Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings-Islanders game-day updates: Nabokov in, Datsyuk out, Conklin starting

Updated 10 frickin’ times at 5:48 PM: As the Detroit Red Wings prepare to face off against the New York Islanders tonight (7 PM EST, FSD+/MSG Plus/WXYT), the Islanders’ website’s Twitter account reports that a player who was a Red Wing for a very, very short period of time will face his “former teammates” tonight…

[Evgeni] Nabokov gets his ninth-straight start in goal tonight for the #isles.
No lineup changes for the #isles forwards and D. [Kevin] Poulin will backup Nabokov

And MLive’s Ansar Khan offers some worrisome news from the Wings’ morning skate:

Datsyuk not skating in long island at morning skate

Datsyuk took a hit in Chicago Sunday before scoring in OT. will find out status after skate
Commodore has red jersey on. filling in on line with Franzen and Bertuzzi
Here are lines at skate: 93-22-44, 51-40-26, 11-8-20, 48-43-96; 5-18, 55-52, 4-23: 35-29
Just a guess but they probably wouldn’t have sent Conner down yesterday if they knew Datsyuk was iffy.

I guess we’ve got to cross our fingers there.

Update: The Red Wings posted the following press release regarding a charitable event:

Tomas Holmstrom to teach the fun of floor hockey to 600 youth…Wings Forward to Visit Maples Elementary School in Dearborn…

Detroit, MI… Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom will visit Maples Elementary School in Dearborn on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, as part of the Red Wings School Assembly Program sponsored by the Detroit Red Wings Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. The event will begin at 2:15 p.m. in the school gymnasium.

Holmstrom will be joined by the Red Wings School Assembly team to introduce 600 students to the sport of hockey through a youth street and floor hockey initiative in which the Wings provide equipment and hands-on instruction to local elementary schools. The program began in 2010 to introduce kids to the sport of hockey and encourage an active and healthy lifestyle.

During each visit, the school assembly team opens the program with a lesson on exercise and healthy eating tips, followed by a fun face-off between teachers and students during a hockey shootout competition.  Each school participating in the program receives two full sets of floor hockey equipment complete with hockey sticks and goalie nets courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings Foundation. A Red Wings folder and a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan keepsake magnet that lists five fun afterschool activities are also distributed to the students.

The Detroit Red Wings Foundation is an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, a 501 (c)(3) organization. The Foundation invests in the future of our community by providing funds and resources to worthy causes that contribute to the growth of the sport of hockey.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan supports community efforts across the state that improve lives and promote healthy lifestyles. The Blues invest in local communities by supporting organizations that share its commitment in leading Michigan to a healthier future.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to nearly 4.5 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. BCBSM also offers dental, vision and hearing plans. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.

Update on Datsyuk: Crap, per Khan...

Holland said Datsyuk out tonight. not serious. he is day to day

And the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:

Ken Holland just said Datsyuk is out for today and is day to day

The Detroit Free Press’s Helene St. James is also confirming, and here’s her report:

Quick update from Nassau Coliseum: Pavel Datsyuk is out tonight against the Islanders.

Red Wings general manager said “it’s not serious” but didn’t disclose any other reason for Datsyuk’s absence. Holland said the Wings don’t have time to call up anyone from the minors, so they may go with seven defensemen tonight.

Update #2: More from Khan:

wings wont recall anybody. go with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen
Looks like Conklin starting in net again tonight.

Khan also happened to speak to Ken Holland yesterday about the state of the team after 41 games...

“All in all, after 41 games, if you’d have told me coming out of training camp this is where we’d be, we’d be pretty happy,” Holland said. “We’ve positioned ourselves to compete for the division and compete for the top seed in the Western Conference.”

Detroit is tied for first place in the Central Division with the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. The Red Wings still have a potent offense but aren’t under pressure to score a lot of goals to win, like they were before.

“That’s really been our goal, to be a top-five team in goals against,” Holland said. “Coaches implemented a new defensive scheme and I think our players have been more committed than they were a year ago.”
“We changed a little bit on the defensive part of the game in our own zone, and that’s worked to our advantage so far,” [Niklas] Kronwall said. “Just being more aggressive. We’re trying to get the puck back a lot sooner with the way we play now than we did in the past.”

