The Malik Report
The Red Wings dropped to 2-7-and-1 on the month and 8-9-and-1 after their 1-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on Friday, and while the good news is that Thomas Vanek is coming back on Sunday...
The Wings are mired in a 3-game losing streak, and there is almost zero chance that the Wings will make the within-4-points-of-a-playoff-spot cut-off that Ken Holland so wisely suggested was the best sign as to whether a team will make the playoffs by American Thanksgiving.**
Detroit's near the bottom of the Atlantic Division standings with two games remaining before next Thursday, and if logic is to be believed, the Wings are going to need to have absolutely superb December, January, February, March and April records to climb out of the deep hole they've dug for themselves this month.
For the Capitals, who found themselves down 3 forwards for the final 40 minutes of Friday night's game, the loss of personnel was rather ironic, as Barry Trotz told the Washington Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan...
The Walleye posted a highlight clip from the game, and if you're not aware, they're holding "16-bit night" as they host Kalamazoo this evening:
Of prospect-related note:
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins dropped a 3-1 lead en route to a 4-3 loss to the Texas Stars on Friday evening. Matt Lorito and Tomas Nosek had a goal and assist apeice and Martin Frk scored in the loss. The Griffins' website posted a recap:
From the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:
All Rogers Hometown Hockey was required to do to capture Windsor’s unique hockey landscape this weekend was accomplished simply by arriving in town. They are broadcasting a show from Windsor built around an NHL game being played in Detroit.
Sunday night, as the Detroit Red Wings play host to the Calgary Flames at Joe Louis Arena, Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean and co-host Tara Slone will be situated in the Riverfront Festival Plaza, celebrating Windsor and Essex County’s hockey heritage, and sharing it with a nationwide audience.
“It’s one of the unique things about Windsor,” MacLean explained. “I’ve spent my life in that (Windsor) Hilton looking across the river at the Joe and seeing the (People Mover) circle around Joe Louis Arena.
“In my 30 years of doing the NHL, that view is ingrained. Even the geographic twist, the fact that Detroit is north of Windsor, is just confusing. I’ve always felt that it’s like a Canadian town, Detroit. We always talk about the Canadian teams but I think you have to include Buffalo and Detroit in that sort of landscape of ours.”
They will do their utmost to touch on as many aspects of our area’s hockey heritage as time permits. Sportsnet’s Tim Micallef and his dad Tom, a defenceman with the 1962-63 Allan Cup champion Windsor Bulldogs, will recall the legacy of that legendary team.
“Their history is amazing and the Spitfires’ history is amazing, with the back-to-back Memorial Cups (in 2008-09 and 2009-10),” MacLean said. “There’s a certain presence, a certain character. I know enough about (Spitfires co-owners) Warren (Rychel) and Bob (Boughner) to know they’re cut from that cloth.”
There will also be a tip of the cap to MacLean’s partner in crime on Coach’s Corner, the one and only Donald S. Cherry.
“As far as the history goes, obviously Don had a chance to play there for the Spitfires,” MacLean said.
The Detroit Red Wings faced a stiff challenge in attempting to snap a 2-game losing streak by facing the Washington Capitals on Friday evening.
The Red Wings lost for the 3rd straight game, dropping a 1-0 decision to the Washington Capitals, and to add insult to injury, the Wings lost to a Capitals team that lost THREE forwards in the 1st period. Detroit was very good defensively, and Howard was superb in goal, but the team cannot score right now, and Thomas Vanek's return on Sunday can't come close enough.
If this isn't the lowest point of the Wings' season, it's close to last Saturday's loss in Montreal, and I am hoping and praying to both God and the hockey gods that this is the worst that it gets, because it's very, very bad.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke to the Wings about the return of Tyler Bertuzzi:
“What I like about Tyler is, I think he’s a hockey player, and by that I mean he’s got great hockey sense,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He’s smart reading plays, he knows how to come up with pucks. It doesn’t always look pretty but he’s got a long stick which makes him faster than he even is. He’s got great poise when he gets the puck. He’s strong on his skates. He’s not afraid to take a hit to make a play, so that gives a guy extra seconds in today’s pressure game to make the proper play with the puck. And he’s got an ability to score goals from the hard areas of the ice.
