The Malik Report
Red Wings-Bruins set-up and overnight report: B’s, bitter about November blowout, present tough test
The Detroit Red Wings will battle the Boston Bruins tonight (8 PM EDT--so the stands may be three quarters full!--NBCSN/TSN2/1270 AM) in a game that might actually fit the 'NBC Rivalry Night" spiel to a greater degree than you'd expect--because this is one of the Wings' final seven chances to solidify their playoff standing (Detroit opens a stretch of 3 games in 4 nights this evening; they host Buffalo on Friday and head to Montreal on Saturday), because the Bruins have earned points in SIXTEEN consecutive games, and because the B's are harboring ill will about a win the Wings claimed from Boston over four months ago.
This is what happens when you miss almost a month's worth of prospect hockey due to health issues--and your anxiety and depression include a healthy sprinkle of OCD. You end up having to spend two hours trying to catch up with what's transpired since you last penned a prospect post, and you end up updating the statuses of as many players as you can remember play in the AHL, ECHL, Major Junior Hockey, NCAA hockey, Sweden or anywhere else.
Anyway, I tried to be my thorough self in updating everybody's statuses, and I hope the effort is worth your time:
I don't normally post a lot of Wings stuff in the evening as traffic is down and other hockey games are rolling along, but I was really intrigued to hear what the Red Wings' players, coach and management had to say at the Detroit Economic Club's luncheon, and while Mike Babcock's 14-minute interview on The Fan 590 steals the show in terms of coach-speak...
So the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa already delivered quite the, "This is like the early years, except with Datsyuk and Zetterberg" comment from Chris Ilitch earlier; later in the afternoon, DetroitRedWIngs.com's Andrea Nelson took note of Ken Holland's summation of Wings' playoff push...
The Owen Sound Attack kind of dropped this news tidbit yesterday, but the Grand Rapids Griffins made it official this evening: Owen Sound Attack captain Zach Nastasiuk, like Saginaw Spirit goalie Jake Paterson and Prince George Cougars defenseman Marc McNulty, has wrapped up his major junior season, and as such, the Wings decided to give the trio some pro experience in Grand Rapids.
Nastasiuk was signed to an amateur try-out today:
The Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday reassigned right wing Zach Nastasiuk from the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Attack to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
A native of Barrie, Ontario, Nastasiuk has accumulated 110 points (54-56—110) in 192 career OHL games with Owen Sound from 2011-14. Serving as captain for the 2013-14 campaign, Nastasiuk notched 51 points (23-28—51) in 62 regular season games and four points (3-1—4) in five playoff games. The 19-year-old ranked among team leaders with 23 goals (4th), 28 assists (4th), 51 points (T2nd), 10 PPG (2nd) and two shorthanded goals (1st). In his three seasons with Owen Sound, the 6-foot-2, 196-pound Nastasiuk played under Attack head coach Greg Ireland, who commanded the Griffins for parts of three seasons (Feb. 10, 2005-June 15, 2007).
Mike Babcock joined PTS (Prime Time Sports) to talk about the Red Wings’ position in the playoff race, and how they’ve managed to keep pace without their captain Henrik Zetterberg and all-star Pavel Datsyuk.
Much more too. I listened live and if you have 14 minutes to spare, I suggest you do the same.
You will be listening to host Bob McCown and Elliotte Friedman along with Babcock...
Update: Here's the audio with a download link:
The Red Wings practiced at an early hour today because the team was to speak at a Detroit Economic Club luncheon at noon, and, via RedWingsFeed, the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa took note of the comments made by Wings GM Ken Holland and the team's president, Chris Ilitch:
Chris Ilitch, the president and chief executive officer of Ilitch Holdings, said that for his parents Mike and Marian Ilitch, who were not in attendance, the season feels very much like their early years of ownership. In those days, the Red Wings were scouting Canada and Europe for young talent with which to stock the lineups of a franchise that would win four Stanley Cups, before the likes of Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom retired.
"To my parents, it feels a lot like the early years, with one exception," Ilitch said, referring to players like Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, who are injured, and Niklas Kronwall and Jimmy Howard, who remain to lead a young lineup. We didn't have the great foundation to build on."
Ken Holland, general manager of the Wings, said despite the difficulty of the season, the play of lots of young new players from Grand Rapids means the franchise is considerably deeper than at the start of the season.
"Injuries are part of our sport," Holland said. "We had a lot of injuries last year, but we were able to play our way into the playoffs. Probably the difference is, last year Pavs and Z were in the lineup every night."
I've continued to update the practice post Paul started this morning with the usual practice day's worth of Red Wings news, but the strangest injury update didn't come in the form of anything regarding Stephen Weiss's status (proclaimed himself able to skate with the team on Friday, didn't skate with the team today), Jonathan Ericsson's status (recovering from a broken finger) or Henrik Zetterberg (on track to return late in some sort of first-round playoff scenario?), nor which players the Boston Bruins may sit tomorrow (instead, it's all about "message-sending").
The strangest news came in the form of one Daniel Cleary stating that he'd had reaction to an injection of synvisc, the same artifical knee lubricant that Tomas Holmstrom leaned upon during the latter years of his career, and that Cleary is now on the road to recovery, as Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji noted:
Paul will post this in KK Hockey, but for Red Wings fans' sakes...
NEW YORK (April 1, 2014) – Boston Bruins right wing Jarome Iginla, Detroit Red Wings right wing Gustav Nyquist and Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the month of March.
SECOND STAR – GUSTAV NYQUIST, RW, DETROIT RED WINGS
Nyquist ranked second in the NHL with 12 goals and tied for fifth with 18 points to help the Red Wings go 7-6-2 and move into the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference (35-26-14, 84 points).
The Toledo Walleye have struggled to win on a consistent--hell, even sporadic--basis thanks in no small part due to their dual affiliations with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. The team stated that it would decide whether to continue its dual affiliation because up to 12 players shifted in and out of the roster as the Grand Rapids Griffins and Rockford IceHogs' respective needs demanded, and today, the Walleye made their choice:
The Toledo Walleye and Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League announced today they will end their affiliation upon completion of the 2013-14 ECHL season.
The Indianapolis Fuel will become the ECHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks. Indianapolis is the 23rd franchise to join the ECHL and will begin play in October 2014.
Most recently updated at 2:59 PM...
added 10:23am, via Chuck Pleiness tweet,
From the looks of things, Pavel Datsyuk won't play Wednesday against Boston. He's on the bench as the team skates lines.
added 10:32am, via Khan tweets,
Lines: Nyquist-Legwand-Franzen, Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco, Andersson-Helm-Bertuzzi, Miller-Glendeniing-Abdelkader.
Datsyuk was skating alone at one end of the rink while top power-play unit practices at other end.
Legwand taking Alfredsson's place at point on first power play unit with Kronwall; Nyquist-Franzen-Bertuzzi up front.
Second power-play unit has Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco up front, DeKeyser-Kindl at points.
added 10:55am, via Roose tweet,
Pavel Datsyuk said he will be a "game time decision" to play for the #RedWings tomorrow
added 11:01am, Datsyuk talks after practice...
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.