The Malik Report
from Joe LaPointe of Mlive,
The Wings turned up the pressure with younger, fresher skating legs against an older team that had lost the night before in St. Louis. Detroit scored the next four goals and took a 4-2 victory in the first game of a four-game home stand that stretches for 10 days.
It is one of several schedule oddities that have helped the Red Wings get off to a strong start (7-3-4), despite the recent winless three-game road trip (0-1-2) of earlier this week. The Wings are now 5-1-1 at home and play the next three downtown on the riverfront.
"To be back home with this interesting schedule, I think it's beneficial," said defenseman Brendan Smith, who scored his first goal of the season in the final minute of the first period to break a 1-1 tie. "(Joe Louis) is definitely special. Everyone in the league knows it's special. It's Hockeytown. It's quite a thrill to play in front of them."
It was another packed house at The Joe with a raucous, payday crowd, the kind of beer-waving fans who sing along and act out Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Fat-Bottomed Girls" when the speaker system blares them before faceoffs.
Technically, it's a doomed arena, noted Jakub Kindl, who scored the first Detroit goal, on the power play.
"We don't have a lot of years left to play in front of this crowd," he said. "It feels good."
Anyone else notice the Wings are now 4-0-1 when facing a team which is on the 2nd game of back-to-back games and they host Tampa on Sunday after the Bolts play in Columbus tonight.
The Associated Press and even NHL.com insist that Niklas Kronwall either scored a "lucky goal" or carromed a "wild bounce" into the Red Wings' fourth goal in Friday's 4-2 win over New Jersey--and Kronwall told Aftonbladet's Per Bjurman that he was simply trying to get the puck on the net--but with Nicklas Lidstrom in the house, it's hard to believe that the Pavel Datsyuk-less Wings got anything less than a "Lidstrom bounce" off of Al Sobotka's bouncy boards here:
Playing their 4th game in 6 nights and 5th game in 8, the Wings weren't particularly sharp early, giving up a very early goal to Jonathan Bernier (all of 3:18 in), and there's no doubt that the Devils were coming into the game minus Ryane Clowe, Adam Henrique, Mike Cammalleri, Jon Merrill and Martin Havlat, but the Wings were winless in 3 games (0-1-and-2), it sure sounded like Mike Babcock's head cold had spread to at least Riley Sheahan, and Henrik Zetterberg "left the ice" twice after a hard hit (he still played 18:26, had an assist, 3 shots and went 11-and-5 on faceoffs)...
The Grand Rapids Griffins have 2 new assistant coaches, 5 turning-pro or turning-North-American-pro players in their lineup, and their starting goalie and last year's first line are in Detroit right now, so I'm not surprised that they've struggled early in their 2014-15 campaign, but I'm surprised that they've struggled to the extent that they have.
Grand Rapids dropped a fight-filled 4-0 decision to the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday, and the Griffins possess a 3-5-and-1 record going into tomorrow night's game against Rockford. The Griffins' website posted a recap of the game...
The Red Wings did something very important--and built upon an every-game tradtion for the team and Danny DeKeyser--in holding Military Appreciation Night at the Joe, and if you were wondering whether you could get your hands on the camouflage jerseys worn by the players and Mickey Redmond, the Wings posted the following press release:
AUCTION UNDERWAY FOR CAMO JERSEYS
… Jerseys Worn by Red Wings Players During Warmups on Military Appreciation Night Now Being Auctioned at NHL.com…
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Red Wings Foundation announced today that the camouflage jerseys worn by the players during tonight’s pregame warmups in honor of Military Appreciation Night at Joe Louis Arena are now being auctioned at http://www.DetroitRedWings.com/camojerseyauction with proceeds benefiting the Detroit Red Wings Foundation.
The online auction is currently underway and will run through Friday, Nov. 21.The authentic camouflage jerseys can be signed by the respective player or alumnus who wore the jersey at the discretion of the auction winner.
I saw this story Tweeted by RedWingsFeed and said, "Oh for *#$%@&'s sake." YOU THINK SO?
