The Malik Report
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled defenseman Xavier Ouellet from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Ouellet, 21, has skated in 21 games with the Red Wings this season, recording three points (2-1-3) and a plus-four rating. He has also appeared in 32 games with the Griffins, notching 11 points (1-10-11) and a plus-10 rating. Since rejoining Grand Rapids on Feb. 9, the team has ridden an 11-game point streak (9-0-2-0) to claim the top spot in the Midwest Division for the first time this season. The Bayonne, France, native was also named to the AHL’s Western Conference All-Star Team. In 102 career AHL games, Ouellet has registered 28 points (5-23-28), a plus-13 rating and 42 penalty minutes. Originally drafted by Detroit in the second round (48th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Ouellet skated in 223 games with the QMJHL’s Montreal Juniors and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada from 2009-13, recording 160 points (41-119-160) and capturing a spot on the QMJHL First All-Star Team in back-to-back seasons (2012 and 2013). He also represented Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, picking up three points (1-2-3) in six games.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Q: If you had to guess right now, do the Wings deal or stand pat? If they make a move, who do you think is most likely to come here, among the players mentioned in trade talk? Or perhaps someone under the radar?
A: My first inclination is to say they will stand pat. The trade market seems to be thin, inflating the cost of average players.
The Red Wings aren't going to deal their first-round pick, any premium prospects or good, young roster players, short of landing an impact player. That doesn't leave many trading chips. They would hesitate to deal their second-round pick but it can be had for the right player. And they're not opposed to trading for a rental if the price is right.
If they can acquire Marek Zidlicky from the New Jersey Devils at a reasonable price I could see that happening. He would need to waive his no-trade clause.
He's not big (5-11, 190) and he's old (38), but he would give them an offensive dimension that others (Jeff Petry, Zbynek Michalek) would not. And he might not cost as much as those players.
Zidlicky, a right-handed shot, can quarterback the power play with his passing ability and good shot. Sure, the Red Wings power play is No. 1 in the NHL without him, but he would provide an upgrade.
Q: Surprised to hear Dion Phaneuf's name in the rumor mill since Toronto signed him to that big deal last year and he's their captain. At first, I figured it made no sense for the Wings, but then again, they do have a lot of cap space and he would be an upgrade. What do you think?
A: I think they'll stay clear of Phaneuf. He'd be an upgrade with his booming shot, albeit left-handed, and physical presence, but it makes no sense to assume that contract, which has six more years at a cap hit of $7 million.
read on for more on Phaneuf and other questions and answers...
We could discuss the fact that the Red Wings face a Nashville Predators team on Saturday (3 PM EST FSD/FS Tennessee/Sportsnet/97.1 FM; AP and NHL.com previews are available; neither team practiced on Friday) on that happens to have not lost at home twice this season, ass such, the fact that the Predators (who are 8-2-and-1 over their past 11 games and lead the NHL in points) dropped a 2-1 decision to the Wild on Thursday might worry us as "our Wings" wrap up their 6-game road trip with a 3-1-and-1 record (thus far) thanks to Thursday's win over San Jose...
All ahead of an alumni game in which Mickey Redmond and some Wings alums will battle the recently-retired Tomas Vokoun and some Predators alums, or we could talk about the fact that the Tennessean's John Glennon reports that the Stanley Cup's visiting Bridgestone Arena on Saturday, or we could talk about the Wings-Predators match-up in light of the rivalry between the two teams, via the Tennessean's Mike Organ...
Brendan Smith is listed as "Day to Day" by Red Wings GM Ken Holland (per the Free Press's Helene St. James and MLive's Ansar Khan) after this vicious slew-foot by San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture...
Smith somehow earned a penalty as well as a bump on the noggin for being slew-footed (he will probably play on Saturday), but today, the NHL's Department of Player Safety set things right:
Couture didn't get a major penalty or a suspension for a wrestling move--and there were lots of "wrestling moves" by both sides in what was a horrifically-refereed game last night--but this is better than nothing.
If the Wings are interested in Dion Phaneuf after all, trade must make financial and personnel sense
I'm going to be as blunt as possible here as I'm catching up late (stupid medication adjustment issues thanks to my Abilify dosage being doubled; stuff works great, but the miligram change = blogging has been limited recently):
Many of you have been very passionately debating the concept of the Red Wings somehow adding Dion Phaneuf to the lineup after TSN's Darren Dreger brought up the concept for the third or fourth time over the past 24 hours.
Dreger's been hammering this particular topic for the past three weeks, and given that I'm not the only person who feels that TSN's lack of TV rights has resulted in a staggering overload of Leaf coverage...
