The Malik Report
The Red Wings' 2-1 OT loss to the Washington Capitals was, let's suggest predictable, and at least the Red Wings know it.
Wings coach Jeff Blashill had this take on the state of his 9-8-and-2 team as it prepares to hit the 20-game mark on Friday, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan:
The Red Wings (9-8-2) continue to let points slip away at home (4-5-1).
"We want to become a real good hockey team. Right now we're an average hockey team, based on our record," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "We got to find a way to win these games at home. I think we've made some progress but we got to continue to make lots more progress."
It's up to the Red Wings' coach and players to spend the next 62 games proving that they're more than average, and turning around their home record while Detroit plays the vast majority of its first-half schedule at Joe Louis Arena would seem to be the most expedient manner by which to increase Detroit's odds of making the playoff cut.
On Monday, of course, the Capitals carried the day, and they were delighted to defeat the Wings on yet another night that the Wings shut down Alex Ovechkin (who had 6 shots) in his attempt to break Sergei Fedorov's record for the most goals scored by a Russian.
Instead, Evgeny Kuznetsov delivered for the Caps, as the Washington Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan noted:
Of prospect-related note:
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Rockford IceHogs 3-2 on the strength of a 3-point (1 goal and 2 assists) night by Robbie Russo and 33-save performance from Jared Coreau, earning the Griffins their second win of the season. The Griffins' website posted a recap...
From the Sporting News's Crista Ledra:
Almost 20 years have passed since Sergei Fedorov first zipped, deked and spun his way across our TV screens in that 30-second Nike ad, white skates and all.
It may have seemed like just another endorsement deal at the time, but two decades later his partnership with Nike holds almost as much significance as his play on the ice for which he was just enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
For the generation of Russian players who followed him, most notably Alex Ovechkin, Fedorov’s superstardom was a game-changer. He was a cool-as-hell Russian, a prominent face of the North American game, and now with the benefit of reflection, his legacy is probably bigger than he realized.
“For a couple years I’m going to sit back and think ‘What really just happened?’” Fedorov said.
The deal with Nike was the perfect marriage; an already enormous company that had global aspirations and a hockey star who was ripe for transcending the NHL.
“It was a critical time in Nike’s history. The brand, we had just really decided to evolve Nike from a U.S. footwear company to a global sports brand,” said Joe McCarthy, who was head of Nike’s global advertising from 1993-96. “The strategic decision was made to venture into hockey, and hockey all the way from street hockey products and apparel, kids playing street hockey as well as the on-ice game.”
The Detroit Red Wings were far less concerned with "stopping history" against the Capitals and far more concerened about earning two points as the Wings attempt to scratch and claw their way up the Atlantic Division standings a week ahead of American Thanksgiving.
On Wednesday night, the Wings got a point, which is swell and all, but one-goal-itis, the momentum of those 6 penalty-kills and a bad change by Jakub Kindl--and the lack of the game-saving save by a Petr Mrazek who was cheating way over to the goalpost and got beat "seven hole" on his blocker--yielded a 2-1 OT win for the Washington Capitals.
The Wings played well, the Capitals played well, Detroit's execution was OK, and they shut down Ovechkin to the point that Ovechkin's 6 shots were all fired Mrazek's way in the 1st and 2nd period, but the Wings couldn't get that extra goal, and the same kind of play that yielded Dylan Larkin's 1-0 goal yielded Evgeny Kuznetsov's gamer. In both cases, the goalies got beat fairly, but the shots were somewhat stoppable.
One goal, one point. Not good enough.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
Wings GM Ken Holland appeared on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Dery and Sharp show this afternoon, discussing his team's play thus far and Justin Abdelkader's contract extension:
Ken Kal previews tonight's game and talks with Dylan Larkin who wants more goals and Niklas Kronwall on how to stop Alex Ovechkin.
From the Red Wings:
Glendening, Sheahan will visit Kenwood
Wings school assembly program has visited 49 schools this season, reaching more than 21,000 students
DETROIT - Red Wings forwards Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan will visit Kenwood Elementary in Clawson on Thursday, Nov. 19, as part of the Detroit Red Wings School Assembly Program sponsored by the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, Michigan Education Savings Program and The Kroger Company of Michigan. The program will take place from 2-3 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium.
Glendening, Sheahan and the Red Wings School Assembly Team will introduce elementary students to the sport of hockey through a youth street and floor hockey initiative. The Wings will provide equipment and hands-on instruction to familiarize kids with the sport of hockey and to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle.
Updated 13x at 2:38 PM: The Red Wings will battle the Washington Capitals in an "NBC Rivalry Night" game this evening (8 PM EST on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), and the morning skate revealed not-so-surprising information: Petr Mrazek will start for the Red Wings this evening, and Alex Ovechkin will play alongside long-time center Nicklas Backstrom this evening.
Brooks Orpik is also a "game-time decision for Washington," while the Wings expect no lineup changes.
The Capitals' Twitter account revealed tonight's starter for Washington...
MLive's Ansar Khan penned a column listing the Wings' lineup and discussing Detroit's desire to stop Alex Ovechkin from breaking Sergei Fedorov's record for goals scored by a Russian-born NHL'er:
Updated 3x at 12:01 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena just after 10:30 AM this morning, preparing for tonight's "Rivalry Night" game against the Washington Capitals (8 PM EST on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM).
DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose reported that Petr Mrazek practiced in the "starter's net":
Looks like Petr Mrazek will be the #RedWings stater tonight vs. the @washcaps.
MLive's Ansar Khan offered personnel notes from the skate...
MLive's Brendan Savage enaged in a Q and A with Red Wings scout and alumnus Kirk Maltby, and it's a "good read":
MLive: When you're watching a game now do you still get the itch to play?
Maltby: Sometimes you kind of get a little more involved. I'm into my fifth or sixth year – it's hard to keep track – being retired now. The first year is the hardest. There is times where you get a game ... where you kind of get caught up, especially if we're one of the teams involved in it. But I guess at the end of the day I know I can't get out there right now so I'm just a big fan I guess.
MLive: Do you still skate much?
Maltby: I get out here and there. I'm going to play in the alumni game in Colorado this year. I get out on the ice with my son for practices. That's about the most I skate right now.
MLive: What do you miss the most? Everybody seems to say the camaraderie.
Maltby: Yeah, it is, absolutely. Guys from all over the world, broken English, maybe hardly any English, yet you still find a way to communicate on the ice, on the road, to make everyone feel like they're family. That's a huge thing. Obviously you have a job to do but at the end of the day, you have a lot of great times with guys when you're just hanging out with them.
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.