The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 1-0 shootout decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but if ever there was a game that I'd describe as "not the goalie's fault--when a goalie surrendered 2 shootout goals on 3 shots against--it's tonight.
The Red Wings did their damnedest to make a difficult game even harder while fighting an inabilty to score at any period of time, and on a night when Sergei Bobrovsky was superb, the Blue Jackets were their trappy best and the refereeing was dreadful in terms of the amount of hooking, holding, clutching, grabbing, mashing and smashing on any and all sides of the puck, the WIngs tried to out-pass, out-drop-pass, out-deke-at-the-line and out-outside-shot a Blue Jackets team that did its best to defend a Howard who was marginally better-protected than the under-siege Petr Mrazek who faced 40 shots on Saturday.
This was an ugly game from a team that's on a four-game winless streak (0-1-and-3), and while the shootout was the bugaboo that decided the game's result, the effort from minutes 1-65 is what doomed the Wings to their fate.
Of late-afternoon Red Wings-related note ahead of tonight's game between the Red Wings and Blue Jackets (7:30 PM on FSD/FS Ohio/97.1 FM), and pursuant to the morning skate news cycle:
Here's the Red Wings' Game-Day preview, which features Petr Mrazek, Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Ericsson, as well as a certain Mike Babcock's take on tonight's opponent:
The Red Wings will welcome Justin Abdelkader and Danny DeKeyser back into their lineup this evening, and Tomas Tatar's going to play after battling some sort of illness this past weekend, Johan Franzen's out with a non-mump illness.
Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner noted the state of the latter players, as well as the fact that Xavier Ouellet's playing ahead of Jakub Kindl and Brian Lashoff...
from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,
“Abby is a different threat,” defenseman Brendan Smith said. “He can be a strong guy, power forward, hit and get pucks and get them to Pavel. That’s what you’ve seen in the past. He’s actually meshed with the top scorers like Pavel and Z very well because of his role. You need guys to complement each other. Look at video games, who complements each other, you need to have a power forward with a goal-scorer, a playmaker with a goal-scorer. That’s what Abby does with those goes.”
Meanwhile, on the other end of the ice, DeKeyser’s smooth passing touch gives Detroit a seamless transition on break outs of their own zone.
“DK moves the puck very well on the back end,” Smith said. “Coach talks about that seven-second rule, where you want to get out of your own end in seven seconds. If you don’t you end up playing the shift in your end. He’s very good. That’s maybe his best aspect. His first pass is one of the best. For him to do that, it’s good to have him back."
more on the Wings and Blue Jackets...
Updated 5x at 1:38 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face a stiff task in ending their 0-1-and-2 streak against a Columbus Blue Jackets team that's a) won 6 straight games and b) has a 7-2-and-1 record against Detroit of late when the teams tangle this evening (7:30 PM on FSD/FS Ohio/97.1 FM), and the Wings' morning skate brought news from the beat writers that:
1. Xavier Ouellet would remain in the Wings' lineup at Jakub Kindl's expense;
2. Stephen Weiss would be placed on short-term IR (until Saturday) to make room for Ouellet;
3. Daniel Cleary would draw back into the lineup to replace Johan Franzen, who is ill;
4. Justin Abdelkader and Danny DeKeyser would return from their respective injuries.
In article form: MLive's Ansar Khan penned a 6 AM-posted article in which the Wings discussed playing the Blue Jackets...
Updated 5x at 11:21 AM: via Ansar Khan tweet,
Tatar skating today. Franzen is not skating. Weiss was on the ice earlier but left as practice started.
More from the morning skate as it becomes available.
So the Detroit Red Wings face the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/FS Ohio/97.1 FM) hoping to snap a 3-game winless streak (0-1-and-2) against a team that's not only won 6 straight games, but is also 7-2-and-1 over its last ten games against the Wings.
Khan's Tweets continued...