Howard is the main reason they’re tougher to score against. He leads the league in wins (24-10-1), is near the top in goals-against average (2.05) and has a good save percentage (.924).

“You’re not going anywhere without great goaltending,” Holland said. “Just to watch his development and the way he’s evolved from a prospect into a real important guy on our team, a workhorse, is great. He’s 27, really just coming into his prime. He’s been a tremendous story for us.”

Holland also had this to say about the trade deadline, with Khan suggesting that the Wings will either look for a scoring or forechecking forward:

“Hopefully, we continue to win and stay up there, and we can look if there’s an opportunity to make a move to make us a little deeper,’’ Holland said.

And Khan fired off a slate of first half grades:

Cory Emmerton (C)—Being a center enabled him to earn a spot in the lineup at the start of the season. He lost the job due to inconsistency but got it back because of injuries. In order to keep it, he must play well defensively, forecheck hard, and occasionally chip in some offense.

Johan Franzen (A-)—He experiences occasional stretches when he has little impact, but overall, his production has been as good as expected, with 16 goals and 36 points. He leads the team in power-play goals (nine) and is first in the NHL in game-winning goals (eight).

Valtteri Filppula (A)—Finally, he’s having that breakthrough season the team has long anticipated, with 14 goals and 35 points, well on pace for career-high totals. He’s not shooting any more than he has, but he’s shooting at the right time. He is taking the puck to the net and playing on the inside, with urgency.
Mike Commodore (B)—After being the odd-man out before Christmas, he was ready when called upon and has been steady, playing seven of the past eight games in place of Jakub Kindl. He provides a physical presence and is willing to fight for his teammates.

Jonathan Ericsson (B)—Despite his size (6-foot-4, 221 pounds), he is not as physical as some would like, but he has steadily improved. He has cut down on turnovers and is playing better positionally.

His story continues, obviously…

Update #3: Per the Free Press’s Helene St. James...

Ty Conklin to play tonight, Howard back in Thursday


Howard confirms he is not starting tonight. he is Ok. will start thurs vs. phx.

And Kulfan:

Conklin Starting for Howard giving Howard a breather

Update #3.5: From St. James, something tells me we’re talking about a groin injury:

Datsyuk lower body, says hopes to play Thursday

  • NHL.com’s EJ Hradek also mentioned Jimmy Howard’s performance as a first half “surprise” (and no, Puck Daddy’s not picking Howard to Win the Vezina Trophy, either, per RedWingsFeed)...

Jimmy Howard, G, Red Wings: Night after night, the former University of Maine standout works the crease for Hockeytown’s team. And he’s been consistently excellent, giving his team a chance to win just about every time he plays.

Working in 35 of the club’s first 41 games, the 27-year-old stopper has posted a League-best 24 victories to go alongside a strong 2.05 goals-against average, a .924 save percentage and four shutouts. After back-to-back 37-win seasons, Howard seems ready to crack the 40-win mark.

• And DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose spoke to former Wing Metro Prystai recently:

Do you keep in touch with any of your former Red Wings teammates? If so, who?

Oh yeah, I still talk to Ted (Lindsay) ever once in a while, and still talk to Marty Pavelich. … I get Christmas cards from some of the guys, and send them to the guys.

Which of the current Red Wings is your favorite? And why?

(Nicklas) Lidstrom is one of them. There’s quite a bit of similarities between Nick and Doug Harvey, who I played against. He would get you one way or another, force you wide and put you into the boards.

What was your favorite memory as a Red Wing?

I would say ending up in first-place for all of those years. But that ’52 team was wonderful. We had a terrific team. That (Terry) Sawchuk just closed the door; not a single goal scored on us in Detroit in the playoffs. Nothing!

Who had the biggest heart?
I would say Lindsay. He was a like a bear in a China shop. It didn’t matter. If you were out there with Teddy, you know that he was out there and always backing you. If you were getting the worst of it, he would get right in there and try to get you out of there. He was a great teammate.

update #3: No surprise, per St. James:

Datsyuk on his injury: “Secret information. KGB tell me, don’t tell nobody.”

