and while there's little doubt that #91 will be retired at some point, the players that helped contribute to the Cups in secondary roles--and the players who became heroes in the pre-Cup years, like Dino Ciccarelli, Bob Probert, or even Mickey Redmond.
Chris Chelios wants to change that, if only to help clean out the basements of his fellow alumni, as he told the Free Press's Carol Cain:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The power play has perked up considerably. Young players who were slumping the first month of the season are finding the net more consistently. Better health has provided more depth.
Offense was a concern for the Detroit Red Wings coming into the season. Lately, they've been quite productive.
They have scored 35 goals in their past 10 games (3.5 per game), after picking up 33 goals in their first 13 games (2.54 per game).
The Red Wings (13-5-5) face the surprising Vancouver Canucks (16-6-1) Sunday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena in a clash of teams with three-game winning streaks (2 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).
"Like any team, we were a work in progress at the beginning of the year," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "We were able to find some wins early, get some points on the board. I think we've got some people feeling better about themselves 20 games in."
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.