The Malik Report
Red Bird III remained parked at Denver International Airport on Friday night as the Free Press's Helene St. James reported that the Red Wings' coaches and leadership agreed that burning a Saturday for the sake of an overnight flight back to Detroit, especially given that the team's going to play a 12:30 PM matinee game against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, wasn't worth the wear and tear on their bodies.
The Wings barely earned their night's rest, but Jimmy Howard was sensational, Niklas Kronwall was vicious and Pavel Datsyuk scored two gorgeous goals as the Wings rebounded from a downright doofy 4-2 loss to Phoenix with a rope-a-dope, 3-2 overtime win over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.
As such, the 19-14-and-5 Wings now sit in 7th place in the Western Conference, 1 point ahead of Sunday's opponent (though the Blues have played 36 games to the Wings' 38) and 4 points ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets, in no small part thanks to St. Louis' 3-1 win over those same Blue Jackets earlier on Friday evening.
I don't usually post video-only entries, but these beauties from the Red Wings' 3-2 OT win over Colorado merit time in the spotlight--and they merit time in the spotlight not only for the magnitude of their impacts, but also the ways in which the Avalanche's broadcasters on Altitude TV reacted to them, as opposed to Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond.
Here's Niklas Kronwall's smoking of Jamie McGinn, first from the Avs' announcers...
It's all about regulation or overtime wins for the Red Wings, and in what may or may not have been a make-or-break-the-season game--with Sunday's opponent, the Blues, pulling ahead of the Wings in the Western Conference standings...
The Detroit Red Wings dominated the first period against the Colorado Avalanche, nearly gave the game away in the second and third periods, and in overtime...Leaders lead and the leaders led, giving Detroit a crucial 3-2 OT win over Colorado.
Coming off the Wings' awful loss to Phoenix, the Wings HAD to win. They HAD to win. And they played wonderfully in the first period, with Pavel Datsyuk getting the first goal on a slick, slick power play pass from Johan Franzen, and the Wings rebounding nicely from Mark Olver's goal via a Gustav Nyquist Datsyukian-deke style goal 13 seconds after Olver scored...
Updated 3x with game-day videos at 5:42 PM: The Detroit Red Wings basically have to win tonight's game against the Colorado Avalanche (9 PM EDT, FSD/Altitude/97.1 FM) thanks to their awful performance in the team's 4-2 loss to Phoenix last night, and we already know that the Wings will swap out three defensemen for Ian White, Kyle Quincey and Danny DeKeyser.
The Avs' morning skate revealed little in the way of roster changes...Because the Avs will go with the same lineup they dressed in their 3-1 loss to Nashville on Tuesday...
And while the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the team informed the media of Mike Babcock's choice to start in goal opposite J-S Giguere...
The Wings did not hold a morning skate after not arriving in Denver until 1:36 AM local time, so St. James reports that we're going to have to wait until game time to discover the identities of the defensemen Babcock chose to scratch:
It didn't just seem like it took two weeks for the Red Wings to actually sign Northern Michigan University goalie Jared Coreau after TSN's Bob McKenzie reported that the Wings signed a tentative agreement with the 6'5" netminder...It really did take sixteen days between McKenzie's Tweet and the Red Wings' official confirmation of said 3-year entry-level contract.
Accoring to the Marquette Mining Journal's Matt Wellens, Coreau feels that signing with the Wings was more than worth the wait:
This is going to go over well...Via RedWingsFeed and MLive's Brendan Savage, NHL.com took a poll among 10 of their writers and NHL Network contributors, and Corey Masisak reports that the group deemed Red Wings coach Mike Babcock to be the league's best coach:
1. Mike Babcock (5 first-place votes) -- 68 points: Babcock is proof that a great coach can come from just about anywhere in hockey. His only playing experience as a professional came in England, though he was a captain at McGill University. He didn't have a ton of success at the Canadian junior level as a coach, reaching the Western Hockey League finals twice in eight years.
From the Red Wings' PR department:
WINGS TO HOLD WINGS FOR WISHES GAME THIS SUNDAY
… Mystery Puck Draw to Benefit Make-A-Wish® Michigan on April 7 …
Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings will host their Wings for Wishes game this Sunday, April 7, when the team takes on the St. Louis Blues at 12:30 p.m. (NBC & 97.1 The Ticket) to benefit Make-A-Wish® Michigan.
The team will hold a mystery puck draw on the concourse behind Section 126 when doors open at 11 a.m. For $25, fans will have the opportunity to purchase from an assortment of 300 hockey pucks signed by members of the 2012-13 team and packaged in a black box to conceal the autograph. Each puck has been signed by a Red Wings player and comes with a certificate of authenticity. The fan who purchases and opens the puck signed in gold by defenseman Niklas Kronwall will meet him after the game.
This hasn't been confirmed, but it's an intriguing little tidbit from my search engine monkeys and chilly666 on Hockeyfights.com, the ever-reliable Renaud Lavoie reports that the Wings have signed another BIG prospect defenseman:
Nedomlel's a 6'5," 231-lb. defenseman who's played for the WHL's Swift Current Broncos for the past three seasons. RedWingsCentral and Hockey's Future accurately describe the 19-year-old and 175th overall pick in the 2011 draft as a stay-at-home defenseman with a mean streak, but Nedomlel did register 28 points in 72 games with Swift Current this past season.
Nedomlel and Lincoln Stars (USHL) captain and Western Michigan University-committed defenseman Mike McKee, who's another 6'4," 230-pound behemoth, represent part of the Wings' attempts to add some size and downright meanness to their pool of prospects.
The Detroit Red Wings caught a very late flight to Colorado to prepare for tonight's game against the Avalanche (9 PM EDT, FSD/Altitude/97.1 FM) having placed themselves in a particularly desperate situation thanks to their awful showing in a 4-2 loss to Phoenix on Thursday evening.
The Wings now sit in 7th place in the Western Conference standings with 41 points, but the 18-14-and-5 Wings are only 1 point ahead of the St. Louis Blues (who have 2 games in hand), are 2 points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets (no games in hand) and are 3 points ahead of both the Coyotes and Predators....
Contrary to what I'm sure will be suggested over the next 24 hours, the Detroit Red Wings' 4-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes was not the result of a team collectively and individually choosing to "screw the pooch" to "send a message" voicing their dissatisfaction with the team's management.
The Red Wings did not lose because the ghosts of Jay Bouwmeester, Jaromir Jagr, Jason Pominville or Robyn Regehr were haunting them.
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.