Here’s St. James’ updated morning skate report…

Datsyuk said he suffered a lower-body injury during Sunday’s game at Chicago, but didn’t think it was serious. He’s being held out tonight as a precaution, but said he hopes to play Thursday when the Wings host Phoenix.

General manager Ken Holland also said the injury “is not serious.” Mike Babcock said “it took us by surprise,” so much so, in fact, that they’ll have to go with seven defensemen and 11 forwards against the Islanders, as there isn’t time to call anyone up from the minors. Chris Conner was sent back down Monday, so that’s a good indication of how unexpected this turn of events was.

In other news, Conklin’s solid play against Chicago means he’s right back in net tonight. Babcock already has told Jimmy Howard he’ll play Thursday. Good for the Wings if Conklin can string together two good outings after he struggled the first half. If they can get him going, get his confidence showing, they’re not on the hot stove to get a backup goalie before the trade deadline.

As for how the lines will shake out tonight, Babcock is going to have the afternoon to figure it out. He had Johan Franzen between Todd Bertuzzi and defenseman Mike Commodore at one point this morning, but laughed and said that’s not likely to happen in the game. Basically, we’ll see more of Henrik Zetterberg, Valtteri Filppula and Franzen early, and then if the Wings can impose their will and build a lead, it’ll be easier to reduce the wear on the big guys.

And here are Khan’s reports on Datsyuk...

Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk will sit out tonight’s game against the New York Islanders due to an unspecified lower-body injury sustained in Sunday’s 3-2 overtime win in Chicago.

Coach Mike Babcock and Datsyuk both said it’s nothing serious, just day-to-day, and he hopes to be back for Thursday’s home game against Phoenix.

The Red Wings did not expect him to miss this game. That’s why they reassigned Chris Conner to Grand Rapids Griffins on Monday.

General manager Ken Holland said there isn’t enough time to fly in another player for the game. So they will dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

And Conklin:

Detroit Red Wings backup goaltender Ty Conklin will make his second consecutive start tonight, when the team visits the New York Islanders. Coach Mike Babcock’s decision surprised Jimmy Howard, who has started 35-of-41 games this season. Howard said he’s fine.

“It’s a coach’s call, he decided to get Ty right back in there and give me a little break,’’ Howard said. “I wasn’t expecting it. He told us the other night on the plane, when we got back from Chicago.’‘

Howard, who has allowed four goals in each of the past two starts, wasn’t upset.

“It’s definitely good for Ty, it’s good for our team,’’ Howard said. “He played unbelievable in Chicago. Good to get him back in tonight while he’s feeling good about himself. It gives me a chance to go out in practice and work with Jimmy (goaltending coach Bedard). Haven’t gotten a chance to do a lot of that, so it was good out there today.’‘
“It’s nice to get another opportunity,’’ Conklin said. “Jimmy’s played a lot. He’s going to be playing a lot more, too. It’s nice to give him a break and get in there.’‘
Conklin, coming off a strong performance in a 3-2 overtime win at Chicago, is 2-4-0, with a 3.00 goals-against average and .897 save percentage.

“The numbers haven’t been there, but, shy of one game (7-1 loss at Washington on Oct. 22), I felt pretty good this year,’’ Conklin said. “If they want to give Jimmy a night off, you don’t want (coaches) to wonder what they’re going to get from the other guy.’‘

Update #3.5: FSD’s John Keating states the obvious:

Red Wings being careful w/Pavel Datsyuk’s groin strain. Late decision to scratch-too late to get Nyquist up.Will play with 7D. #bluelinelove

Update #4: Here’s bit more from Datsyuk, via St. James:

Judging by his mood, Datsyuk isn’t overly concerned. Asked how he got hurt, he replied, “it’s secret information. KGB tell me, don’t tell nobody.” He did reveal “I feel it little bit yesterday and I hope it’s better today, but not better. I hope it’s one game.”

Red Wings being careful w/Pavel Datsyuk’s groin strain. Late decision to scratch-too late to get Nyquist up.Will play with 7D. #bluelinelove

And here’s Wings coach Mike Babcock’s take, via Khan:

Coach Mike Babcock and Datsyuk both said it’s nothing serious, just day-to-day, and he hopes to be back for Thursday’s home game against Phoenix.