From a pure "gut feeling" perspective (as many of you have pointed out, his "fancy stats" are not very good):
1. You know how I feel about the concept of adding a player who is not a long-term upgrade--that, barring a defenseman going back the other way, whoever comes to Detroit would simply be a roadblock for Alexey Marchenko and Xavier Ouellet's deserved full-time NHL promotions next season.
The Red Wings are departing California to spend the day flying to Nashville, so the team's not practicing today, and tomorrow's 3 PM EST start = it's highly unlikely that the team will hold any sort of morning skate, so we shouldn't expect any news about Henrik Zetterberg for a couple of days...
But the Wings did discuss their 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks with the Free Press's Helene St. James in the light of the team's resiliency when "down but not out":
That improved the Wings to 8-11-2 when trailing after two periods, a league-best winning percentage of .381. Newcomer Teemu Pulkkinen already has picked up on what happens when it's late in a game and the score isn't in Detroit's favor. "Even when we are losing," he said after the Sharks game, "we keep playing like we are going to get a goal."
St. James continues, discussing Brendan Smith's status (probably OK), Kyle Quincey's status (not yet) and Henrik Zetterberg's status (not playing until next week) before concluding with the following:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Teemu Pulkkinen is learning what it takes to create space at this level, to maximize opportunities to unleash his tremendous shot.
Thursday's game, Pulkkinen's best in his brief NHL career, was a step in the right direction. The young sniper recorded a career-high six shots, scored a goal and came close to netting another in the Detroit Red Wings' 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.
"He's a guy who's a real shooter," coach Mike Babcock said. "It's very clear in the National Hockey League that you've got less opportunity to shoot the puck. You've got to learn to shoot it off a bad pass, or a good pass or no pass. You've just got to find a way to create your own offense. He's a work in progress like all kids."
Darren Dreger on TSN Radio...
via Hope_Smoke tweets,
Dreger "I'm not predicting that Phaneuf gets dealt between now and Monday, but it's certainly possible"
Dreger "if there's a team that wants to make a hockey deal for Phaneuf, and I think Detroit might circle back."
Dreger "I know Detroit is a team that has interest in Phaneuf to put him in the right situation:...
Dreger "...2nd pairing guy & some $ comes back so he's not a $7 million dollar D"
Dreger "if he's [Phaneuf] a $5-5.5 cap hit that's palatable for Detroit & maybe other teams as well"
frm Ansar Khan of Mlive,
They fought back hard to outplay the Sharks by a wide margin over the final 40 minutes and found a way to get the job done in the end for a 3-2 victory at SAP Center.
Pavel Datsyuk tied it with 6:28 remaining in regulation and Luke Glendening scored the game-winner with 1:15 to play.
The Red Wings (34-15-11, 79 points) outshot the Sharks 31-8 over the final two periods, after being outshot 14-4 in the first.
"They competed harder than we did in the first, won all the races and all the battles and (goaltender Jimmy Howard) was good," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Then I thought we took the game over basically in the second and third and (Sharks goalie Antti) Niemi was really, really good to keep them in the game, but we just kept coming and found a way to get it done.
"I thought (Teemu) Pulkkinen, (Joakim) Andersson and (Stephen) Weiss were really good for us. I thought (Darren) Helm was an absolute star, but we had lots of good players. It was great to see Glenny get rewarded with his eighth goal of the year. For a guy who does what he does, eight goals is good.
"Good win for our team and our guys competed hard and it sets us up for a game in Nashville. We get a travel day tomorrow and an early start, so Gus better be ready."
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
The San Jose Sharks have won so very regularly over the Detroit Red Wings over the past four years, especially at home, and the Wings have been able to dent Antti Niemi so very irregularly over the course of his career that the Wings-Sharks tilt had, "First back-to-back regulation losses" written all over it, and when the Wings surrendered both 1-0 and 2-1 goals, responding with all the urgency of paint drying, I could only shake my head and go, "Well, this is gonna be one of those games where the WIngs will only win if they win in spite of themselves."
Detroit kept firing single, unobstructed shots directly at Antti Niemi, sans screens, sans changes of position, sans rebounds, minus backhands, and they were never skating directly toward the Sharks' goalie, instead deferring to drop or lateral passes, and as a result, the incredibly desperate and incredibly physical Sharks seemed destined to extend their playoff hopes by continuing to hammer a shaky Jimmy Howard.
The game slowly but surely pivoted away from the Sharks thanks to dogged, determined work by the few Wings who were urgent and determined, like Teemu Pulkkinen and Pavel Datsyuk, and by sticking with it--and getting a little lucky--Detroit emerged with a surprising 3-2 win.
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