According to the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger, "Rumors [are] swirling [that] Red Wings' Babcock wants to be [the] NHL's highest-paid coach":
The financial bar, it seems, has been set in the Mike Babcock sweepstakes, especially if you believe the chatter around the league that he is looking to become the highest paid coach in the NHL.
The most recent member of the coaching fraternity to cash in on a successful run was Boston’s Claude Julien, who this past week was inked to a reported three-year contract extension said to be worth $2.5 million per season. That leaves him with the second highest annual salary among NHL bench bosses, trailing only the $2.75 million per being brought in by the Chicago Blackhawks’ Joel Quenneville.
Julien is second in tenure among all NHL coaches to Babcock who, as has been well publicized, is in the final year of his deal with the Detroit Red Wings and already being billed as the top potential free agent who might hit the market next summer.
Yes and he's going to get his money, probably in Detroit.
The Red Wings came home on a 3-game winless streak (0-1-and-2) and came out as flat and inattentive as the sea of empty seats at Friday night's "sellout" at the Joe, and they promptly gave up the game's first goal.
It was uh oh, not again as the Wings played rope-a-dope and mostly dope early in the 1st, but the Wings survived the first 10 minutes and started skating hard, overcoming Pavel Datsyuk's absence (and a few instances in which it was reported that Henrik Zetterberg left the bench; he was OK, playing 18:26 and registering an assist) and the mental fatigue they'd displayed over the three previous games en route to a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils--a game that includes 2 Wings power play goals.
Fox Sports Detroit is reporting that Pavel Datsyuk is out with a "lower-body injury" tonight, and now...
[Edit/update: FYI: MICKEY says that Pavel had a "slight tweak" and that it's precautionary, Wings hope he'll be back Sunday. /end update]
Per Khan in text form:
General manager Ken Holland said surgery isn't planned at this time for Gustavsson, who'll be re-evaluated in four-to-six weeks.
Let's hope this is precautionary:
Update: and I guess it's message-sending time:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"It's hockey. It's business," Jurco said. "I'm still young and there's nothing I can do about it. I just have to keep working hard."
Jurco has no goals and two assists in 12 games. While his primary linemates, Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan, have improved after slow starts, Jurco is finding the going tougher in his second NHL season.
"Tats is getting going and he starts scoring; he had some struggles in the beginning too, and Riley as well," Jurco said. "I'm the only one still left that I can't break it no matter what. I guess I have to stay positive and hopefully it's going to go in.
Below, watch Ken Kal with the gameday preview...
from Bill Roose at the Wings' website,
“If you want to stay in the game, you have to be a good pro, whether you’re just starting or you’re just finishing,” coach Mike Babcock said. “I thought both of them were excellent. I thought Cleary showed good leadership and played right. I think Lash has been great since he’s gotten in, almost mistake free. To me those are good signs.”
Lashoff has played in the past three games, replacing veteran Kyle Quincey, who suffered an ankle injury last Friday against Los Angeles.
Despite missing the first 10 games as a healthy scratch, the 24-year-old Lashoff has been solid this week, logging nearly 15 minutes of ice time per game. But he says he still must be cognizant of maintaining gap control and getting back to the puck in the defensive zone.
“Just to make sure you’re up in the play in terms of being able to take their time and space away,” he said. “Things might seem a little faster, but in practice I think we do a lot of good drills to work on controlling the gap and taking away time and space.”
As for when Quincey is likely to return, Babcock said, “I think he thinks he’s ready. After he practices and shows us he’s ready he’ll go in.”
Also from Craig Peterson at the Wings' website a story on the camouflage sweaters the Wings will wear during the pre-game skate...
Updated 7x at 4:16 PM: The Red Wings hope to snap a 3-game winless streak when the y host the New Jersey Devils tonight (7:30 PM EST on FSD/MSG Plus/97.1 FM; tonight is Military Appreciation Night), and MLive's Ansar Khan reported that a surprising participant took part in the Wings' morning skate:
Stephen Weiss skating this morning with Wings after injuring groin nine days ago.
Andersson. Jurco extras
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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.