The Malik Report
Updated 3x at 3:45 PM: Mike Babcock isn't screwing around after the Wings experienced a setback against the Calgary Flames on Friday.
With a matinee against Boston in the offing tomorrow and a home tilt against Edmonton on Monday, as Paul noted, Babcock tweaked the second line to give Luke Glendening the opportunity to "grind" for Pavel Datsyuk, and after announcing that Jonas Gustavsson would start against Boston, the Wings recalled Teemu Pulkkinen from Grand Rapids, burning one of the Wings' four non-roster-emergency call-ups between the trade deadline and the end of the Griffins' playoff run.
The Boston Bruins are currently hosting the Philadelphia Flyers in a matinee affair, so the Wings conducted their practice an hour early and appear to have delayed their afternoon flight to Boston for a reason:
For what it's worth, Mickey Redmond happened to speak to Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Drew Lane and Marc Ferrell yesterday, and while the wings bombed last night's game, Mickey's observations remain pertinent:
From the Red Wings' PR department:
TEEMU PULKKINEN RECALLED BY DETROIT
… Forward Scored Four Goals in Two Games Since Rejoining Griffins on March 3 …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled right wing Teemu Pulkkinen from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Pulkkinen, 23, was assigned to Grand Rapids on March 3 and picked up four goals over the team’s last two games, including a hat trick on March 4 versus Oklahoma City. He leads the AHL in both goals (34) and points (61), while sitting second with 10 power-play goals, third with 189 shots on goal and tying for second with six game-winning goals. The Vantaa, Finland, native has also skated in 12 games with the Red Wings, scoring two goals and firing 27 shots on goal. Pulkkinen has already topped his offensive totals from his AHL rookie season in 2013-14, when he landed on the AHL All-Rookie Team with 59 points (31-28-59) in 71 games. Prior to coming to North America, the former fourth-round pick (111th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft) registered 128 points (48-79-128) in 185 professional games with Jokerit of Finland’s SM-Liiga from 2009-13 and was honored as the league’s rookie of the year in 2010-11.
Beat writers all report Jonas Gustavsson will start in goal against the Bruins tomorrow afternoon.
Post-practice updates will be added as needed.
added 1:26pm, via Ansar Khan tweets,
Babcock said Glendening will play with Datsyuk and Tatar. He wants someone to do some work for those guys.
Babcock said he hadn't decided who will come out of lineup to make room for Pulkkinen.
Babcock said Zidlicky has a bit of a charley horse but should play tomorrow.
via Gregg Krupa tweets,
DetroitRedWings on ice university Liggett Grosse Pointe. Helm skating early with goalies and Dekeyser.
No Zidlicky, here. But maybe related to moving, perhaps.
via Ansar Khan tweets,
Darren Helm taking a few laps on the ice by himself before practice. Might be first time he's skated since oblique injury one week ago.
Helm left the ice when practice started. Zidlicky only one not skating but he is expected to play tomorrow in Boston.
added 11:52am, via Khan,
Cleary rotating in
Glendening probaby holding Pulkkinen's spot. Teemu not at practice.
added 12:03pm, via Khan,
Because it's become so very familiar, I'm a little tired of the endless notebooks explaining how the Red Wings hold no hard feelings toward Free Agent Departure X, so the five separate notebooks focusing on Jiri Hudler's maturation in Calgary and the ways in which the Red Wings are proud of Hudler strike me as particularly predictable reading given that Hudler scored 2 goals in the Wings' 5-2 loss to Hudler's Flames on Friday night.
I would suggest that the second topic of note this morning is equally tired and has become equally trite, but many of you find the multi-sport comparisons and calculations regarding one Mike Babcock's future to be far more interesting than I do, so this morning, I'm holding my nose and giving time to the Free Press's Evil Drew Sharp, who wonders aloud whether the Red Wings will "step to the plate" to ensure that Mike Babcock is not the next Ndamukong Suh (on his way out?) or Max Scherzer (already gone):
Prospect news: Griffins lose in OT; Coreau backstops Walleye to win; NCAA regular season wrapping up
The Grand Rapids Griffins were four tenths of a second from their tenth straight win when Milwaukee Admirals forward Viktor Stalberg tied the game, sending Friday's tilt to OT.
In overtime, Stalberg struck staggeringly quickly again, scoring only 25 seconds in OT and delivering a 3-2 OT win for the Admirals, opening up the Griffins' 4-game road trip on a sour note.
