The Malik Report
My apologies for yesterday's absence...Sinus infection, definitely.
In any case, the Red Wings' prospects did engage in games on Tuesday, and the Grand Rapids Griffins posted their weekly release, so it's time to catch up a bit.
In the SHL, Axel Holmstrom took 2 shots, won 50% of his faceoffs and finished at -2 in 21:16 of ice time as Skelleftea AIK dropped a 5-1 decision to Farjestads BK;
Mattias Janmark took a shot, finished at -1, won 57% of his faceoffs and played 16:36 as the Frolunda Indians were shut out 3-0 by the Vaxjo Lakers;
Updated 14x at 3:06 PM: FYI, no morning skate for the Wings today.
Tonight's "Rivalry Night" game between the Blackhawks and Red Wings is a massively important game for both teams (7:30 PM EST on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM; according to the game notes, Francoois St. Laurent and Ghislain Hebert will referee tonight's tilt), but the Chicago Tribune's Mark Lazerus reported that the Hawks chose to "take an optional":
It's an optional morning skate for the #Blackhawks. Eleven skaters and Antti Raanta.
#Blackhawks roll call: Bickell, Carcillo, Cumiskey, Erixon, Hartman, Kane, Kruger, Raanta, Rundblad, Sharp, Shaw, Smith. #Alphabetical
In lieu of Hawks lines, NHL.com offered a wide-ranging set of "Rivalry Night" articles, including NHL.com's Paul Harris' discussion of Henrik Zetterberg's resurgent play a year removed from having back surgery:
I've gotten over two hundred email alerts regarding comments made on TMR over the past day, and that many comments tends to mean that there's some sort of argument going on--and as I was absent yesterday,
I'm assuming that the Wings' 3-game losing streak and decision to demote Petr Mrazek out-weighed the team's decision to surprisingly recall the AHL's leading scorer, Teemu Pulkkinen, to add some secondary scoring to the lineup.
This evening, the Red Wings begin their monster 6-game road trip with a "Rivalry Night" game against the Chicago Blackhawks (7:30 PM on NBCSN).
Ahead of the affair, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville appeared on WGN Radio's Steve Cochran show to discuss the rivalry with the Wings and his "strategy" for tonight's tilt (regrettably, I can't embed it)..
And a certain Mickey Redmond appeared on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Drew Lane show to discuss all things Red Wings-related, losing streak included, yesterday afternoon:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
With his team winless in three games (0-2-1), coach Mike Babcock said it's time to elevate their play.
"The league's picked up pace and we got to have our players keep up as well, so we got to elevate here and this trip's a good opportunity for us," Babcock said.
After returning home from Chicago, the Red Wings will visit Dallas on Saturday, Anaheim on Monday, Los Angeles on Tuesday, San Jose on Feb. 26 and Nashville on Feb. 28.
"You always want to measure yourself against the best teams in the league, that's where you really get a feel for where you stand," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "And we're going to be playing some of the best teams coming up, so it should be a good road trip for us."
The Red Wings are six points behind division-leading Montreal and trail Tampa Bay by four points, but have four games in hand on the Lightning.
from Peter J. Wallner of Mlive,
The fifth-year NHL veteran had not been in a game since Dec. 27, a day before he suffered a sprained elbow in practice. He said the elbow is fine - and he was cleared to play two weeks ago- but he has remained inactive with the Red Wings.
So, he asked.
"I actually went to talk to the coaches and asked what they recommend or suggest," Kindl said. "And when this came up, I said, 'Yeah, I'll come down for that.'"
Kindl played with the Griffins on Sunday in Chicago and is scheduled to remain for the next three games, all at home - Wednesday (Milwaukee), Friday and Saturday (both against Hamilton).
"Obviously, the team (Red Wings) is playing well and there haven't been a lot of changes, so this came up and I said I'm going to go," Kindl said....
Kindl said he doesn't think about where he might fit in with the Red Wings, who have been giving Alexey Marchenko an extended look on the blue line - and that after they had up another promising prospect in Xavier Ouellet.
"Some things you can't control and you can't spend a lot of time on that," he said. "Right now I'm in Grand Rapids and here to help as much as I can. And what happens next, I'll just let it be."
