The Malik Report
From NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika:
The Red Wings are building a new arena because of many of the things that make Joe Louis Arena the Joe. It is a Spartan gray box of siding and cinderblock down by the Detroit River, surrounded by cracked concrete. It has three windows, and they're portholes cut into metal doors on the ground floor. It has smelly stairwells and crowded concourses. The out-of-town scoreboards have been broken for years, covered by banner ads, and the main scoreboard screens are small and in standard definition.
But the Joe has character and gives the Red Wings an old-school home-ice advantage. It is one of the last unique rinks left when so many new ones are essentially the same. It's named for a boxer, not a bank. There are suites, but all on the top level, keeping high society up high. The seats are red vinyl, worn from years of use, but the fans don't come for comfort and often stay on the edges. The sightlines are good. For big games, the volume is full blast.
"It's not a big show around it," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg once said. "You come in and watch hockey."
The end boards are the last in the NHL still made of actual wood. Beneath an eighth of an inch of white plastic, there is three quarters of an inch of plywood and another half-inch of plywood painted red, supported by a steel frame. It makes the end boards the bounciest in the League. When Nicklas Lidstrom played defense in Detroit, if he couldn't find a shooting lane, he often would miss the net on purpose, knowing the puck would ricochet into a scoring area.
Red Wings TV posted a clip in which many alumni--Larry Murphy, John Ogrodnick, Kris Draper, Jimmy Carson, Alex Delvecchio and Darren McCarty--recall Joe Louis Arena memories while looking forward to the new rink:
Meanwhile, earlier at the Joe, from Michigan Hockey:
Update: WXYZ's Brad Galli filed two reports from the red carpet celebration:
An FYI for Grand Rapids Griffins fans, via TSN:
The Calgary Flames have signed goaltender Tom McCollum to a two-year, two-way contract.
The 26-year-old cleared waivers and been assigned to the American Hockey League's Stockton Heat.
McCollum, a former first-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings, played 30 games for the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins last season and went 15-13-0 with a 2.42 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.
from Will Burchfield of CBS Detroit,
“We’re going to hurt those kids. If they get here and they’re not ready for this, and they lose their confidence and the coach loses his confidence in the player, now what?” he told 97.1 The Ticket on Monday morning. “I’m a big believer that the American Hockey League is the best development league.”
Like head coach Jeff Blashill earlier in the day, Holland stressed that the Wings are focused on assembling the best possible team for the task at hand.
“We’re trying to win tonight,” he said. “I don’t want to just play the game tonight and throw out a bunch of kids and we might not win. What’s gone on here since the early ‘80s is we’re trying to win, we’re trying to put a team on the ice.”
Update: Here are Holland and Blashill's interviews:
Tonight's game starts somewhere near 7:37pm ET and is on FSD, TSN5 and RDS1. A KK member also pointed out to me the game will be streamed on Yahoo (start here).
The Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings began the 2016-17 NHL season going in opposite directions.
The teams are scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m., Monday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit's season home opener.
Ottawa is 2-0-0 after defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 in overtime on Wednesday night in its opener and a 4-3 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night, while the Red Wings are 0-2-0 after a 6-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night and dropping a 4-1 decision to the Florida Panthers Saturday night.
"Early in the season, it's good to grow and learn from different things ...," Senators forward Ryan Dzingel told the Ottawa Sun after Saturday night's game. "We grew as a team. Both wins helped us out a lot."
Dzingel had a goal and an assist in the game, in which defenseman Erik Karlsson and center Kyle Turris scored in the shootout.
It will be the Senators first road game of the season.
It is the first time that Detroit has lost its first two games of the season since 2009.
added 1:53pm, Detroit press release is below...
George is still ill and I am trying to present you with some of the latest news on the Wings' side.
It will not be as in-depth like George but doing what I can do.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Darren Helm's line, with Gustab Nyquist and Thomas Vanek, is the only one that has remained intact thus far.
"That one line with Helm has been real good so far, I think in both games, from a point production standpoint, but also their impact has been good," coach Jeff Blashill said. "So kept them together and then still trying to find the right combination with the rest of the groups."
Dylan Larkin and Henrik Zetterberg have been reunited. Tomas Tatar is the other wing.
"If you go through the course of (last) season I thought they (Larkin and Zetterberg) were pretty good together, so we'll see if that chemistry can remain here this year," Blashill said.
On defense, Xavier Ouellet is paired with Brendan Smith while Alexey Marchenko joins Jonathan Ericsson.
"I think (Ouellet) and Ericsson both have played two real strong games, so been real happy with those two guys," Blashill said. "They need to continue to play at that level."
more, basically Detroit's lineup for tonight...
added 12:51pm, from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
via Ansar Khan tweets,
change couple lines at skate:
change couple defense pairs:
Mrazek in starter's net
power play units:
Zetterberg-Nielsen-Tatar, Vanek (net front), Green
Sheahan-Larkin-Nyquist, Abdelkader (net front), Smith
added 10:54am, Wings need all the help they can get...
Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News with a very thorough piece on Joe Louis Arena,
Joe Louis Arena almost never happened. In the mid-1970s, the City of Detroit had to rush to prevent the Red Wings from moving to Pontiac.
The Old Red Barn, “The Olympia” in the local vernacular, was 49 years old in 1976. The near West Side neighborhood was increasingly impoverished for a decade, as residents of means moved farther out Grand River and into the suburbs.
The construction of the Jeffries Freeway, which would hasten the social trends, was just completed.
Having lost the Lions to Pontiac in 1974, Mayor Coleman Young and others swung into action.
The politics and finances of the deal meant the development of the new arena would have to be swift and economical. Both requisites were accomplished.
“Architectural significance? There’s probably not very much there,” said Paul Urbanek, the current design director for the architect of “The Joe,” SmithGroup JJR.
“The very industrial look of the exterior was purposefully thought of as the industrial grittiness of Detroit, where it came from and what it was about, as well as the economics of the building,” said Urbanek, who was not involved in the design 40 years ago, but who still plays hockey at age 60.
“It was intended to be built very, very economically, and it was.”
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Detroit Red Wings haven't started a season 0-3 since 1989-90, which also happens to be the last time they missed the playoffs.
After losing on the road to Tampa Bay and Florida, the Red Wings will try to avoid falling into a deeper hole when they host Ottawa on Monday. Then they face three playoff teams from 2015-16 (the New York Rangers, Nashville and San Jose) in a span of four days.
Here are five things to watch:
What's my line?
Coach Jeff Blashill has juggled his lines the first two games, with the exception of the third line (Darren Helm centering Gustav Nyquist and Thomas Vanek), the most effective unit. Might he shuffle more on Monday? Dylan Larkin, a minus-4 in Saturday's 4-1 loss at Florida, needs a spark that he's not getting playing with Riley Sheahan. Henrik Zetterberg and Frans Nielsen haven't worked well together. Will Andreas Athanasiou remain in the lineup?
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.