The Red Wings practiced minus a pair of players who are hopefully "just sick" in Johan Franzen and Tomas Tatar on Monday, and are hoping to welcome Danny DeKeyser and Justin Abdelkader (shoulder) back into the lineup when the Wings host the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/FS Ohio/97.1 FM)...
But a look at the Eastern Conference standings, never mind the record of the Wings' four pre-Christmas, home-ice opponents, will offer you little comfort if you believe that playing Columbus, the Islanders (on Friday), Avs (on Sunday) and Sabres (next Tuesday) = easy pickings for a Wings team with an 0-1-and-2 record of late (Saturday's 4-1 loss to Toronto included).
Updated 8x at 4:40 PM: The Red Wings' players skated at the University Liggett School due to a WWE event taking place at Joe Louis Arena on Monday evening, and after practice, the Wings told the beat writers that:
1. Tomas Tatar and Johan Franzen were merely "sick" and are expected to play tomorrow;
2. Ditto for Justin Abdelkader (shoulder) and Danny DeKeyser (head);
3. The team is going to be giving booster shots to its players and personnel regarding the mumps outbreak, but at the same time, the team's more concerned with the whole cold-and-flu season situation presenting more imminent danger (especially with so many players having school-age children).
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness posted videos of Riley Sheahan, Jimmy Howard and Mike Babcock discussing the illness, and Babcock's comments about the team's monitoring of the situation, concerns about European players getting immunized and the already-in-place measures to help players avoid illness are particularly interesting:
Updated 3x at 12:59 PM, Franzen and Tatar OK for Tuesday: The WWE has taken over the JLA so Wings are on the ice at the University of Liggett.
via Gregg Krupa tweet,
cleary in a gray jersey here, and participating in everything. abdelkader and dekeyser, scratches in "turrana" skating.
More coming as it becomes available.
added 11:28am, Chuck Pleiness tweet,
Wings GM Ken Holland says Johan Franzen and Tomas Tatar are out sick today. Not sure of status for Tuesday's game.
Updates from George: Here are the Tweets from Krupa...
The Red Wings' 4-game winning streak and 7-1-and-1 stretch pushed the Wings to the top of the Eastern Conference, but the Wings will return to practice today with 4 pre-Christmas home games in store--Tuesday against Columbus, Friday against the Islanders, Sunday the 21rd against Colorado and Tuesday the 23rd against Buffalo...
And thanks to the Wings' shootout and then regulation losses to Toronto, amongst an 0-1-and-2 stretch, the Leafs are now breathing down the Wings' necks. The Wings still sit tied for 1st in the Atlantic Division with a 17-7-and-7 record and 41 points in 31 games played, but they've got 16 regulation-or-OT wins to the Lightning's 18 (who the hell thought "ROWs" and shootout losses would already be faring into the standings equation?), Montreal has 40 points (and 15 ROWs) Toronto now sits at 39 points (with 16 ROWs, and a game in hand on the Wings) after defeating the Kings 4-3 in a shootout on Sunday, and the Wings' Friday loss to Florida helped the Panthers, who are now tied with Boston's 32 points, get up off the mat and back into the playoff mix, too.
The Red Wings' AHL and ECHL affiliates had pretty solid weekends, and things are going really well for one prospect: Martin Frk registered 2 goals on 3 shots (while Marek Tvrdon was held off the scoresheet) in the Toledo Walleye's 5-4 OT win over Fort Wayne on Sunday (Frk had a goal and an assist in Toledo's 5-2 win over Kalamzoo on Saturday) and Frk's up to 8 goals, 8 assists and 16 points in 10 games played with Toledo.
The organization's prospect with the highest level of self-criticism has found his stride in the ECHL after spending a good chunk of time as a healthy scratch with Grand Rapids, which is superb....and from a wider perspective, the fact that the Walleye have become a winning machine is very positive for both Toledo and the Wings' organizational family.
The Walleye's website posited a recap of Sunday's game...
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