The Malik Report
As noted earlier today, the Free Press's James Jahnke revealed that the Red Wings (and their "ultimate octopus smuggler") finished 13th overall in ESPN the Magazine's "Ultimate Standings" rankings of sports franchises, and you'll like how I found out that ESPN's "Ultimate Standings" have "gone live" online: the CBC Ottawa's Dan Seguin happened to re-Tweet a note from some guy named Melnyk, whose Senators somehow finished 4 places ahead of the Wings.
Why did Detroit finish behind Ottawa? Detroit's ranked as having the second-best ownership of all professionial sports teams, 5th in terms of "fan relations," 8th in terms of player (likeability), 11th in coaching and 5th in terms of their "title track," but the Senators' artificially low ticket prices gave them a higher "bang for their buck" and "affordability," and the Joe's...Eccentricities...knocked the Wings down significantly.
Here's what ESPN's Hallie Grossman has to say about the Wings (and the Tigers finished 21st, the Pistons 84th and the Lions 111th out of 122):
Updated with some trite cliches at 1:51 PM: I'm posting this story in TMR because ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's article about the already-apparent effects of the NHL's decision to realign its franchises for the upcoming season includes Red Wings-related content...
But LeBrun astutely notes that realignment will yield positives for teams like Dallas, Detroit and Minnesota, but "more of the same" for most teams, including San Jose, and there'salso no doubt that teams like the Panthers and Lightning got "dinged" and then some.
For the Wings, less travel is absolutely huge, as are the returns of Original Six rivalries with the Canadiens, Bruins and Maple Leafs, but the "Flortheast"/"Atlantic" division will make the Wings' road to the playoffs more difficult, but Jimmy Howard believes that the Wings will acclimate to their new surroundings in short order...
ESPN's about to release its annual estimation of professional sports' best franchises--and the Free Press's James revealed that the Red Wings will finish 13th in ESPN's annual "Ultimate Standings" issue---and ESPN the Magazine's Rachel Ullrich spoke with an "ultimate smuggler," Red Wings fan Nick Dinverno, about the ins and outs of sneaking an octopus into Joe Louis Arena:
Updated to the point that this is something of a mid-day report at 12:09 PM: Per the Red Wings' PR department:
RED WINGS SEND EIGHT PLAYERS TO GRAND RAPIDS
Detroit, MI... The Detroit Red Wings today assigned eight players to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. With the moves, the Red Wings’ roster currently stands at 30 players. Detroit is currently 2-3-0 on the preseason and set to host the Pittsburgh Penguins this Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Joe Louis Arena (FOX Sports Detroit Plus).
Here's a screenshot of the cuts. The WIngs sent Riley Sheahan, Triston Grant, Landon Ferraro, Louis-Marc Aubry, Luke Glendening, Nathan Paetsch, Alexei Marchenko and Jared Coreau down as the Grand Rapids Griffins are opening camp today (and you can click on the below-posted images for higher-resolution versions):
From the Red Wings' PR department:
RED WINGS AND ZETTERBERG LAUNCH 12TH ANNUAL SMOKE DETECTOR COLLECTION PRESENTED BY COMERICA
… In-Game Collections are Wednesday, Sept. 25, and Friday, Sept. 27, at JLA …
Detroit, MI… As part of the 12th Annual Smoke Detector Collection, the Detroit Red Wings and captain Henrik Zetterberg are asking fans to bring smoke detectors to Joe Louis Arena when the Wings face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, Sept. 25, and again on Friday, Sept. 27, against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Those who do not bring smoke detectors may also make monetary donations.
In the middle of August, NHL.com and David Kalan penned a set of articles offering a "state of the Red Wings" as part of the NHL's "30 in 30" series, and a month later, Kalan's returned with a quartet of articles looking at the post-training camp Wings as part of the league's accelerated "30 in 15" season previews.
The series starts with Jimmy Howard's assessment of what the Wings need to do to succeed this season...
It's highly unlikely that the Detroit Red Wings will practice today, and that's a good thing, because the Wings need to take a day off, rest, recharge and put this past weekend's poor exhibition performances behind them. On Saturday, the "B team" dropped a disinterested 2-0 decision to the Boston Bruins, and the Wings followed their egg-laying performance up with a scatterbrained 4-3 loss to Chicago.
Had the Wings played from minutes 10 to 50, they may have very well defeated the Blackhawks, but the team was out-scored 4-0 while their brains were in neutral, and despite a furious final-minutes-of-the-third comeback, middling goaltending and mistakes galore (led by Brendan Smith, who had a weekend to forget and then some) spelled the Wings' doom and have earned Detroit a 2-and-3 record over 5 games and no home wins with 3 games remaining in the exhibition season.
The Wings will need to get their games in order and fine-tune Jonas Gustavsson's injury timeline ("day to day" or "two weeks, minimum," depending on who's saying what) before their exhibition season concludes with games against Pittsburgh on Wednesday (on FSD+) and a set of back-to-backs against Toronto at the Joe on Friday and at the ACC on Saturday (the latter game will be televised on the CBC).
I will grant you that the Leafs-Sabres stuff is far more intriguing as of 10:18 PM on a Sunday night, but I've been waiting for an explanation as to what the hell is going on with Red Wings Jonas Gustavsson since we received the, "Groins are two weeks from goalies" quip from Wings coach Mike Babcock and then conflicting reports from MLive's Ansar Khan and Fox Sports Detroit's TV broadcast.
Given that the Red Wings are highly, highly unlikely to practice tomorrow with the Grand Rapids Griffins opening their camp and having come off a pair of exhibition game losses, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose offers what may be the most definitive update we'll hear until Tuesday or Wednesday--and he confirms Khan's updates regarding Daniel Alfredsson and Jakub Kindl:
Updated 4x at 8:33 PM: Well to hell with it. I'd penned an entry detailing the fact that the Wings didn't play from minutes 10-50 en route to a second brain-fart-filled loss, following up a 2-0 loss to Boston with a 4-3 loss to Chicago that wasn't nearly as close as the final minutes' worth of effort indicated, but then my browser ate the damn entry. So discuss and I'll post goals as able.
Put simply, from a hockey perspective, it's good to get the "dumb" out of the way quickly, but the Red Wings' unfocused, sometimes lackadaisical effort and Brendan Smith's gaffes on both evenings sucked donkey balls from a Wings fan's perspective, and I hope the Wings take tomorrow off, re-set and understand that they've really got to crank up their effort, intensity, focus and attention to detail because their "B team" lost to Boston, and their "A team" didn't look much better against Chicago.
Regardless of whether it's the regular season or the preseason, you can't show up for the game's first ten minutes, take off the next 40 and expect to show up for the last 10 and succeed.
Very important in-game Tweets from MLive's Ansar Khan:
This one is huge given that Red Wings coach Mike Babcock made it sound like Jonas Gustavsson was out for an extended period of time--and a day after Gustavsson tweaked his groin against Boston, that's not necessarily the case:
Update: And then things got weird via Fox Sports Detroit:
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.