“I think there’s lots to like long term. Like a lot of guys, it’s a maturation process and a development process and I think he’s on the right track.”
This is Bertuzzi’s second year of pro hockey. He joined Grand Rapids in the spring of 2015, and turned heads with seven goals among 12 points in 14 playoff games. That wasn't a one-off; Bertuzzi delivered another seven goals in nine playoff games with the Griffins this past spring.
“He’s a great energy guy,” Mantha said. “He can score big goals, especially I saw that in the last series in GR, great playoff guy. And then he just brings that little extra energy to the game. He can bring anything you want on the table.”
2. MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Blashill regarding managing the ice time of Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall:
From the Red Wings:
RED WINGS HOST FOOD COLLECTION DRIVE TO BENEFIT FORGOTTEN HARVEST ON SUNDAY
… Fans Encouraged to Bring Non-Perishable Food Items to The Joe on Sunday to Help Feed the Hungry …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings will host a food collection drive to assist in the fight against hunger alongside Forgotten Harvest. The food collection drive will take place during the team’s home game on Sunday, Nov. 20, when the Red Wings take on the Calgary Flames at 7:30 p.m. (FOX Sports Detroit / 97.1 The Ticket).
All donations will benefit Oak Park, Mich., based Forgotten Harvest, which rescued 42 million pounds of food last year by collecting surplus prepared and perishable food from more than 800 locations, including grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets, restaurants, caterers, dairies, farmers, wholesale food distributors and other Health Department-approved sources. The donated food, which would otherwise go to waste, was delivered free-of-charge to more than 250 emergency food providers in the Metro Detroit area.
I stuffed this into the morning skate thread, but it probably merits its own post:
The Free Press's Helene St. James confirmed...
Thomas Vanek (hip) is expected back Sunday. Tomas Jurco (back) needs “a full week of practice, at least, and then we’d like to get him to GR for a conditioning stint,” Blashill said. “That’s something we’re looking at.
As did the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:
Blashill said Tomas Jurco (back) will likely go through an entire week of practice next week, then be sent to Grand Rapids for a conditioning stint.
Jurco has yet to play this season after having minor back surgery in August. He’s been skating more frequently the last couple weeks.
Updated 5x at 2:52 PM: The Red Wings face the Washington Capitals this evening (7 PM EST on FSD Plus/CSN Mid-Atlantic/97.1 FM), with the 8-8-and-1 Wings hoping to snap a 2-game losing streak against the 10-4-and-1 Capitals, and the teams' morning skates weren't all that revealing in terms of line-up decisions.
From the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner:
It was unusual to have a nine-year veteran such as Matthew Ford anxious for a game in November, but he had good reason.
The 32-year old right winger waited just over a month to play his first game with Grand Rapids Griffins due to a preseason lower body injury. Once on the ice Wednesday, he wasted no time as the offseason signing scored in the first period in the Griffins' 6-3 win against Texas.
The two teams meet again 7 tonight at Van Andel Arena.
"Until you're playing in games, you don't feel in the mix," Ford said afterward. "Seeing the success this team has had lately, I knew once I was healthy that I wanted to have the opportunity to have a positive impact on the team."
Ford could be a big complement to the Griffins' offense. He had 27 goals (tied for eighth in the league) and 51 points last season at Bakersfield, and has 149 goals and 306 points in 480 career games with seven other AHL teams.
"He's a good leader in the room and provides offense for us as well," said coach Todd Nelson, who had Ford with him at Oklahoma City when he scored 44 goals and 100 points over two seasons in 2013-14 and 14-15.
Update: Here's the Griffins' Game-Day Preview video:
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.