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On Gordie Howe’s remarkable physical recovery…and the realities of dementia

I am going to say some difficult things about Gordie Howe, and so if you wish to go no further, here's what Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave reports about Gordie's remarkable physical spirit:

Nine days after suffering a stroke that had his family rushing to his bedside in Texas, Mr. Hockey woke up hungry. And playful.

It took him about 30 seconds to polish off a huge chocolate-chip muffin. And he chased that with a healthy bowl of yogurt. Then Gordie Howe decided he wanted to sit up a bit and enjoy the visit with his family. As he began to move, his son Murray, the physician, tried to help give him a boost, and Gordie grabbed him with his big right hand to push himself upward.

The same right hand that was rendered immobile by paralysis when the stroke hit him. A recovery few expected was unfolding. When Gordie needed to move from his bed, he waived off the wheelchair and grabbed a walker. He braced it with both hands and made his way across the room.

It didn't matter that anybody who happened to witness it couldn't quite believe what they were seeing. Gordie Howe lent his life to extraordinary achievements that thrilled and astounded fans who filled arenas to watch him play hockey like no one before him -- or since.

Gave continues, speaking with former Wings team physician John Finley about the 86-year-old's staggeringly wonderful recovery from a stroke, and now I'm gonna say some things:

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Rangers wrap-up; on angry Sens, Mantha, Griffins & ‘Bonus Swedish’

Updated with late-night videos at 4:27 AM: The Detroit Red Wings flew back to Detroit (not arriving until 3 AM) after having dropped a 4-3 OT decision to the New York Rangers which included Swede-on-Swede violence, a goaltender suffering a dislocated shoulder  just prior to the game-winning goal and the Red Wings' coach openly questioning yet another poor performance by the NHL's officials, especially given that there was an opposing player standing in the now-shoulder-sidelined Jonas Gustavsson's crease on the gamer and that Carl Hagelin was punched very specifically because he got away with shearing off the skin on part of Danny DeKeyser's cheek.

The Wings still have to close out their 7-games-in-12-nights stretch by hosting the New Jersey Devils this Friday (New Jersey is 6-4-and-2 and hosts the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night) and Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday (Tampa's 8-3-and-1, they host the Flames on Thursday night and will play in Columbus on Saturday; Friday is Military Appreciation Night), but even though they're going to be wrapping up a 5-games-in-8-nights situation, and they're definitely going to be mentally and physically tired after having to play 3 games in 4 nights...

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Oh yeah, Johan Franzen may get a call from the Department of Player Safety, too

I don't want to post this, but I guess I have to. Carl Hagelin did this to Danny DeKeyser and got away with it...

And because the Red Wings are playing their bizarre early November games on the East Coast, and the Wings' nationally-televised game against the Rangers was only one of 3 on the schedule instead of a late-night game in Calgary, everybody saw Johan Franzen do this to Hagelin:

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Wyshynski: Red Wings’ coach dissatisfied with inconsistencies in officiating

The Red Wings dropped a 3-2 OT decision to the New York Rangers on Wednesday, and Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski reports that Wings coach Mike Babcock was miffed about Tim Peel and company's refereeing:

“The two things that I don’t understand,” he said after the Detroit Red Wings’ 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers in a nationally televised Wednesday night game. “First, I don’t understand that.”

“That” in this instance was the stick to the face of defenseman Danny DeKeyser that dropped him to the ice after slicing his cheek. The stick was in the hands of the Rangers’ Carl Hagelin, who made contact with DeKeyser in front of referee Steve Kozari.

No, literally right in front of referee Steve Kozari.

“We should have been on a 4-minute power play in the third period. That was obvious. But what do you do?” asked Babcock.

And on the overtime goal, in which Jonas Gustavsson's shoulder was dislocated, Rick Nash's skates just happened to be in the crease...Heels first...

