The Malik Report
I was about to call it a night when I stumbled upon some very intriguing interviews that The Fan 590 didn't post until after Sportsnet carried the Red Wings' 3-2 win over Toronto. Prior to the game, Wings GM Ken Holland made some intriguing comments about the "Kid Line" making some decisions for the team regarding the shape of the 2014-2015 Wings' roster, the peramaters of the David Legwand trade, and at least some inklings as to what's going to happen with the team's defense...
And Kris Draper made some similar statements regarding the injuries, the youngsters and what the Wings need to do to earn their way into the playoffs this spring:
From DETJustin on Twitter, this is the Red Wings' current injury situation, summarized:
This is also true:
See also: Gamesmanship and lies, sponsored by Eddie Olczyk (the refereeing since the Olympic break has been like the no-touch policy at Henry the VIII's on Middlebelt in Inkster):
Updated 2x with video at 12:41 AM: The Detroit Red Wings beat themselves and the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans--who outnumbered Detroit's at Joe Louis Arena--despite losing Jonathan Ericsson, despite a power play that can only pass the puck laterally through the middle of the ice, and thanks to some wonderful goals by Gustav Nyquist, a beautiful dagger by Daniel Alfredsson and a FANTASTIC goaltending performance by Jimmy Howard, who stopped 31 of 33 and 10 of 12 in the 3rd period.
Yes, the Wings got the benefit of the doubt on what Nazem Kadri's kick-in goal, and yes, the refereeing confused both teams and both teams' fan bases, but...
A Wings team that both Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond argue must win 9 of their final 15 games earned win #1.
Dear Red Wings Fans,
I understand that some of you have "loser fatigue," and have chosen to stay away from Wings games because the team is not doing so well.
I also realize that the combination of a) "premium game" tiered pricing and b) the Wings' insistence that fans who purchase single-game tickets in the lower bowl purchase TWO lower-bowl seats mean that this going to this game was prohibitively expensive for the average fan.
However, the fact that the Maple Leafs' fans out-numbered and out-voiced Detroit's partisans by a wide margin is unacceptable.
FSD's Daniels: Ericsson "upper body" will not return.
Update: Broken finger:
Updated with Leaf stuff at 3:54 PM: Ahead of the Red Wings' "4-point game" against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 PM EST, FSD/Sportsnet Ontario/97.1 FM), I received a text from Paul regarding today's practice news, and I could only shake my head.
Justin Abdelkader's out for two weeks with a leg laceration, Jordin Tootoo's been sent back to Grand Rapids, Brendan Smith's playing forward and it's Ferraro or Bertuzzi in the lineup this evening.
The Wings still bravely talked about attempting to make the playoffs despite having what Ken Daniels told Sportsnet (he has some interesting comments on Calle Jarnkrok, too) is the 4th-hardest spot in the league (for what it's worth, the Globe and Mail's James Mirtle estimates that it'll take 92 points to make the playoffs, and the Wings have 73 with 15 games left), as noted by Sportsnet's Chris Johnston...
As Michigan Hockey just noted, Warrior Sports (based in Warren; they make their pro gloves and pads in Montreal and their sticks in Tijuana, Mexico, and that's about as "North American" as hockey companies get in an industry where the vast majority of pro gear is now made in China) just posted a pair of promotional videos, one old and one new, and while this is kind of free advertising, the supposedly "banned" clip of Jimmy Howard, Jonas Gustavsson and an unnamed goalie watching Zdeno Chara shoot a goalie's head off is funny...
And the street hockey video is just fun:
Mike Babcock talks with the media after practice today.
added 1:45pm, Ken Daniels joined Hockey Central @Noon to disuss the Wings, listen/watch below...
All via tweets from Ansar Khan,
Abdelkader (lower body injury) not skating today. Bertuzzi is skating. Oddly, Smith is wearing white jersey, skating with bottom 6 forwards.
Helm on the ice but not taking part in drills. Looks like Mrazek will back-up Howard tonight. Gustavsson spending much of practice on side.
Ferraro is here practicing.
Alfredsson skating with Legwand and Franzen. Nyquist skating with Sheahan and Tatar.
added 11:19am, Khan tweet again,
Babcock said Abdelkader out up to 2 weeks with cut in leg from skate.
Babcock said Bertuzzi game time decision. If he can't play Ferraro will make NHL debut and Smith will play at forward.
added 11:42am, Smith talks about moving to forward, watch it below...
This is a little off-topic, and Paul already posted an entry on the CBC's Tim Wharnsby's chat with Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, who's not sure whether he'd return to coach Team Canada for a third time in 2018 (assuming that the NHL participates in the Olympics taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea), but I had to smile at Babcock's take on his team's uphill playoff battle given that there are now ELEVEN Red Wings who are either out for tonight's game vs. Toronto (if the man isn't relentlessly consistent, I don't know what he is)...
"There is no sense worrying about [the injuries]," Babcock said. "What we've told our guys is the standings aren't in our way. It's just getting our mind right. What I mean by that is our belief system. We are organized enough. We have good structure. We can work hard enough. We have to believe that we're good enough. We have to find a way to win and I believe we're going to find a way. We not going to win the way our fans are used to seeing us play. But all I care about is getting two points."
As well as his advice to ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, which shouldn't surprise you in the slightest in terms of what value Babcock places on others' opinions of his performance:
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.