The Malik Report
The Red Wings-Avalanche alumni game is on Fox Sports Detroit, Altitude, the NHL Network (outside of Chicago for some reason) and Sportsnet, and these may be the only highlights of the night, but they're good ones after 1:
Here are the player introductions, with Chris Chelios's, "Boo" and Darren McCarty's salutes peppering the mix...
And did someone say, "Goal, Yzerman?"
According to the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, Friday's Red Wings practice at Coors Field was cut short due to very poor ice conditions, and while the captain and the coach put on brave faces about tomorrow night's local 6 PM Mountain Time-starting game--and the 70-degree forecast...
If the game Saturday were to be postponed, it would be made up Sunday evening. But no one expects that to happen — at this point.
“It should be fine, it cools down to game time and no one will be on the ice (during the day Saturday) either, so it’ll be much better,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “If we can’t pass the puck, we don’t really care. But if it’s bad so we could end up injured, that’s when we have to have discussion what what to do. (But) I’m pretty confident that the ice will be good. I have no plans or thoughts about a postponement or moving it, or anything like that.”
Said coach Jeff Blashill: “I have no concern to be honest with you. We knew today was an impossible situation with the sun. They wouldn’t have scheduled a game during the day for that reason. We had to try to get a practice in and be able to walk on the ice, (but) we knew it was going to be impossible. We knew that when the sun is up and it’s 70 degrees, it was going to be hard to manage but we fully expect 100 percent the ice to be good tomorrow.”
The Wings did voice their concerns about the ice, with Darren Helm leading the way, as Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski noted:
The Colorado Avalanche preceded the Red Wings onto the ice at Coors Field in Denver--with today's practices serving as the only opportunity for the teams to acclimate to the outdoor ice surface--and the Avs reported that the glare from the sun and ice conditions were slight issues for an Avs team that will stick with its lineup from Wednesday's shootout win over San Jose.
The Red Wings hit the ice just after 1 PM MT to prepare for tomorrow's game...
Kris Draper appeared on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Dery and Sharp show on Friday, addressing Adam Foote's comments regarding Draper, and while Draper spent a good portion of the interview expressing surprise at how quickly the story spread, Draper stated that he didn't want anyone to like him when he played, and if Foote disliked him, he had no problem with that.
Draper stated that he and Foote weren't exactly best chums, but he was more bemused with the way that the news spread through social media than he was concerned about anybody taking a piece out of him this evening, and he seemed most concerned with his kids dealing with dad being booed as a bad guy than anything else:
Both the Red Wings and Avalanche got their one practice on Coors Field's ice surface on Friday afternoon--as there is no morning skate tomorrow--and the Avs preceded the Wings onto the ice:
Updated at 2:36 PM: From the Denver Post's Terry Frei:
Darren McCarty realizes he might draw a few boos at the Red Wings-Avalanche alumni game Friday night at Coors Field.
"Oh, I expect it," the former Detroit winger said with a smile Friday morning. "If I don't, I'm going to be disappointed. I'll be (mad) if I don't get booed, put it that way. You want me to come into the crowd? Don't boo me!"
McCarty, one of the central figures in the most heated moments of the rivalry's heyday, was talking in the same Four Seasons Hotel meeting room where ex-Avalanche winger Claude Lemieux appeared a few minutes earlier.
As Lemieux had discussed Thursday, the two have buried the hatchet — and whatever else was a remnant of their role in the rivalry.
"I'm good with Claude," McCarty said. "I always said I don't condone what he did on the ice and I would do the same thing again and it didn't matter who it was. But as a human being, he's a good dude. Who is on the ice is not who he is off the ice. I can say this 20 years later. I didn't meet him until probably six years ago, and I've held this for a lot of years...
"We've talked and conversed and we're men, we have kids the same age. Actually, we found out our daughters actually were in the same class together in California, so it's a small world and I wish him the best. It's great to sit and talk with him. I also got to sit down and have a great conversation with Ray Bourque last night. It's Ray Bourque! Ray Bourque knows who I am!"
