The Malik Report
As the 2013-2014 season winds down, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock's name has popped up pretty regularly in discussion of potential Jack Adams Award candidates--and the NHL's coach of the year award is voted upon by broadcasters, not journalists--but those who predict how awards races will go haven't changed their consensus picks.
At present, it appears that Babcock might finish in the top 3, but Lightning coach Jon Cooper, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, Bruins coach Claude Julien, Flyers coach Craig Berube, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma and, most regularly, Avalanche coach Patrick Roy have received more nods as the consensus picks.
NHL.com's Brian Compton praises Babcock's work in pushing an injury-decimated Wings team toward the playoffs, but only after suggesting that Roy should win the award..
I'm afraid that the Red Wings may have to "win out" to stave off the Blue Jackets. The Wings will resume practice ahead of a slate of 3 games in 4 nights and 4 in 6 (@ Buffalo on Tuesday; @ Pittsburgh on NBCSN on Wednesday; home vs. Carolina on Friday; @ St. Louis on
Easter Sunday) today at Joe Louis Arena, and they'll do so with the standings whiteboard in their locker room looking like this:
Those damn Blue Jackets just keep rolling along. They defeated the Islanders 4-0 on Sunday, and they've gone 4-2-and-1 since defeating the Wings on March 25th. Their schedule is also comparable to the Wings' sked--they host Phoenix on Tuesday and head out on a 3-game road trip through Dallas, Tampa Bay and Miami to wrap up their regular season,
I posted a set of prospect-related scores and stories on Sunday evening, but "more has happened" since the time I posted said entry, and I'd like to continue to keep the prospect news and team news separate, so here's a second summary:
In playoff action, in the OHL, Tyler Bertuzzi scored a goal and now has 4 goals and 1 assist in 5 playoff games played, but his Guelph Storm lost an ugly 7-2 decision to the London Knights, who tied the teams' second-round playoff series at 1 game apiece.
Bertuzzi made a surprise return from a set of neck injuries that have sidelined him for the vast majority of the past two seasons, so it's very encouraging to see him play so strongly despite missing several months' worth of action;
And Andreas Athanasiou scored a goal in his Barrie Colts' 4-1 loss to North Bay, which trails the teams' second-round playoff series 2 games to 0, but Athanasiou's goal was so slick that Yahoo Sports' Buzzing the Net's Nate Seager both posted the goal and noted that Athansiou made sure to not make a big deal out of breaking a team's 4-0 shutout with 6:20 left in the game:
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson penned a significant slate of "Hockey World" columns, and I'm stealing his headliner from KK to utilize here on TMR--because it's all about the Red Wings' system of prospect development, and it's prompted (of course) by Gustav Nyquist's
Matheson duly notes that the Wings take some swings and miss at the draft...
The prevailing opinion is the Red Wings mine the NHL draft better than anybody else, considering where they pick every June — no first selection higher than 19th overall (Jakub Kindl in 2005) in the last 15 years. Kindl is largely a third-pairing defenceman with detractors. “This Kindl doesn’t read that well,” said one pro scout, when asked why the Czech hadn’t made bigger NHL strides.
But he reveals some intriguing comments about the Wings' system of drafting and developing, as well as a surprise pick for the organiation's top prospect (not Anthony Mantha?) from an anonymous pro scout...
Amongst this evening's Red Wings-related news stories (the Wings didn't practice today; they'll do so tomorrow before kicking off a stretch of 3 games in 4 nights and 4 in 6):
1. First and foremost, if you're watching the out-of-town scoreboard, the Columbus Blue Jackets are hosting the Islanders--between the time I started writing this entry and the time I submitted it, Columbus took a
2-0 first period 3-0 second period lead--and Tuesday's opponent, the Buffalo Sabres, are playing in Philly (with the Sabres set to possibly regain the services of Marcus Foligno, Chris Stewart, Drew Stafford and Torrey Mitchell on Tuesday, per the Buffalo News's Mike Harrington). Columbus had 85 points to Detroit's 88, and Columbus is playing their "game in hand" tonight (their 78th game), but the Blue Jackets already own more total wins (39 vs. 37) and Regulation-or-OT wins (34 vs. 32).
Two Red Wings prospects took part in playoff hockey on Sunday, and their respective teams experienced mixed results:
In Sweden's SHL, Mattias Backman didn't register a point but played 21:16 in Linkopings HC's 1-0 win over AIK Skellefetea, but LHC is still in trouble--they trail the teams' second-round series 3 games to 1;
And in North America, in the OHL, Andreas Athanasiou registered a goal, but his Barrie Colts lost a 4-1 decision to North Bay, who leads the teams' second-round series 2 games to 0.
In regular-season action, in the ECHL, the Toledo Walleye are currently battling the Fort Wayne Komets, and Toledo leads 1-0 with Hannu Toivonen in goal and only Richard Nedomlel representing Wings prospects on the ice as Jared Coreau's sitting this one out. I will update the score of said game later.
And in "catchy-uppy news," Hockey's Future's staff posited their list of the top 50 NHL prospects in 5 installments. Two Wings prospects made the "30's"...
We have to start here:
The Detroit Red Wings' prospects had a very solid night on team-wide bases, though their individual performances were up and down.
In playoff hockey, in the QMJHL, Anthony Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs tied their second-round series with the Drummondville Voltigeurs at 1 game apiece thanks to a 4-3 OT win, but, remarkably, Mantha was held off the scoresheet and finished at -1 the night after he scored 2 goals en route to a 3-2 OT loss.
Mantha still has 5 goals and 4 assists for 9 points in 6 playoff games played, but one hopes that Mantha played well enough to "be an asset" despite not scoring;
And in the WHL, the Kelowna Rockets have taken a 2-0 lead in their second-round series with the Seattle Thunderbirds thanks to a 6-3 win on Saturday, and Marek Tvrdon posted an assist and finished at +2. Mitchell Wheaton didn't register a point.
In regular season play, in the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins assuaged for Friday night's 4-1 loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs--the Monrtreal Canadiens' AHL affiliate--with Grand Rapids taking a TEN-round shootout decsion 2-1. The Griffins website's recap recounts the game's events...
What a *#$%@& unbelievable load of shit.
[edit/update: Here are the standings, and Babcock didn't bite at all on controversy on FSD, saying that the Wings weren't good enough in giving up 5 goals and that Gustavsson didn't get breaks but has to be better, Babcock said that the Wings have to regroup and get back at 'er, that was it:
The Detroit Red Wings pulled a game out of their asses, rallying from a 3-0 deficit to tie the Montreal Canadiens in the third period, and the game was absolutely GIVEN to the Canadiens thanks to a play in which Brian Gionta was probably offsides skating into the zone, and then the 5-3 goal..
Amongst your Red Wings-Canadiens pre-game reading (the game starts at 7 on FSD, the CBC in limited areas, the NHL Network U.S., RDS and 1270 AM):
As Paul noted, it Daniel Alfredsson and Pavel Datsyuk will probably play tonight, as MLive's Brendan Savage noted...
Babcock says Datsyuk and Alfredsson will be game time decisions after taking warm ups
Babcock on @Datsyuk13 : "I talked to him on the plane last night and he said he was going to be ready to go today and be better today."
And NHL.com's Apron Basu offered a no-game-day-skate update:
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.