“It’s secret information. KGB tell me don’t tell no one,’’ Datsyuk, who didn’t take the ice, said after the morning skate at the Nassau Coliseum. “I feel a little bit yesterday. I hope it’s better today, but it’s not better. I hope it’s one game.’‘

Babcock said he hadn’t decided who this would affect his lines. Defenseman Mike Commodore filled in at center on the line with Johan Franzen and Todd Bertuzzi.

“I thought he was playing. Did it catch us by surprise? Yup,’’ Babcock said. “If we’d have known for sure we’d have another player.’‘

Update #5: The Islanders’ website posted a lineup via depth chart referencing and a game preview from NYIslanders.com’s Dyan LeBourdais:

The Storyline: The Islanders kicked off a two-game home win streak right before the New Year. They’ll be looking to extend that streak to three games with win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.

“They’re a highly skilled team, there’s no question about it,” Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano said. “You have to platy structured hockey, you have to make them play a 200 foot game. If you turn pucks over and make it a short track, it’s going to be a long night.”

He continued, “Every night that we step on the ice it’s going to be a battle. It’s the National Hockey League, these are good teams we have to be at our best from the net out to win game.”

Defeating the Red Wings may seem like a lofty goal, as they rank second in the Western Conference, however, the Isles haven’t lost to Detroit in regulation since before the lockout, going 4-0-1 in the last six seasons. To top it off, the Red Wings were first in the West when the Isles defeated them in overtime last season.

“They’re beatable, everyone’s beatable in this league,” Islanders forward Matt Martin said. “There’s never an easy game. This year we’ve beaten some of the top teams and then we go to Anaheim and lose to them. Every team is good, you just have to play 60 minutes.”

Martin continued, “We have to get pucks deep against Detroit. They have a lot of talent and they have a good transitional game. It’s important to keep it simple and just outwork them. They have a little bit of an older team and we are younger and have fresh legs, so we have to use that to our advantage.”

Update #6: The Windsor Star’s Bob Duff posted audio clips—which are regrettably un-embeddable…

Of islanders forward Josh Bailey, coach Jack Capuano, goaltender Al Montoya, Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg, Darren Helm, Jimmy Howard and one Pavel Datsyuk speaking before the game.

Duff also posted a de-facto game preview via Twitter:

#nyislanders have earned points in each of their last five games against #redwings, going 4-0-1.
All-time series between #redwings and #nyislanders deadlocked at 44-44-8.
John Tavares carries an #nyIslanders season-high five-game assist streak into tonight’s game vs. #redwings.
#nyislanders G Evgeni Nabokov, who starts tonight vs. #redwings, is 2 wins shy of becoming 26th goalie in #NHL history with 300 career wins.
Former #spitfires C Josh Bailey of #nyislanders is one point shy of 100 for his #NHL career.
#nyIslanders have been outscored 46-24 in the third period this season. #NHL
Windsor’s Matt Martin of #nyislanders leads #NHL with 170 hits - 16 more than the league’s next top hitter, Cal Clutterbuck of #wild.

Via the Red Wings’ website’s game notes, Brian Pochmara and Chris Rooney will referee tonight’s game, and Brad Kovachik and Mark Wheeler will work the lines.

Update #7: For the record, part 1: NHL.com’s Risto Pakarinen suggests that Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson might be the next Nicklas Lidstrom;

• For the record, part 2: the Grand Rapids Press’s Michael Zuidema reports that the Griffins have sent Adam Estoclet down to Toledo;

• In the complimentary department, NHL.com’s Brian Metzer praises Ian Whtie’s chops as a fine fantasy hockey defenseman:

Ian White—More attention should have been paid to White earlier this season. He has become a huge factor for the Red Wings, plays on their power play, gets minutes with Nicklas Lidstrom and has answered the call with 20 points (5G-15A), a robust plus-24, and 105 shots on goal in just 37 games this season.

• In the complimentary (not complEmentary) department, part 2, via RedWingsFeed: the Hockey News’s Rory Boylen talks about as a protege of Pavel Datsyuk:

Filppula, 27, is suddenly scoring and already only five points off his career-high mark of 40, set in 2008-09. So what does Datsyuk, always the joker, think about his young comrade finally excelling in the scoring department?

