The Malik Report
The NHL's schedule-maker giveth, and the NHL's schedule-maker taketh away, and as such, the Red Wings are going to "pay" for their CBA-mandated day off today and their 4-day break between Saturday's loss to Boston and Thursday's home game against Phoenix.
Starting with the Coyotes game, the Wings play a nasty stretch of 4 games in 6 nights (including tilts against Philly on Saturday, a Columbus Day matinee in Boston and a back-to-back tilt against the pesky Blue Jackets), then 6 in 8 (throw in a road trip to Denver and Phoenx), 8 in 14 (add in home games against San Jose and Ottawa) and a total of 10 games over the final three weeks of October--with 8 of them scrunched into a 2-week period of time.
The NHL sprung a handful of rules upon its players at the beginning of the season, including the "jersey tuck" (and don't-cut-your-pants) rule and insistence that fighters keep their helmets on, lest they incur a 2-minute penalty for doffing them pre-fight.
Goaltenders at least received advanced warning regarding the fact that they were going to lose a significant chunk of their thigh rises thanks to a reformulation of goalie pad sizing rules, there was some warning regarding the redesigned "shallower" nets, and the goalies were at least able to stave off further restrictions regarding their knee pads...
But InGoal Magazine's Kevin Woodley reports that the NHL sprung a nasty surprise upon their goaltenders--and a surprise that will make a much bigger difference than you might think.
Via Paul, Sports Illustrated was in town to take in the Tigers-A's game, and SI Now happened to stop by Cheli's Chili to speak with Red Wings executive Chris Chelios about the ways that the game of hockey changed over the course of his Hockey Hall of Fame-caliber career, and he adds some present-day observations as well:
Via RedWingsFeed, the Red Wings posted three videos today, and two of them are up on the team's YouTube channel.
Some of you might find this commercial starring Mike Babcock a little ironic given that one Gustav "I'm in Grand Rapids" Nyquist makes an appearance in the "Growing Pains" spot (it's okay, the Wings' roster will continue to evolve over the course of the season)...
The Wings also posted their in-rink nod to the historical shaping of the team's present...
Updated 6x at 5:24 PM: Thanks to their disappointing effort against Boston this past Saturday, Detroit Red Wings have a laundry list's worth of "to-improve-upon" issues (see: better special teams play, getting "on the inside" and sustaining offensive pressure via rebound retrieval and screening goaltenders, a better transition game, smarter play in their own end) to work on during their three "off days."
The Wings will need to get their collective and individual games in order soon, because the Wings' Sunday-to-Wednesday break is their longest until January, and Thursday and Saturday's games against Phoenix and Philly, respectively, precede a Columbus Day rematch with Boston and, in total, a slate of 4 games played over the course of 6 nights, 6 in 8, and a total of 10 more October games, two road trips included.
If I've learned anything about the Wings during my tenure as a blogger, it's that they always begin practice early:
Henrik Zetterberg teamed up with a coalition of police and fire departments from across Southeastern Michigan to collect smoke detectors at the Wings' final pair of preseason home games.
The Wings' PR department reports that Zetterberg will hand out his donations on Thursday, and the Wings state that over 3,000 smoke detectors and $22,800 were raised during the charitable initiative--with half of that $22.8K donation coming out of Zetterberg's pocket:
ZETTERBERG TO DISTRIBUTE SMOKE DETECTORS TO LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENTS AFTER PRACTICE ON WEDNESDAY
… Fire Department Representatives and Comerica Cares Volunteers to Watch Practice …
Detroit, MI… Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will distribute more than 3,200 smoke detectors to local fire department representatives following the team’s 11 a.m. practice on Wednesday, Oct. 9. The fire departments will then, in turn, donate and install the smoke alarms to low-income residents throughout Metro Detroit who could otherwise not afford one.
The Red Wings return to practice today after taking Sunday off, and they find themselves in the middle of the longest break between now and January. The Wings won't play until they entertain the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday and the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday--with those games kicking off a slate of 4 games in 6 nights, 6 in 10 (two-game road trip to Denver and Phoenix included) and, in total, 8 games played (and 11 in total) before the Wings receive their next multiple-day break near the end of the month.
Having defeated the Sabres pretty handily during the home opener, needing to count on late-game and overtime heroics to steal two points from the Hurricanes on Friday, and then having been soundly beat by the Boston Bruins, the both the Wings and their fans have just enough information about the 2013-14 team's ability to compete, its special teams play, its depth and overall "health" as an organization (no injury puns intended) to either agree that the team has much to improve upon but at least a solid enough performance that there's nothing to stay up nights worrying about...
The Moose Jaw Warriors' website didn't cover this in detail, so I was hoping that it the story would be covered in some way, shape, or form, and sometime after I went to bed (which was so late it was early), the Moose Jaw Times-Herald discussed Red Wings executive Chris Chelios's return to the place where his journey to the NHL began in earnest as a member of the Moose Jaw...Canucks (now the Moose Jaw Warriors):
RedWingsFeed provides a link to the Moose Jaw Times-Herald's Matthew Gourlie's article about the unlikely detour that prevented a Chicago-to-San Diego transplant from ending his hockey career before it began:
Chelios had just been cut by the United States International University in San Diego — a team that was preparing for its first season of NCAA hockey. At the camp, he met former Canuck Bob Parker.
“Bobby Parker had come down there and made the team and I hadn’t,” said Chelios. “So I was just going to school. The team was training on the beach one day. I was out of hockey. I was playing senior hockey in the beer and pizza league. Bobby asked me where I was playing and I told him I was done and just going to school and working. He gave me the Canuck coach’s phone number.”
Updated with Wings video at 5:42 AM: The Detroit Red Wings flew home after capturing four of six possible points while playing three games in four nights, defeating Buffalo on Wednesday and Carolina in OT on Friday, but dropping a 4-1 decision to the Boston Bruins in a Saturday night affair that reminded both the Wings and their fans that this team has a signficant amount of work ahead of it before it can go toe-to-toe with the "beasts of the east."
Just as importantly, the Wings now embark upon a slate of four straight days of rest before beginning a stretch of 5 games in 8 nights, anchored by a Columbus Day matinee (1 PM start?) in their second and final trip to Boston a week from Monday.
The Hockey News publishes Ken Campbell’s feature article about the Red Wings and the City of Detroit
For as long as I can remember the Hockey News has reluctantly embraced the internet, often offering "teasers" and screenshots from their feature stories, but little more.
As I was perusing the web, waiting for later-night Red Wings-Bruins recaps to pop up, this Hockey News subscriber found a pleasant surprise: the THN's previous issue's anchor story involved the Red Wings' status as something of a beacon of hope in my bankrupt birthplace, and I'm happy to say that THN's chosen to publish Ken Campbell's feature story in full.
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.