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Pulkkinen appeared in six games for the Red Wings from Jan. 10-20 and scored his first NHL goal in that final game prior to the All-Star break. But wasn't ready for full-time big-league duty, in the club's estimation, so he was sent down.
"I saw a kid that was a little bit nervous. That's why we sent him back down," Babcock said. "He's got an absolute bomb of a shot. He's tenacious. He's on the puck. He's strong.
"In the NHL today there's no room. We have to find ways to generate offense in no space. You have to create your own space. Being strong on your feet, being able to leverage your body is so important and he does those things."...
"He played a few games and got confidence," Datsyuk said. "After he scored his first goal he (went) to Grand Rapids and now he comes back with lots of energy. He's a guy you can feed him and he can shoot really good. He can score. We need that."
from Chris Roberts of Hockey's Future,
Boasting one of the deepest, if not the most talented, group of prospects in the NHL, the Detroit Red Wings are set up for sustained success. Despite the recent prospect graduations of Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Jurco, the Wings pipeline still features the AHL’s leading scorer, one of college hockey’s most explosive players, as well as an abundance of defensive depth.
1. (4) Dylan Larkin, LW, 8.0C
Drafted: 1st round, 15th overall
Upon being drafted, University of Michigan-bound Dylan Larkin immediately became one of the Red Wings’ top prospects. A forward who can play in the middle of the ice and on the wing with a high skill level, the American also fits the mould of player that Detroit generally looks for due to his high on-ice intelligence. With one of its highest draft selections in years, and Larkin still on the board at 15, the pick was a lay-up. That Larkin was born and raised just outside the Motor City, playing his bantam years with Michigan’s Belle Tire club, is an added bonus.
via Ansar Khan tweets,
Pulkkinen joins Wings for practice. Helm, Ericsson not skating, taking maintenance day, but expected to play tomorrow, Ken Holland said.
Pulkkinen on 2nd PP unit w/Datsyuk, Tatar, Sheahan (net front), DeKeyser.
Other is Nyquist, Zetterberg, Weiss, Abdelkader (net), Kronwall
added 12:31pm, via Khan tweet,
Tatar-Datsyuk-Jurco (for Helm)
Cleary rotating in
added 10:48am via Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Detroit Red Wings have recalled forward Teemu Pulkkinen from the Grand Rapids Griffins. He's expected to be in the lineup Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.
Pulkkinen appeared in six games for the Red Wings from Jan. 10-20, scoring his first career goal in his final game against Minnesota.
The 23-year-old sniper with the booming right-handed shot leads the AHL with 30 goals and 57 points. He had 31 goals and 59 points in 71 games last season, his first full year with the Griffins.
Pulkkinen might replace Tomas Jurco in the lineup. Jurco, though providing a physical presence, has gone 25 games without a goal, since Nov. 26.
added 12:06pm, Release is below which includes Mrazek returned to Grand Rapids...
The Detroit Red Wings' 2-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens was Detroit's 3rd in a row (the Wings are 0-2-and-1 of late), and Monday night's lost not only stung in the standings as the Wings now sit 6 points behind a Canadiens team they could've trailed by only 2, but it also earned the Wings the dubious distinction of having lost their only 2 home games for the month of February (with the other being Saturday's shootout loss to Winnipeg).
Now the Wings go on the road for 6 games, playing the Blackhawks on Wednesday, the Stars this upcoming Saturday, and then playing Anaheim (on Monday the 23rd), Los Angeles (on Tuesday the 24th), San Jose (on Thursday the 26th) and Nashville (on Saturday the 28th).
The Wings won't host an opponent at Joe Louis Arena again until the New York Rangers visit on March 4th, and while it's unlikely that the Wings will make any significant changes by March 2nd's trade deadline, the Monday's loss in particular--followed by Petr Mrazek's demotion to Grand Rapids--certainly underscored the fact that the Wings have had endured difficulty in terms of secondary scoring against elite teams, and while Wings fans may not miss Johan Franzen per se, the concussed Mule afforded the Wings the kind of scoring punch among the "top nine" that they seem to lack over a stretch in which the Wings have lost 4 of 7 games.
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.