“I tell him be quiet, I need the glory. Be quiet.”

Filppula’s ascension as a scorer is the best development the aging Wings could have hoped for this season. For years Detroit has been able to remain a consistent powerhouse because of its ability to regenerate with its young players and to have new stars rise to the fore as the older ones are phased out. The Wings are once again close to a point where rejuvenation is needed and the question has been asked multiple times: Who is capable of stepping into the shoes of Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg?

To be sure, the Wings have a collection of intriguing talents. Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader have been depth-line staples for a couple of seasons now, while 23-year-old Cory Emmerton is off to a good start.

But while those players have clearly been brought up in a Red Wings system that is all about two-way, responsible team play, they are lacking in the scoring department. The offense has to come from somewhere and Filppula is looking like a good bet.

“He has more confidence and he plays well,” Datsyuk said. “Every season he plays well, but sometimes he doesn’t score and without points people don’t realize how good he is. Now he has goals, points, more confidence and everybody can see him.”

• In the multimedia department, the Red Wings are promoting their partnership with DTE’s “Thaw” program…

[edit/update: the Wings’ website also posted a video promoting their “S.H.O.T.S.” program]

• And don’t forget that the Free Press is conducting a chat with Helene St. James at 3 PM.

• I can’t help but agree with Greg Wyshynski’s take on the positives of no realignment for another year, either. Inequity between “conferences” and endless divisional playoff series were not aspects of the scenario that I was looking forward to.

Update #8: Oh goody, power rankings from the Hockey News’s Adam Proteau...

5. Detroit Red Wings [last week] 4: After late October/early November skid, Wings have gone 21-9-0

And SI’s Adrian Dater:

. Detroit Red Wings Last Week: 5: They’re still the team to beat in the Central, but need to improve their road performance (11-12-0), but remain a superb team. They beat much-improved St. Louis twice recently, and got a great comeback OT win at Chicago Sunday night. Henrik Zetterberg is getting his game back together (seven points in his last four games) and Nick Lidstrom never grows old. He’s the Ponce de Leon of hockey. Last week: 2-1-0

• Speaking of Lidstrom, via a chat ESPN held with Craig Custance:

Zach (Chicago (Michigan at heart)): As a Red Wings fan, I thought that the realigmnent plan could have a significant impact on whether Lidstrom comes back next year. With those plans axed for now, do you see the chances of Lidstrom coming back as less likely?

Craig Custance: I don’t think realignment hurt the chances of Lidstrom coming back but I’ve never heard him really complain or gripe about travel. Actually, I’ve never heard him complain or gripe about anything. I think he’s most concerned about winning a Stanley Cup and playing at an extremely high level of play on defense. As long as he’s capable of doing both of those things, I think he sticks around. But only Nick knows for sure.

• Custance’s colleagues, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside, posted a slate of first-half grades for every team, including the Wings:

Detroit Red Wings

Grade: A

Summary: Ho-hum, year in and year out, the Wings just do their thing. Sometimes you wonder if people realize just how extraordinary it is that this team has been able to stay among the elite all these years without ever bottoming out and rebuilding.

Trending: Up.

I’m grateful for the Wings’ sustained brilliance every day. I don’t buy into the “Wings fans are spoiled” argument, at least not personally: I’m enjoying every minute of being a Wings fan because I know I’ve been incredibly lucky to watch this team play so very, very well since Lidstrom and Konstantinov and I broke in to the league together (as players and fans, respectively!) in the 91-92 season.

• And as the “mid-season awards” continue to roll in, Sportsline’s Brian Stubits and Adam Gretz believe that it might be Ken Holland who deserves the only Wings-related award for bringing in Ian White:

Best offseason acquisition:

Stubits: Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues

It was very close for me between him and another Brian, Campbell down in Florida. But Elliott, an afterthought on the goalie market this offseason, has been sensational in St. Louis, even before Hitchcock came aboard. He’d be my favorite for the Vezina if he weren’t splitting so much with Jaroslav Halak.

