Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

A Red Wings-and-Maple Leafs-y injury update and/or playoff status discussion and/or missive

I'm trying not to get into details, but the last two weeks have obviously involved a difficult time for me health-wise, and as a result, a diminished presence here. I'm on my way to recovery, but it appears that I can't give the same prognosis for the Red Wings' playoff chances ahead of Tuesday's game against Toronto (7:30 PM on FSD and Sportsnet Ontario).

The Wings are playing 5 games in 8 nights, hosting the Leafs (this game defines "four point" given the team's incredibly tenuous playoff footing), the Pens Thursday, and doing a home-and-home with Minnesota this weekend, all prior to four gigantic games against Columbus, Montreal, Toronto and Tampa to close out the month, and even a practice-less day delivered a cavalcade of injury news to a gloomy Red Wings nation, almost all of it bad.

Landon Ferraro's finally been recalled because Justin Abdelkader's banged-up, and it appears that the eleventh injured Wing's status for Tuesday's tilt () is iffy at best, as MLive's Ansar Khan reported...

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Another Game, Another Injury- Landon Ferraro Recalled

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Right Now, That Is One Big If

via Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The Detroit Red Wings may get centre Darren Helm back this week and if that doesn’t sound like a big deal, think of it this way. Helm will slot in on a two-top role – behind David Legwand – because of injuries that have sidelined, among others, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Stephen Weiss.

The fact that Detroit is still scratching out wins and staying within hailing distance of a playoff spot is reminiscent of last year, when they did it as well, and then knocked off a higher-seeded Anaheim team and had Chicago on the ropes before ultimately faltering.

The Red Wings scare everybody just because if they make it and they get healthy, they will be a dangerous lower-seeded team again.

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The Red Wings’ uphill climb to the playoffs doesn’t get any easier this week—or next week

The Red Wings dropped a disappointing 4-1 decision to Chicago on Sunday night, and Tuesday's opponent, the Toronto Maple Leafs, sit seven points ahead of the Wings despite having lost 4-2 to Washington on Sunday afternoon.

Detroit opened up a slate of 5 games to be played over the course of 8 nights on Sunday: they'll host Toronto on Tuesday, host Pittsburgh on Friday, and then play back-to-backs against Minnesota next Saturday and Sunday. They lather, rinse and repeat on the road against the damned Blue Jackets on Tuesday the 25th, the Wings host the Canadiens on Thursday the 27th, and they close out the month by heading to Toronto on Saturday the 29th and hosting the Lightning on Saturday the 30th.

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Red Wings sign college free agent Colin Campbell

As Micahel Ortel on Twitter noted, the Red Wings have dipped into the NCAA free agent marketplace:

Hockey's Future's DJ Powers listed Campbell among her list of NCAA free agents:

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Red Wings-Blackhawks quick take: gotta try to find a way

After the Wings found out that they couldn't nurse a 0-0 tie, after Niklas Kronwall chased Patrick Kane to the blueline and the kid line kind of collectively brain-farted and watched the Hawks score the 2-1 goal, after Hossa picked the low corner and made it 3-1, I got angry (and the game ended ingloriously thanks to a 4-1 shorthanded goal where Franzen got his pocket picked by Hossa and neither Kronwall nor Alfredsson were anywhere to be found).

As a Red Wings fan, as someone who desperately wants to believe that a team with ten players hurt--including Datsyuk and Zetterberg--can somehow make the playoffs, even when Kyle Quincey's tripping Brendan Smith and guys are getting hurt every game and the Wings' opponents are the ones getting healthier and stronger and keep on *#$%@& winning...

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This couldn’t possibly be a head shot, could it?

The player who keyed the Chicago Blackhawks' 2-1 goal over the Detroit Red Wings just happened to do this to Teemu Pulkkinen just a little under 3 minutes before assisting on Ben Smith's goal.

 

A little high, Mr. Duncan Keith?

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Red Wings-Blackhawks pre-game chatter

I've been sidelined with a double whammy of sorts--I hate it when my illnesses take center stage, but I battle both a severe anxiety disorder and "major" depression--so I've spent the last week-and-a-half being the poster boy for, "Yes, it turns out that mental illnesses can be so physically painful that they can knock you off your feet."

I've been watching and trying to keep up with reading as best I can, I know theres a prospect catch-up post of doom desperately needed as Mattias Backman's Linkopings HC are playing playoff hockey in the SHL, Mattias Janmark's AIK Stockholm have to play for their spot in the SHL in the Kvalserien starting tomorrow, David Pope's West Kelowna Warriors have already been booted from the BCHL playoffs, and all of the Wings' Major Junior and NCAA-playing prospects know whether they're going to play playoff hockey or not (a certain Anthony Mantha finished his season with 57 goals, 73 assists and 120 points in 57 games played, and Andreas Athanasiou's 49 goals, 46 assists and 95 points in 66 games played placed him 5th in OHL scoring)...

But as I intimated and Paul duly noted, the bottom line regarding the Red Wings' probabily to making the playoffs is simple: it's bad.

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Video- Comeback Saturday

Some of you may have been keeping an eye on a few of the games last night and may have thought, ah, Columbus with a loser point.

But not to be, for the first time in NHL history, a team down 2-0 in the shootout comes back to win the it and yes, that team was Columbus.,

Also, it looked like the Canadiens would lose in regulation, down by 3 goals with under 4 minutes to play, then this...

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A theoretical conversation between a Red Wings fan and a Blackhawks fan

It's getting to be a running joke. Ahead of Sunday evening's game against Chicago (7:30 PM EDT, on NBCSN) and this week's games against Toronto (on Tuesday), Pittsburgh (on Thursday) and back-to-backs against Minnesota (next Saturday and Sunday), if a Red Wings fan and a Blackhawks fan were to have a conversation about the team's respective personnel issues, it'd be painful to listen to.

Blackhawks fan: "Hey, we're getting Hossa back for the game! Are you guys ready?"

Red Wings fan: "Uh, sure. Yeah, we can shut him down."

Blackhawks fan: "You guys'll have Datsyuk and Zetterberg ready for Hossa, right?"

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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.

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