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If you missed it: Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson out with probable dislocated shoulder

So in case you missed it in the Red Wings-Rangers quick take, let's make it official, per NHL.com's Dan Rosen:

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson injured his left shoulder and gave up the game-winning goal on the same play Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

Gustavsson hurt his shoulder reaching back for the rebound that was eventually put in by New York Rangers center Derick Brassard on a 4-on-3 power play 1:50 into overtime, giving the Rangers a 4-3 win.

Gustavsson was getting X-rays when Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said the 30-year-old backup goalie would be out of the lineup and Petr Mrazek would be recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.

"He'll probably be out a bit," Babcock said of Gustavsson. "I don't know exactly until our doctors see him, but Mrazek will be recalled [Thursday] after practice."

Mrazek is 1-and-2 in 4 AHL games, with a 3.80 GAA and a 0.854 save percentage, and Sportsnet's John Shannon reports that Gustavsson may have separated his shoulder..

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Quick take, Red Wings-Rangers: Wings lose bizarre game, lose Gustavsson to shoulder injury

It's time to hit the antilock breaks and stop this skid, but they need to do so after coming down from the high that was this unbelievable acid trip of a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers.

This game, in picture form, looked like this:

There were thrills, chills, TERRIBLE play by the Red Wings, TERRIBLE calls AND non-calls BOTH WAYS and a just...baffling...standard of officiating.

Tthe Red Wings, who were playing their 3rd game in 4 nights, 4th in 6th and 5th in 8 (and their 3rd NBCSN Rivalry Night game over their season's first four weeks) didn't know how far they could push and when they were pushing too far, and that yielded even more uncertainty, passed-up shots and ever-so-slightly indecisive play than we saw in Ottawa last night.

The Wings are going home with a 6-4-and-3 record and an 0-0-and-2 record over the past two games as a result.

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Mad dash: Babcock in Cleary in, Jurco out; Wings-Rangers notes; talking with Athanasiou

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock spoke with the media around 5:45 PM this afternoon, and he had this to say to DetroitRedWings.com's inserting Daniel Cleary into the lineup ahead of tonight's "Rivalry Night" game against the New York Rangers (8 PM EST on NBCSN/TVA Sports/Sportsnet One/97.1 FM), which Paul noted first:

"A big part of what Dan Cleary is supposed to provide here is leadership and helping young guys be better. I'm sure he can do that,” Babcock said. “Here’s his opportunity, right? So what do you do with it? I’m going to watch just like you. I’m going to see what happens tonight. I’m about winning. When you win, I don’t make many changes. I think he’s one of these guys who can help people around him be better.”

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Dan Cleary Will Make His Season Debut Tonight

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

Daniel Cleary will make his season debut for the Detroit Red Wings tonight against the New York Rangers.

Cleary has been a healthy scratch during the Red Wings first 12 games but after back-to-back losses to start their three-game road trip that concludes tonight, coach Mike Babcock tweaked his lineup as Detroit tries to snap a four-game losing vs. the Rangers.

Cleary and rookie Andrej Nestrasil, who sat out the last two games, are in the lineup while Tomas Jurco and Joakim Andersson will be healthy scratches.

continued

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St. James provides another update regarding Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe's family released a statement regarding Mr. Hockey's progress made in recovering from a stroke last night, and the Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with the Wings' director of pro scouting, a certain Mark Howe, about his father's condition:

Speaking en route to Wednesday's game between the Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, Mark told the Free Press just how much progress Gordie, 86, has made over the past 10 days. Gordie remains in Lubbock, Texas, with his daughter, Cathy, and her husband, and a rotation of sons Mark, Marty and Murray.

"Murray told me the other day that he stuck a pen in Dad's hand, and he was able to write his number, 9," Mark said. "Considering that a week ago his right hand didn't function at all, he's doing well, but he's still got a long way to go. He was able to take a step, with Murray and Marty holding him up, he was able to lift his right leg, take a step, and then take another after a few minutes."

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Prospect news: Griffins drop matinee game vs. Chicago, are winless at home

The Grand Rapids Griffins have yet to win at home, and they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Chicago Wolves during the team's annual matinee game for school-age kids. Here's the Griffins website's recap:

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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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