Gretz: Ian White, Detroit Red Wings

There were questions as to how the Red Wings would replace Brian Rafalski on the blue line, and Ian White at an average annual salary of $2.75 million over two years has been a bargain for the production and quality of play he’s provided.

One more thing, and this is a biggy: This is very interesting, per MLive’s Ansar Khan:

Babcock: “I wish we were the biggest, toughest, ugliest team in organized hockey. That’s not how we’re built, so you coach what you got.’‘

One more thing: Detroit City Sports is charging relatively reasonable prices for a private autograph signing with Nicklas Lidstrom.

Update #9: MLive’s Ansar Khan then explained what he was talking about...

Babcock: “I wish we were the biggest, toughest, ugliest team in organized hockey. That’s not how we’re built, so you coach what you got.’‘
@Winghead19 No. He was being somewhat facetious in response to a question about Wings having only five fighting majors.

• Khan also posted a mid-afternoon update:

The New York Islanders have been one of the worst teams in the NHL since the end of the lockout in 2005. But you’d never know that from watching their games against the Detroit Red Wings. The Islanders are 4-0-1 vs. the Red Wings since the lockout, something Detroit coach Mike Babcock made sure his team was fully aware of prior to tonight’s game at the venerable Nassau Coliseum (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit Plus).

Why have the Islanders, who have qualified for the playoffs once in the past six seasons, done so well against the Red Wings?

“Because we don’t get prepared,’’ Babcock said. “The bottom line is you come in here, you look at the standings, you don’t give enough respect, and they got real good players. That happened last year in our building (Islanders won 4-3 in overtime on Dec. 31), it happened two years ago when they beat us 6-0 (in Long Island). They’ll do the same today if we don’t get prepared. They’re NHL players and they want to win just as bad as anyone else, and we got to get ready.’‘

Detroit’s lone win vs. the Islanders since 2003-04 was a 4-3 overtime victory in Uniondale on Jan. 30, 2007. The all-time series is 44-44-8.

• And, via RedWingsFeed, Michigan Hockey reports that Warrior Hockey will be the “title sponsor” of Hockey Day in Michigan on February 18th. Warrior Hockey’s based in Warren, MI, so the tie-in is a natural fit.

Update #10: Yahoo Sports’ Nicholas J. Cotsonika doled out mid-season awards, and only one Wing made his cut:

LADY BYNG TROPHY (most gentlemanly player): Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings:  I’ve written it before, and I’ll write it again: The Lady Byng should not only go to Lidstrom, it should be renamed for him. The trophy is supposed to go to the player who exhibits “the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” No one personifies that more than Lidstrom. He has been the runner-up for the Lady Byng five times, including last season, yet has never won it.

Voters often look for the best combination of high points and low penalty minutes. But Lidstrom is a defenseman. He plays a position that lends itself to lower points and higher penalty minutes, which maybe makes him harder to identify but should make him easier to appreciate.

Lidstrom has played at such a high level that he has won the Norris seven times, tied for second-most in history, and he was the runner-up for it three times before that. He has done it without fighting or throwing dirty hits. He has done it while taking few penalties, virtually all of them strictly related to the play. He has taken only nine minors this season – five for hooking, two for tripping, one for holding, one for interference. None for roughing or boarding or slashing. Certainly none for unsportsmanlike conduct. He never seems out of position or out of sorts emotionally. He is graceful on the ice and gracious off it, the Perfect Human, if he is human at all.

The NHL might as well dump Lady Byng if Lidstrom doesn’t win it before he retires, whenever his batteries run out, in 2025 or something.

One more thing: USA Today’s Kevin Allen believes that Lidstrom should win the Norris Trophy.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


SYF's avatar

Whatever high I had left over in the win over the Cawks just took a nosedive.

Just win, Wings.

Posted by SYF from #GORDIEHOWEARENA on 01/10/12 at 03:03 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Sunuva…I like Toews…but it’s getting harder to.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 01/10/12 at 03:09 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Red Wings general manager said “it’s not serious” but didn’t disclose any other reason for Datsyuk’s absence. Holland said the Wings don’t have time to call up anyone from the minors, so they may go with seven defensemen tonight.

Maybe Uncle Mike can try Ericsson on the swing position a la Dandenault.