Update: The Free Press's George Sipple posted a video of Patrick Roy discussing the Alumni Game:
From the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner:
Goals may not solely define success for the Griffins' Tyler Bertuzzi, but his recent run of scoring doesn't hurt his confidence, either.
The second-year forward, who struggled mightily to start of the season, is in the midst of his best production to date. He has a goal in five of the past seven games, including three in a row, as the Griffins prepare to host Iowa on Friday.
That's a good sign for Bertuzzi, who now has eight goals after starting the season scoreless his first 26 games. When he scores, the Griffins also usually win (7-2-0-0).
"It's confidence, getting accustomed to playing and the surroundings and knowing where he fits in," said coach Todd Nelson. "He has the skills to score, no question, but he has a lot of grit and he gives us some of that physical presence we need."
Somehow, this isn't surprising, per CBS Detroit's Evan Jankens:
Friday night, the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche are ready to face off one more time in the Alumni game.
Former member of the 1996 Avalanche team Adam Foote did a radio interview with Schlereth and Evans on 104.3 The Fan in Denver. He was asked, “Out of all of those guys on Detroit who is the one guy you want to punch in the face?” “Draper for sure,” Foote said.
He didn’t stop there and elaborated on why he felt that way.
“Well you know, when that whole deal went down I think in game 6, we won the first series the first year we won the cup in 96 is when it all went down. Lemieux hit draper from behind, it was kind of an awkward position. Lemieux was frustrated simply because the way the game was going. Detroit knew they were going to lose that series. Bowman was setting the table for the following years, in my opinion. Earlier in that game I got hit from behind with [Vyacheslav] Kozlov and that took 20 stitches.”
"How I feel about Lemieux, honestly, I don't know him," Draper said. "We never talked about that and I don't feel (anything) about him, I guess. It was 20 years ago. I think it defined me as a person and as a hockey player and created a heck of a rivalry with two high-end organizations, and a lot of people embraced it.
"In the end that Colorado-Detroit series defined a lot of us as hockey players through '96-97 and '02. You hated them and I got to figure when they had the same feeling. That's what made those games so special."
Khan posted a video of Draper's comments:
From the NHL:
2016 COORS LIGHT NHL STADIUM SERIES™ BY THE NUMBERS
DENVER, COLO. (Feb. 26, 2016) – A look at the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game between the Colorado Avalanche® and Detroit Red Wings® “By the Numbers.”
1 First-ever NHL® outdoor regular-season game played by the Colorado Avalanche. They become the 21st NHL team to participate in such a game.
4 Career outdoor games played by Red Wings forward Brad Richards, tied for most all-time.
5 The Avalanche and Red Wings combined to win five Stanley Cup® championships in a seven-year period from 1996 through 2002. Colorado captured titles in 1996 and 2001, Detroit in 1997, 1998 and 2002.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
What the rivalry once was, and all it was, will be commemorated Friday in the Avalanche-Red Wings alumni game at Coors Field. Roy, now the Avalanche coach, will start in the Colorado net after donning the gear and practicing — often with his own team — for several weeks.
"I'm there to enjoy myself," Roy said this week. "That's the No. 1 thing. I had my career. Yes, I love to compete, but I'm not that crazy. I love it, but at the same time, I'm going there to have fun. That's the main thing, and renew with those players, the guys from Detroit, the guys from (Colorado). I think it's going to be simply fun. That's how I look at it. When the game starts, you never know how it could turn, but that's not the objective."
Will he stay in his crease this time?
"Yes, I will," Roy said, smiling.
Lemieux traveled to Denver on Thursday from his home in Newport Beach, Calif.
"I haven't been training much and haven't had much time to skate," he said. "I've been on the ice a couple of times the last six months, so that part of it isn't going to be anything great, but I'm really looking forward to seeing the guys."
Former Colorado defenseman Adam Foote — who had notorious nose-to-nose (and more) confrontations with Detroit winger Brendan Shanahan, now the Toronto Maple Leafs' president — still lives in the Denver area.
added 8:54am, Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes on Steve Yzerman playing tonight...
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