The Malik Report
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Oilers have lost eight straight games to the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, going back to December 3, 2009. It’s never been a favourite building except for their stunning playoff win over the Red Wings in April 2006 when current GM Craig MacTavish was head coach and brought out the trap to clip the powerful Wings in six games in round one en route to the Stanley Cup final.
Truth is, home or away the Oilers have been a mere speed bump for the Wings, losing 14 of the last 15, including a 6-3 walloping at Rexall Place in January. That doesn’t bode well for Monday night’s game at the Joe .
The Oilers only have one win (2-1 in Minnesota) in their last seven games overall, and the fewest wins (18) in the league. In Raleigh on Sunday, the No. 1 defence pairing of Justin Schultz and rookie Oscar Klefbom that had been doing a nice job had a very rough outing. They had trouble with young Swede Elias Lindholm, who had three goals and two assists, becoming the youngest player to do that in a game, according to the good folks at the Elias Sports Bureau, since Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had five assists against Chicago in November of 2011. Let’s see how they do with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in Detroit.
Here are five things to consider:
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled goaltender Petr Mrazek from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Since he was assigned to Grand Rapids on Feb. 17, Mrazek has not suffered a regulation loss, going 6-0-1 with a 1.13 goals-against average, a 0.962 save percentage and three shutouts. The 23-year-old netminder is 9-2-1 overall in 13 games with the Griffins this season, sporting a 2.06 goals-against average and a 0.927 save percentage. A native of Ostrava, Czech Republic, Mrazek has made 20 appearances for the Red Wings this season and is 13-5-1 with a 2.55 goals-against average, a 0.909 save percentage and one shutout. In 31 career NHL games since 2012-13, he has a 16-10-1 record, a 2.29 goals-against average, a 0.914 save percentage and three shutouts.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
I will update this post if more information comes out of the morning skate.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden marked the first time this season the Red Wings have dropped consecutive games in regulation. And they weren't sharp the game before that but escaped with an overtime win over the New York Rangers.
"It's interesting to me; we added depth to our lineup and we play worse," coach Mike Babcock said. "So we obviously got to get that fixed because we haven't been anything close to what we were prior to (the trades).
"Today we didn't compete hard enough. You got to give them credit. They were light years better than us."
The Red Wings' special teams were a mess. The Bruins, battling for their playoff lives, scored two shorthanded goals on breakaways created by Stephen Weiss turnovers and added a pair of power-play goals.
via the Detroit Free Press,
Well now we know why Jonas Gustavsson was replaced by Jimmy Howard for the 3rd period of the Red Wings' 5-3 loss to Boston on Sunday:
Quick take, Red Wings vs. Bruins: Wings drop 2 in regulation for 1st time, whiff in ‘statement game’
The Detroit Red Wings took 64 games to lose twice in a row in regulation time, and perhaps it's not that surprising that it was the hated Boston Bruins who found a way to make themselves at least remotely relevant in the Atlantic Division playoff race (Boston is now 7 points behind Detroit, though Detroit has a game in hand) and found a way to enusre that the Red Wings surrendered 5 goals for the second consecutive game, all en route to a game that may ensure that the B's sew up a Wild Card spot, defeating the Wings 5-3--and in the process, reminding a team that first gave up 40 shots for 2 consecutive games and then gave up 10 goals over their past 2 that the Wings remain a work in progress.
The Wings will be able to get back to work in a hurry as they host the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, but this was going to be a "statement game" for the Wings, and instead, it was a statement reminding us all that the Wings' defensive play of late has been anything but indicative of a team that's likely to face the Canadiens or Lightning during the 1st round of the playoffs.
Long story short, Detroit's given up far too many goals--and they haven't necessarily been the goalies' faults--and Detroit's 1-and-2 since the trade deadline, needing to rather desperately beat a Connor McDavid Lottery team that's adored playing the spoiler's role tomorrow to wrap up a stretch of 4 games in 6 nights at all of 2-and-2.
That kind of record isn't good enough for Detroit at any time of year, and the fact that the Wings look like they're skating "in quicksand" while their opponents crank their play up to playoff standards is particularly worrisome.
The Detroit Vipers presented a strange but pretty spiffy chapter in Metro Detroit hockey history, and one I remember quite well as a teenager growing up with NHL and IHL franchises in my figurative backyard right around the time that I could legally drive my beloved 1984 Mercury Grand Marquis around town.
At a time when the feud between Mike Ilitch and Bill Davidson was still quite strong--to the point that the Wayne Gretzky's 99 All-Stars Tour team that played at the Palace in 1995 did so without Sergei Fedorov, Steve Yzerman or Paul Coffey--Davidson and the Palace tried to establish a team that would serve as an "alternative to the Red Wings" for suburban Wings fans who wanted to watch more affordable hockey.
These days, if not for the Grand Rapids Griffins, Metro Detroit could probably support both the Red Wings and their AHL affiliate, but in the mid-90's, "Hockeytown" was very much so both a work in progress and something of a marketing slogan, and as such, the Vipers had some...adventurous times as the Palace crowds waxed and waned.
Things started with a flourish as the IHL team brought in Petr Sykora and Miroslav Satan during the first lockout season, and they nearly filled the barn with no NHL to watch for the first half of the 94-95 season.
The Red Wings face a slightly more difficult task than they'd anticipated in keeping the Boston Bruins in their rearview mirror during today's matinee affair (12:30 PM EDT--Spring Forward, oh joy!--on NBC/Sportsnet 360/97.1 FM).
Boston rallied from a 2-1 deficit with all of 14.1 seconds left in regulation and beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in OT on Saturday, and as such, the Bruins now sit 9 points behind the Wings, and Boston can draw to within 7 points of the Wings if they win today.
Given the 32-22-and-11 Bruins' 3 wins over their past 4 games and 4 over their past 6, 30 Regulation-or-Overtime-Wins--and given that these are the Bruins we're talking about--a Bruins team that's 7 points behind the 36-16-and-11 Wings and their 33 ROW's = time to start worrying about the Wings suddenly finding themselves battling for a Wild Card spot (with the Washington Capitals, the 1st Wild Card team, owning one fewer point than Detroit's 83) should Detroit stumble today.
However, winning today would push the Bruins to 11 points and 4 ROW's behind a Wings team that will still have a game in hand after today's affair = probably the margin necessary to shut the Bruins out of the Atlantic playoff race.
That's a very long-winded way of saying that this is a 4-point game and then some, and for a Wings team that gave up 40 shots in in 2 straight games and then gave up 5 goals against the Flames on Friday,
The Grand Rapids Griffins may have dropped their first game in ten on Friday night in Milwaukee, but the Griffins got back on the winning train in a hurry and stretched their unbeaten streak to 11 games, rallying from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the Rockford IceHogs 3-2 in OT.
The Griffins' website posited a recap:
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.