Posted by SYF from #GORDIEHOWEARENA on 01/10/12 at 03:25 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Methinks we’re talking about a simple groin injury here…

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/10/12 at 03:42 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Methinks we’re talking about a simple groin injury here…

Well that would be a week.

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/10/12 at 03:49 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Methinks we’re talking about a simple groin injury here…

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/10/12 at 12:42 PM ET

How do the words “simple” and “groin” go in the same…nevermind.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 01/10/12 at 03:57 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Methinks we’re talking about a simple groin injury here…

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/10/12 at 12:42 PM ET

You mean the repeated chops at his ‘nads by $0.20 in the last game before he scored his GWG in OT?

Posted by SYF from #GORDIEHOWEARENA on 01/10/12 at 03:58 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

To some extent, yeah. That’s what the Hawks do. And Datsyuk will probably be back by the time the Wings play the Hawks on Saturday at the very latest.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/10/12 at 04:11 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Read updates. Babcock says it’s not serious, to the point that the Wings sent Conner down yesterday.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/10/12 at 04:27 PM ET

rrasco's avatar

Gotta be careful about that groin.  I think it was Teows fault for jumping on Dats’ back.

Posted by rrasco from TEXAS on 01/10/12 at 04:49 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Johan Franzen (A-)—He experiences occasional stretches when he has little impact…

“Occasional” stretches where he has little impact? That should be “occasional stretches where he has an impact.” Playing with Bert has reinforced his tendency to “float” out there. We need a mule on that line, not a donkey.

And it’s a shame there wasn’t time to get Nyquest into tonight’s game. I’d love to see him take Pavel’s spot on the first line playing either wing or center. Oh, well.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 01/10/12 at 05:18 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

And it’s a shame there wasn’t time to get Nyquest into tonight’s game.

Well, either him or Nyquist. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 01/10/12 at 05:20 PM ET


George, will you elaborate a little more on why you put extra emphasis and bold on Babcock’s comment about being the meanest, ugliest team. Are you just saying it is simply interesting, or does it imply something? Trade deadline, coaching style, expectations on players?? Just looking for a little more of your thoughts on that one.

Posted by Sean on 01/10/12 at 07:29 PM ET

Alzy's avatar

“I wish we were the biggest, toughest, ugliest team in organized hockey. That’s not how we’re built, so you coach what you got.’‘

This really makes me look at our Uncle in a different light, and it’s not shining. So what, he’d really rather have Getzlaf and Perry than Datsyuk and Zetterberg? Or Backes and Oshie over Datsyuk and Zetterberg? Really Babcock? Really?

This emphasis on “toughness” and being the “biggest” is just getting tiresome. Yes, the Bruins won the Cup last season, but just take a look at the past 10 years. Of the 10 Cup winners, they only teams that I would say were considered “big, tough, nasty” etc were the Fuchs in 07 and the Bruins last season. Bigger and tougher does not= Stanley Cup.

Posted by Alzy from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada on 01/10/12 at 07:30 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

It’s interesting, but MLive’s Ansar Khan cleared it up…It was Babcockian sarcasm.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/10/12 at 08:57 PM ET

SYF's avatar

MBCQOTD strikes again.  Jeebus, I should stop taking the man seriously in his pressers.

Posted by SYF from #GORDIEHOWEARENA on 01/10/12 at 09:20 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Maybe Babs was taking a not-so-subtle shot at Burke’s asinine comments a few days ago?

I mean, let’s face it: Burke made a complete moron of himself. When you try to equate the demotion of Colton Orr as synonymous with the decline of the league, people’s bellies are going to laugh, hard.

Uncle Mike is still laughin’

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 01/10/12 at 09:22 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Maybe Babs was taking a not-so-subtle shot at Burke’s asinine comments a few days ago?

I mean, let’s face it: Burke made a complete moron of himself. When you try to equate the demotion of Colton Orr as synonymous with the decline of the league, people’s bellies are going to laugh, hard.

Uncle Mike is still laughin’

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 01/10/12 at 06:22 PM ET

Good call.

Posted by SYF from #GORDIEHOWEARENA on 01/10/12 at 09:28 PM ET

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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.