The Griffins' website posited a game recap:
The Detroit Red Wings got thoroughly out-worked over the course of their 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Friday, and according to the Flames, who were coming off a 4-3 shootout win over the Bruins on Thursday evening, Calgary had Detroit right where they wanted them early in the 2nd period, when Detroit had a 2-1 lead, and the Flames had been called for icing with the 4th line on the ice.
At least that's what the Flames told the media about the timeout, because the Flames soon regrouped, tied the game 2-2 and then roared away from a Wings team that looked far more gassed in the 2nd and 3rd than the Flames did in the 1st--when the Flames were absolutely dog-tired both mentally and physically.
As the Calgary Herald's Scott Cruickshank noted, soon after the timeout, Brandon Bollig helped Matt Stajan tie the game--though Stajan's game-tying goal at 6:06 of the 2nd found its way both off the left goalpost and through a fantastic screen set up by one Jonathan Ericsson (who finished at -3 and was on the ice for 4 of the Flames' 5 goals):
On Friday night, the Detroit Red Wings weren't willing or able to out-work a difficult opponent battling for its playoff lives in the Calgary Flames, and as a result, Detroit blew a 2-0 lead and ended up getting its ass handed to it, losing 5-2 to the Flames and setting up a must-win situation going into a "4 point game" against Boston on Sunday.
If the Wings kick Boston to the curb, the B's will more or less be out of the Atlantic Division race, but if the Wings don't, Boston will be 9 points back with a game in hand.
On Friday, the Wings put on a clinic for the vast majority of the 1st period, getting two gorgeous goals from Justin Abdelkader, but after that, both Abdelkader and the Wings were out-worked, out-hustled, out-hooked, out-held, out-clutched, out-grabbed, out-hacked, out-whacked and out-skated by a Flames team that just had more urgency and just had more moxie.
Add in the fact that Jimmy Howard was screened staggeringly well by his own defense on the 2-2, 3-2 and 4-2 goals (Jonathan Ericsson finished the night at -3), add in the fact that one of those pucks should have hit Howard (at least), and add in the fact that the Flames blocked 21 Wings shots, and you get a game in which the team that out-shot its opponent 35-24 and out-attempted its opponent 64-37 got its ass handed to it, especially in the second and third periods.
I happen to believe that it's bad luck to post anything between the start of the Abel to Yzerman live blog and the end of the game, but this little ditty merits mentioning ASAP.
I'm late to the party as Winging It in Motown's already noted it, but DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose made a surprising revelation in his game-day notebook, and it's eyebrow-raising to say the least:
Still symptomatic from his latest concussion, Johan Franzen skated on his own twice this week, including Friday prior to the Red Wings’ optional morning skate, at Joe Louis Arena.
Franzen is still experiencing migraines since he absorbed a blind-side hit to the head by Edmonton’s Rob Klinkhammer on Jan. 6. The Wings' power forward is being treated by Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, an Ann Arbor-based neurologist and consultant for the NHL Players’ Association.
It is estimated that Franzen has had at least 10 concussions throughout his hockey-playing career. Last season, a concussion forced him to miss 22 regular-season games, as well as withdraw from representing Sweden in the Sochi Olympics.
Franzen, who has missed the past 22 games with this latest head injury, remains on injured reserve and is not close to returning to the Wings' lineup, though he continues to work toward a comeback.
Roose continues, discussing Jiri Hudler, Alexey Marchenko, the Wings' power play an Reilly Smith's contract extension as observed by brother Brendan, but again, the eyebrow goes up regarding the fact that Franzen is both being treated by an NHLPA doctor (which is good, but surprising) and that we're going with "at least 10 concussions."
I know his inconsistency drives us all nuts, but I sure hope that Franzen gets to play hockey again, because he's probably played through some of those concussions, and you and I both know that they've added up and taken a toll on his play.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman has posited his latest "30 Thoughts" column, and he offers yet another take on why the Dion Phaneuf-to-Detroit deal may have fallen apart:
2. Everyone’s weighed in on what happened with Dion Phaneuf, so allow two more theories. First, there wasn’t enough time for the Maple Leafs and Red Wings to put together such a complex deal on short notice. Second, the Braydon Coburn trade changed everything. Whatever the two teams may have considered, that was altered by Philadelphia’s return for the non-rental defenceman (Radko Gudas, a first-round pick and a third-rounder).
Toronto considers Phaneuf a better player than Coburn, so it would look at that return and say, “We’ve got to have at least that.” Coburn’s contract is nowhere near as onerous as Phaneuf’s, though.
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