The Malik Report
WXYZ's Brad Galli promised to deliver a superb feature on Tomas Tatar and his tributes to his late father, and here it is:
And here's the accompanying text regarding his every-goal point to the skies for his father, Jan:
One year later, Tatar's goal celebration have become must-see-TV for Red Wings fans. He carried the tribute to his dad as his go-to celebration for months.
There is one thing he has done before every game since his father passed away. Tatar took me to the team's stick rack, and pulled each of his Reebok pieces off the shelf. They all had one thing in common.
"Right now I have him on my stick," Tatar said of his father. "I always put his initial there, and he is with me."
One after another, each of Tatar's stick features his dad's first initial, 'J.' Every pass, every shot, every goal, the man who turned Tomas Tatar into a hockey player and an adult, is right there with him.
"I believe he's getting a little bit better," general manager Ken Holland said. "I know he's working with Dr. (Jeff) Kutcher (a specialist at Michigan who treats sports concussions). I get a report occasionally from (trainer) Piet Van Zant when Piet talks to Dr. Kutcher. But (Franzen) is not here. He's not on the bike. I don't know how far he is away."
Franzen, who has a history of concussions, was injured from a blindside hit by Edmonton's Rob Klinkhammer on Jan. 6. Franzen finished the game but began experiencing concussion symptoms the next day.
"The way it works, I think, is they start to feel better for a while and then they ride a bike," Holland said. "They come the next day and they feel OK, so they ride a bike a little harder. Then after three, four, five days of riding a bike they keep ramping up and ramping up and ramping up. But until he has a number of days in a row where he feels good you never push it to the next level. All I know is he needs to be here every day riding the bike and if he's not here every day, he's not on the radar screen to return to play hockey anytime soon."
As well as this (part of a longer discussion) regarding the Wings' three-headed goalie monster:
"Before we head out to Dallas we're going to make a decision," Holland said. "What we want to do is make sure Howie's groin is good. So we'll get through tonight's game and in the next 2-3 days we'll make a decision of some sort."
I'm sorry, I don't mean to bash ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, nor the person who first posited this rumor in Sportsnet's Damien Cox, but I think that the suggestion that the Red Wings might be best-served by pursuing Dion Phaneuf, who has 6 years remaining on a $49-million contract, is ridiculous:
[W]hat about a guy like Dion Phaneuf? The general belief is that Toronto will look at what’s out there for Phaneuf and Phil Kessel (both of whom carry huge contracts) in the offseason when more teams can get involved. But what if there’s an offer before March 2?
Phaneuf has six seasons left on his deal after this season, which carries a $7-million salary cap hit.
My sense is this: For the Wings to even contemplate taking on that type of contract, Phaneuf would have to become a $5.5-million player, with the Leafs retaining the rest of the salary. And I don’t think Detroit would pay a large return, either; you can forget a first-round pick ever being part of it.
Updated 17x at 2:50 PM:
The Detroit Red Wings face an incredibly difficult task in breaking a 2-game winless streak and a 4-game against-the-Montreal Canadiens losing streak in their second and final home game of February (7:30 PM on FSD/Sportsnet/97.1 FM) as the Wings host the Habs, and tonight's game defines a "4-pointer."
The Montreal Gazette's Dave Stubbs is nothing less than a Twitter maestro, so we begin with his factoids instead of morning skate news:
Since Mike & Marian Ilitch bought #RedWings in 1982, team has won combined 1,500 regular season & playoff games, most of all NHL franchises
#RedWings only NHL team to have won 1,000+ games since 1995-96: 877 regular-season & 141 playoff wins = 1,018 victories #Habs #HabsIO
Mike Babcock's #RedWings, since 2005-06, have won 446 regular-season & 64 playoff games, NHL-best in that span. Credit Detroit PR for stats
It looks like tonight's a Dan O'Halloran game, too (the Wings website's game notes confirm that, O'Halloran and Justin St. Pierre are refereeing tonight's game), so expect a waved-off goal when Carey Price humps some Red Wings player's leg:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Here are five things to watch this week:
1. Trading starts weeks before deadline
The list of potential right-handed shooting defensemen available at the March 2 trading deadline was reduced by two over the past five days as Buffalo moved Tyler Myers to Winnipeg and Toronto dealt Cody Franson to Nashville.
Several options remain, however, for the Red Wings and other clubs looking for blue line help. Edmonton is certain to move Jeff Petry. Other right-handed shooting possibilities include Zbynek Michalek (Arizona) and Marek Zidlicky (New Jersey). If Washington opts to trade Mike Green the price is sure to be high.
