The Malik Report
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.
from Kevin Weekes at NHL.com,
The Capitals (11-4-1) visit the Red Wings (9-8-1) at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN). Here's my breakdown of the game:
Pluses: Whether it's been Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek in net, Detroit has been comfortable with either guy and knows that each gives them a chance to win every night. It's also helped them a lot to be able to integrate a lot of younger players. For a lot of the younger players getting an opportunity, it makes a big difference when you have the goalies behind you that they have.
For a team like Detroit that's in a transition year with Blashill coming in, Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Dylan Larkin, etc., have been excellent. Larkin plays at warp speed. On one stride, it seems he is gaining 4-5 feet and he is hovering on the ice. He's really explosive like he is shot out of a cannon. He is mature beyond his years. For him to be able to make the transition to Detroit this year is a testament to their scouting staff and to him as a kid and a player as far as how far he is in his development arc. I think him and fellow rookies Max Domi, Artemi Panarin and Nikolaj Ehlers are must-see TV. Larkin leads the team plus-minus (plus-12). That shows his play away from the puck has been excellent. He's not sneaking up on the League, he's coming up with fanfare, so he can't really hide.
A huge plus is Pavel Datsyuk is back after missing the first six weeks of the season because of ankle surgery. He has the ability to be a game breaker on both sides of the puck, which I think is going to help their defensive game too.
Minuses: The challenge for the Red Wings is to get their 'D' to move up more in the rush and attack in the offensive zone. They have Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson and Mike Green, but they don't have all the pieces that they need on defense yet. I think it's still an Achilles heel for them.
read on for a look at the Capitals...
Tonight's game between the Red Wings and Capitals is an "NBC Rivalry Night" game (it's an 8 PM EST start), and as such, it's getting special attention from NHL.com. John Kreiser penned a "Tale of the Tape," Dan Rosen offered a set of comments from around the hockey world regarding Alex Ovechkin and his quest to become the top Russian-born goal-scorer in NHL history, and Rosen also examined Red Wings candidates who will "receive a boost" from Pavel Datsyuk's return to Detroit's lineup. For Example:
In a word, why: Possession
Explain: Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill smartly put the speedy and skilled Larkin on a line with Datsyuk for the game against Ottawa. This has some staying power because Larkin is rapidly developing into one of the Red Wings' best forwards when it comes to keeping the puck in the offensive zone and generating scoring chances. Datsyuk is among the best in the world at that.
Against the Senators, Datsyuk was a plus-8 in 5-on-5 shot attempts (SAT); Larkin was a plus-7, according to war-on-ice.com. They have the ability together to make opposing forwards play on their heels and force opposing defensemen to turn. They won't easily give up the puck once they gain the offensive zone either. And Larkin can benefit from Datsyuk's vision and hands, provided he keeps his stick on the ice and is always ready for the pass. At 19 years old, he's already smart enough to know where to go on the ice to take advantage of Datsyuk's vision. He's also quick enough that he should draw defenders to him, providing Datsyuk with more room in the offensive zone. Datsyuk can already stickhandle in the penalty box if he had to; added space makes him even more dangerous.
Rosen continues, discussing Datsyuk's positive effects upon Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit's defense and Jeff Blashill's match-ups.
The Red Wings will battle the Washington Capitals for the second time in 8 days Wednesday night on NBCSN's "Rivalry Night" (8 PM EST on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), and the Wings face a unique set of challenges tomorrow evening.
The 9-8-and-1 Red Wings face an 11-4-and-1 Capitals team that hasn't played since last Friday's 3-2 OT loss to Calgary, while Detroit will be playing their 4th game in 6 nights...
And as you probably know by now, Alex Ovechkin remains tied with Sergei Fedorov with 483 goals, and after firing 15 unsuccessful shots at Petr Mrazek in last week's 1-0 Wings win, you can bet that Ovechkin wil want to snap Fedorov's record this time around.
The Capitals addressed their desire to beat the Red Wings and the lessons learned from last week's game in conversations with WashingtonCapitals.com's Mike Vogel:
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.