The Malik Report
The Red Wings flew to Edmonton for tonight's tilt against the Edmonton Oilers (10 PM EDT, FSD/CBC/97.1 FM) with some roster complications in tow, but also feeling decently enough about themselves after having earned slightly ugly 4-3 win over Calgary on Friday, building upon the Wings' 2-1 win over Vancouver on Wednesday, allowing the team to place some distance between themselves and that ugly 4-game winless streak.
The roster complications first:
I'm putting this in TMR because it's a late-night ramble:
Because the Toronto Star's Damien Cox gets a little esoteric in suggesting that, "Socialism is alive and well among NHL brotherhood," so will I: the Czech Republic has a fine history of protest literature, to the point that one can make valid arguments as to whether Vaclav Havel was a better president or playwright, and he was inspired by the "Prague Spring" movement in 1968 (cue Jaromir Jagr's jersey number) and the failed attempts by Alexander Dubcek to give socialism a "human face."
The old joke--given that the term "socialism" was used interchangeably with Soviet-style totalitarian communism--was that, "Socialism only has one face: the one you wipe your behind with."
In light of the NHL's attempts to "normalize" wages by instituting a salary cap, as well as the fact that so many of the league's brightest talents take less than the per-player cap maximum (20% of the salary cap during a given year)--including Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who signed identical 4-year, $28 million contracts on Friday--the Toronto Star's Cox wonders if the NHL has in fact given birth to a crop of incredibly well-paid socialists:
Red Wings prospect news: Griffins win wild game; Walleye lose, Bertuzzi racks up 5 points for Guelph
The Detroit Red Wings find themselves amidst a slate of 3 games played over the course of 4 nights, and their prospects might be thinking, "Welcome to our world."
The Grand Rapids Griffins played their second of 3 games played over the course of 4 evenings on Friday, and they did so without their starting goaltender in Petr Mrazek...But they held up well enough, winning a wild 6-4 decision over the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday evening.
The Griffins' website recounts the details thereof:
It wasn't pretty. That's the best way I can summarize the Detroit Red Wings' 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames.
The ice was a mess, the Wings' second period was awful, and the final goal against was both preventable (had the Wings not stood around as the Flames dumped the puck in 6 on 5) and pretty damn unfair to Jimmy Howard, who continues to be hung out to dry by those in front of him...
But the Wings put their shitty second behind them and played an all-but-dominant third period en route to assuaging for two goals scored against them in all of 2:32 to serving up a solid-enough road win in a barn that's been hellish for the Wings.
Now the Wings head to Edmonton, where Petr Mrazek will play tomorrow and Johan Franzen (???) probably won't knowing that, at least if the 2nd and 3rd holds up, the Cleary-Weiss-Alfredsson and Tatar-Andersson-Abdelkader lines will be there to back up the dominant Bertuzzi-Datsyuk-Zetterberg line going forward.
Less than super news from MLive's Ansar Khan:
The Detroit Red Wings have placed goaltender Jonas Gustvasson on short-term injured reserve (seven-day minimum) due to his sore neck, general manager Ken Holland said.
Petr Mrazek will make his first start of the season for the Red Wings Saturday night in Edmonton.
And here's the Wings' Game Day Preview video:
Via RedWingsFeed, Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg's stick accidentally made contact with Dan Hamhuis during the Red Wings' 2-1 win over Vancouver on Wednesday, and a Canucks fan asked TSN's Kerry Fraser whether Zetterberg's high stick--which was posted by HFBoards' SimplySensational in .gif form...
Should merit a suspension, a la Zach Kassian's 5-game suspension for high-sticking Sam Gagner. Fraser responded as follows:
Before he was the catalyst behind the San Jose Sharks' mid-90's successes, and before he was "The Professor" in Detroit, the "brain" of the Red Wings' "Russian Five," Igor Larionov broke into the league as a member of the Vancouver Canucks.
As Bure's #10 will be raised to the rafters prior to tomorrow's Canucks-Maple Leafs game, Larionov, who's currently a player agent based in Metro Detroit, spoke with the Vancouver Province's Jim Jamieson about Bure's struggles in terms of acclimating to living in North America and playing in the NHL:
“To be honest with you, he was troubled for a while,” Bure’s all-too-brief linemate and Russian countryman Igor Larionov said over the phone from his home in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. He was actually worried (to start the season) because he didn’t score any goals. He was worried they were going to send him down to the minors.”
Laughable as that sounds, Russian players coming to North America in 1991 didn’t make the seamless transition they do now. The Soviet Union was about to break apart, but they’d all grown up within its tight structure.
Last month, the Red Wings signed 2013 draft pick and QMJHL superstar Anthony Mantha to an entry-level contract, and today, they've signed another 2013 pick in Owen Sound Attack captain and gritty two-way forward Zach Nastasiuk:
RED WINGS SIGN ZACH NASTASIUK TO ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT
… Eighteen-Year Old Winger Was Drafted 48th Overall by Detroit in 2013 NHL Entry Draft …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today agreed to terms with right wing Zach Nastasiuk on a three-year entry-level contract. In accordance with club policy, additional details will not be disclosed.
A native of Barrie, Ontario, Nastasiuk was recently named captain of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack, where he stands second in team scoring with 18 points (8-10-18) in 16 games. Drafted by Detroit in the second round (48th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Nastasiuk has played 146 career games for the Attack, recording 77 points (39-38-77) and 55 penalty minutes. Last season, the 6-foot-2, 196-lb. forward recorded 40 points (20-20-40) in 62 regular-season games and a team-leading 11 points (4-7-11) in 12 postseason games.
And again, neither Nastasiuk nor Mantha can play for the Griffins or Walleye for the 13-14 or 14-15 seasons: they must remain with their Major Junior rights-holders unless they crack the Detroit Red Wings' NHL roster.
The Red Wings and Blackhawks' ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye, have received a significant amount of press from every outlet from Puck Daddy to Deadspin regarding the fact that the back half of their home-and-home series with the Kalamazoo K-Wings while wearing these jerseys to commemorate a "Star Wars Night" promotion whose special guests will include Stormtroopers, Darth Vader, Jedi knights and the Stanley Cup...
(The Walleye will be the "Rebel pilots" and the K-Wings will play the role of the "Vaders," with the jerseys to be auctioned off to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis research after the game)
But the promotion's just too innovative, cool and plain old "fun" to not mention again. The Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe spoke with the Walleye's communications director regarding the promotion:
Upated 8x at 4:05 PM: The Detroit Red Wings begin a particularly challenging set of 3 games over the course of 4 nights when they tangle with the Calgary Flames this evening (9 PM EDT, FSD Plus/Sportsnet West/
97.1 FM 1270 AM).
We already know that the Wings will do so without the services of Jonas Gustavsson as he's got a sore neck--meaning that it's entirely possible that Petr Mrazek will either start against Edmonton on Saturday (the Oilers are lying in wait after having dropped a 4-0 decision to Toronto on Tuesday) or Winnipeg (they play a Saturday matinee against Chicago) on Monday--and that Jonathan Ericsson won't return from his shoulder injury until at least November 15th as he will be placed on the LTIR to carve out the cap and roster space necessary to accommodate Darren Helm's return to the lineup tomorrow evening.
In noting Gustavsson's status, the Free Press's Helene St. James also took note of the Wings' shaken-up lines thanks to Johan Franzen's return from an "unspecified" injury this evening...
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.