The Coyotes might move Keith Yandle, a left-handed shooter who has another year remaining on his contract, but he won't come cheap. Andrej Sekera (Carolina) and Marc Methot (Ottawa) are other left-handed shooting defensemen who could be dealt.
The Red Wings must decide if an upgrade is possible at a reasonable price. They're not likely to part with their premium prospects, any young roster players or a first-round pick.
The Detroit Red Wings face a gargantuan task in battling the Montreal Candiens this evening (7:30 PM on FSD/Sportsnet/97.1 FM), because this game defines a "four-pointer"--the Wings could either close to within 2 points of Montreal's Atlantic-leading 76 with a game in hand, or the Wings could find themselves 6 points behind the Canadiens...
And between the fact that the Wings are 0-1-and-1 of late going into a game against a Canadiens team that's gone 4-0-and-1 over their past 5 games (and 9-2-and-1 over their last 13 games) that's coming off a 2-1 shootout win over Toronto on Saturday, and the fact that the Wings are 0-3-and-1 against Montreal over the team's last 5 meetings and 0-1-and-1 against the Leg-Humping-Goal-Waving-Off Carey Prices...This game is going to test the Wings' character like nobody's bloody business.
Prospect news: Pulkkinen scores 30th in Griffins win; Callahan out for year; Frk scores 2 for Toledo
Two Red Wings developmental affiliates and one Wings prospect's Major Junior team played on Sunday, but the Grand Rapids Griffins stole the show, defeating the Chicago Wolves 5-1 while playing in Chicago, while playing the Griffins' 3rd game in 3 nights, and during the game, Andreas Athanasiou registered a goal and 2 assists, Marek Tvrdon registered a goal and an assist, Anthony Mantha scored a goal, Jared Coreau stopped 25 of 26 shots, and a certain Teemu Pulkkinen hit the 30-goal mark [edit: Jakub Kindl didn't post a point but finished at +2, too /end edit].
The Griffins' website posted a game recap...
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"We got to keep it out of our net," coach Mike Babcock said. "We can't give up so many goals. We got to take care of the puck better."
Jimmy Howard will make his second start in goal after missing nearly five weeks with a groin injury. He wasn't sharp on a couple of goals against the Jets on Saturday, but the Red Wings didn't manage the puck well.
"We had everything going our way (early in the second period) and then we turned the puck over," Babcock said. "It's hard to be organized when you turn the puck over. You have a team, because you're playing good and you're on top of them they don't look that quick, and then suddenly you turn the puck over and they look like they're ultra-fast. So taking care of the puck is a big part of what we have to do right."
Said forward Gustav Nyquist: "They did a good job of forechecking us and tracking us hard and creating those turnovers, but we're responsible for taking care of the puck. That's something we need to improve for sure against Montreal."
via Ansar Khan tweets,
Howard, who Babcock said will start start vs. Canadiens, has a net to himself in practice. Mrazek and Gustavsson alternating at other end.
Power play units at practice:
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Weiss, Abdelkader (net front), Kronwall
Tatar-Datsyuk-Sheahan, Helm (net front), DeKeyser.
Couple changes in lines:
Updates from practice will be posted if needed.
from Brett Popplewell of Sportsnet,
Standing in the doorway of his suburban home, Mike Babcock smiles before mentioning that the retriever trying to sneak around him and get outside is named Mac. If you can find your way past Mac, you can step inside Babcock’s grand open foyer. After closing the door, Babcock explains that he and his wife, Maureen, named Mac after a point on Emma Lake, Sask., where the couple’s favourite bar used to stand. The dog is old, 10 or 11 Babcock reckons; her mane already sports more grey than her 51-year-old master’s. Babcock hobbles, looking slightly pained from his morning workout and run, as he walks to his kitchen and sits down next to the granite island where he has placed his laptop. He has an office, lined with hockey memorabilia and the sun-baked skulls of some of the animals he has killed—an African lion, a leopard, some bears and deer—but today he’s working in the kitchen.
Everything in Babcock’s home seems to be in perfect order. Devoid of clutter and dust, the house is lined with family portraits. Though he isn’t wearing his usual fitted suit, cuffed shirt and tie, he is nonetheless put together in a creaseless flannel shirt. His hair—freshly cut and as auburn as ever—is combed beneath his ball cap. As he offers up a glass of water it seems, to the untrained eye, that his cuticles are well-maintained.
continued (long read)
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.