The Malik Report
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
''It's a new season. We're starting even and clean,'' coach Joel Quenneville said. ''I think we have to look at it one day at a time and one game at a time. You look at all the games this year, discounting the [7-1] game, every game was a close game and a tight game where anything could have happened.
''We were fortunate in the one game to tie it up late [on Kane's goal]. Probably the best game and the most exciting game we had all year was the one in Detroit ... which was an amazing game. But we expect that kind of pace.''
The playoff matchup against the rival Red Wings will bring plenty of emotion from both team's fans. And while the Hawks respect the firepower and history of the team that set the standard for excellence in the NHL, they still feel as the best team in hockey in the regular season that they control their own destiny.
''When we played Detroit and the teams in our division the intensity is right in place and the motivation's in place,'' Quenneville said, ''whether it's the tradition, the animosity, from the fans all the way to the players. It's a special history there. We want to make sure we take care of our own business. [Detroit is] a strong hockey team that plays with a purpose. We're going to have to be at our best. But let's welcome it and look forward to it.''
The next round, against Chicago, may be a lot tougher. The top-seeded Blackhawks are the darlings of the 2013 season, they are rested, they are deep, they are experienced, and they are really good.
And these are still the Wings. Criticize them all you want, but count them out at your own risk.
That's from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press where you can read more on last night's game but my question to you is, what kind of chance are you giving the Wings against the Chicago Blackhawks?
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
What should have been a memory for the ages — a Game 7, a defining moment every NHL player craves — evolved into a dispirited 3-2 loss for the second-seeded Ducks, who were a step slower and a split-second behind the seventh-seeded Red Wings most of the night.
"I don't think anybody expected to come up short," Ducks winger Bobby Ryan said. "I think we were all coming to the rink tonight very confident in ourselves and very excited about where this could take us. It's a pretty low-morale group now, that's for sure.
Corey Perry knelt in the neutral zone for several seconds after the final buzzer, his face a mask of disbelief. Teemu Selanne, the certain Hall of Fame winger who will be 43 in July and might have played his final NHL game, didn't get off the bench in the final minute. Like his team, he had little left at the end.
Below, watch Anaheim players and Bruce Boudreau react to the game 7 loss...
Despite a third period scare-and-a-half, the Red Wings defeated the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 and will play the Chicago Blackhawks in the conference semifinals...I'll write more in a bit but you tell me how you feel about being Chicago's hamburger.
NBCSN will air the 2nd round--no FSD this time--and Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond say that the series will start on Wednesday. And it was pretty awesome to hear Kronwall and Zetterberg thank both Fox Sports Detroit and the fans who stayed up watching them. And Zetterberg readily admitted that he took a "stupid penalty," too.
The Red Wings came out incredibly strongly, perhaps remembering how the Ducks' start in Game 5 knocked them onto their heels all night long, and Henrik Zetterberg scored a slick goal (with Zetterberg and Datsyuk split up for this game) via hard work from Valtteri Filppula, Danny Cleary and Jakub Kindl, all of 1:49 in:
Paul's been doing yeoman's work and then some and the Chief captured the moment that I didn't see--perhaps thankfully, due to Fox Sports Detroit's broadcast of Friday's game--of the Ducks' version of "leadership," via Corey Perry spitting water on the ice while his BFF Ryan Getzlaf tried to challenge Henrik Zetterberg to who-the-f***-knows-what with Todd Bertuzzi, Brian Engblom and Larry Murphy's office between them...
2 1/2 minutes of a few players and Bruce Boudreau talking about tonight's game.
from John Niyo of the Detroit News,
The Wings don't have many pending free agents on the roster, but they do have a few, and none more notable - or mystifying - than Valtteri Filppula, the 29-year-old Finnish center who has become a lightning rod for criticism this spring.
In this new-and-improved, salary cap-strapped NHL, where nearly every team insists its focus is a draft-and-develop strategy -- and where fewer and fewer top-tier players are making it to free agency -- Filppula's bound to be a player with opportunities to cash in elsewhere.
The problem for the Wings is deciding what value he still has here in Detroit, where the former third-round pick has been a regular in the lineup ever since Steve Yzerman retired in 2006 and a regular in coach Mike Babcock's doghouse for a good, long time, as well.
10:08 PM ET tonight seems so far away and a long day is ahead of us.
So how's the mood of the Red Wings fans today as we wait until the puck drops?
What's your gut say, how about any dreams you may have had, will the Wings be traveling to Chicago after the game or will it be a long trip back home to begin the exit process?
from AJ Manderichio of AnaheimDucks.com,
“When you’re a kid, you have dreams that you’re playing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs,” Corey Perry said. “That’s the fun part of the hockey. You dream about Game 7s and to be that one guy to step up [and win one] is pretty special.”
“You don’t get many opportunities like this,” Cam Fowler said. “You try and cherish that moment and you look forward to it. It’s another game of hockey, but the stakes are raised a little bit.
“I’m looking forward to it. No butterflies, just excitement.”
Bruce Boudreau has both played and coached in Game 7, and believes playing carries less pressure.
more and a 3 minute video can be watched below with a few Ducks including Boudreau talking about game 7...
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.