The Malik Report
The Pioneer Press's Chad Graff spoke with Red Wings assistant coach John Torchetti about his experiences as Minnesota's interim head coach last year and his take on the Wild's success this season...
Torchetti is now an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings, who play the Wild in a nationally-televised Sunday matinee at Xcel. And he comes back without bitterness over the Wild hiring Boudreau over him last May.
“It’ll be fun. I’m looking forward to it,” Torchetti said. “Those guys played hard for me and our staff. They did a good job and got us into the playoffs. We came up short, but I thought a lot of guys made some good strides in understanding what it takes every night. I wish we beat Dallas. That would’ve been extra special. I thought we did a good job against them but just came up short.”
Torchetti lauded several Wild players who he said sacrificed for him, revealing that goalie Devan Dubnyk had shingles during the playoffs but didn’t miss a game.
“What else can you ask for from a guy?” Torchetti said. “He was fantastic. Fans don’t know stuff like that, but I sat there in awe of him. He could barely sit still and then he comes out in practices and wins playoff games. That’s a tough situation, so that tells you a lot about certain players. Those are the things that stand out.”
And Torchetti made mention of Thomas Vanek's renaissance with the Red Wings:
The Red Wings took to the ice on Friday, hoping to recover from Thursday night's loss to the Washington Capitals ahead of a pair of difficult games against Columbus and Minnesota, per DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji...
The Free Press's George Sipple...
Of (mostly) Red Wings video-related note this morning:
1. Fox Sports Detroit's John Keating and Darren Eliot weighed in on the Wings' 6-3 loss to Washington on Thursday:
I hate to say it, but doesn't a defense consisting of Ouellet, Sproul, Jensen, Smith, DeKeyser and Green sort of feel like that's the defense the Wings' should be dressing?
2. The Red Wings posted a slate of post-game comment videos, including the press scrums of Justin Abdelkader...
Kevin McGran opened up the mail bag today...
QUESTION: With Claude Julien's recent liberation from Boston, here's what I was thinking.
He and Mike Babcock are pals and can work together. Toronto hired Babcock with a promise to give him more of a say in player development and selection, if I remember correctly. Lou Lamoriello is retiring after 2017-18 season. Does Toronto bring Claude Julien behind the bench to work with Mike Babcock, and then bump Babcock upstairs after Lou Lamoriello retires? It's not as if money is an issue for management/scouting/coaching issues.
Am I out in left field with this one?
Other possible scenario for Claude Julien: "Hello Claude, Marc Bergevin calling. Listen, I wanted to talk to you about something...."
ANSWER: Leaf Nation should shiver in its boots at the thought of Babcock being GM. He is a fantastic coach. As an evaluator of talent and negotiator of contracts and maker of deals, others are far better. Bet on Ken Holland replacing Lou Lamoriello in 2018-19.
more Q & A, mostly Toronto related but some questions answered about the expansion draft too...
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
They couldn't get the puck out of their zone when the Capitals were applying heavy pressure. After a Danny DeKeyser turnover, John Carlson scored at 4:15 to give Washington the lead for good.
"It's a huge momentum swing the wrong way," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "Obviously, we could have gained momentum with the third goal and put ourselves back in the mix. We got hemmed in our zone, had opportunities to get it out of our zone and just didn't.
"They're a really good team and they're really rolling right now. We're under pressure in those spots, so it's not easy plays, but we got to make sure we make hard plays and get it out."
Said Zetterberg: "I think they switched their whole unit and we were out there for a long time. But we had the puck on our sticks a few times and we try to make a hard play and the puck ends up staying in our end."...
"I think we took real steps forward, playing a smart game in Nashville, playing a smart game against Columbus, playing extraordinarily hard against Columbus," Blashill said. "Tonight, we had way too many turnovers when we didn't need to and we had way too many stick-checks. We didn't win enough one-on-one battles."
The Red Wings had a very difficult evening against the Washington Capitals, losing 6-3 in a game they'd tied 3-3 in the third period and losing Jonathan Ericsson's services for what's likely the balance of the season due to a broken wrist.
If there is good news on a night that the Washington Post's Barry Svrluga is officially informing the Caps' fan base to prepare its Stanley Cup parade route (Hey, why not? It's already February), the Capitals thmselves felt that the Red Wings tested the hell out of them, while the Red Wings didn't feel that the Capitals (who lost Andre Burakovsky to a hand injury as well) presented the same run for their money that Tuesday night's opponent--and Saturday night's opponent--the Columbus Blue Jackets gave them.
And the Wings held Alex Ovechkin shot-less for the first time in 315 tries.
Still, the Capitals won their 11th straight home game, and while they got a workout, they prevailed by what looks like a lop-sided score, as WashingtonCapitals.com's Mike Vogel noted:
So Jonathan Ericsson left the first period of the Red Wings' 6-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday, suffering from an "upper-body injury" after a hit in the numbers by Nicklas Backstrom:
If Ericsson does this to Backstrom, is it a 5-minute major? Or 5 and a game? Backstrom clearly didn't mean to do what he did--he apologized after the hit--but is there a double standard going on here?
Update: Here's Khan in text form...
The Detroit Red Wings attempted to snap the Washington Capitals' 10-game home winning streak on Thursday night, facing nothing less than a powerhouse of a team and a beast at home in the Caps.
The Red Wings were beaten up, eventually losing 6-3 on a night that Danny DeKeyser (4 goals against while he was on ice), Mike Green (3 goals against while he was on ice) and the Wings' defense--and goaltending--might want to forget.
This is a bit of a relief. According to MLive's Ansar Khan and the Free Press's Helene St. James, Jimmy Howard is relatively unscathed after having to leave last night's Grand Rapids Griffins-Manitoba Moose game with a "tweak" to his right knee:
Update: Here's Khan in article form:
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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.