The Malik Report
added 10:48am via Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Detroit Red Wings have recalled forward Teemu Pulkkinen from the Grand Rapids Griffins. He's expected to be in the lineup Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center.
Pulkkinen appeared in six games for the Red Wings from Jan. 10-20, scoring his first career goal in his final game against Minnesota.
The 23-year-old sniper with the booming right-handed shot leads the AHL with 30 goals and 57 points. He had 31 goals and 59 points in 71 games last season, his first full year with the Griffins.
Pulkkinen might replace Tomas Jurco in the lineup. Jurco, though providing a physical presence, has gone 25 games without a goal, since Nov. 26.
added 12:06pm, Release is below which includes Mrazek returned to Grand Rapids...
The Detroit Red Wings' 2-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens was Detroit's 3rd in a row (the Wings are 0-2-and-1 of late), and Monday night's lost not only stung in the standings as the Wings now sit 6 points behind a Canadiens team they could've trailed by only 2, but it also earned the Wings the dubious distinction of having lost their only 2 home games for the month of February (with the other being Saturday's shootout loss to Winnipeg).
Now the Wings go on the road for 6 games, playing the Blackhawks on Wednesday, the Stars this upcoming Saturday, and then playing Anaheim (on Monday the 23rd), Los Angeles (on Tuesday the 24th), San Jose (on Thursday the 26th) and Nashville (on Saturday the 28th).
The Wings won't host an opponent at Joe Louis Arena again until the New York Rangers visit on March 4th, and while it's unlikely that the Wings will make any significant changes by March 2nd's trade deadline, the Monday's loss in particular--followed by Petr Mrazek's demotion to Grand Rapids--certainly underscored the fact that the Wings have had endured difficulty in terms of secondary scoring against elite teams, and while Wings fans may not miss Johan Franzen per se, the concussed Mule afforded the Wings the kind of scoring punch among the "top nine" that they seem to lack over a stretch in which the Wings have lost 4 of 7 games.
This was bound to happen:
The Wings clearly believe that Jimmy Howard's groin is good to go and that Jonas Gustavsson will be able to back up Howard on the Wings' 6-game road trip.
Sometimes you "need to be reminded" that all is not terrible and bad when your team has lost 3 straight games, and in the case of Red Wings fans, TSN's Jonas Siegel's timing in penning an article discussing how Brendan Shanahan's Maple Leafs should "emulate the Red Wings" while rebuilding certainly accomplishes the task:
Detroit hasn't needed those high picks to replenish itself year after year after year. Not only have they found NHL talents in just about every draft – a testament to their scouting – but maybe more important than that is how they've developed those talents, emphasizing the long-term unflinchingly.
The Leafs drafted Luke Schenn with the fifth pick in the 2008 draft – trading up to do so – and had him in the NHL that fall as an 18-year-old. The Wings, by contrast, picked Gustav Nyquist with the 121st pick that year, making him a full-time player only this season.
"You see [Tomas] Tatar, [Gustav] Nyquist, they spend lot of time in the minors, they went in the minors, they paid their dues and they wait and they wait and now boom they're ready to come in," said Stephane Robidas, who contended with Detroit for years in the Western Conference. "It's not always their first rounders [either]."
Detroit believes in over-cooking its prospects. They would rather wait too long than move too quickly. Toronto hasn't shown near that kind of patience amid a revolving door of managers and strategies.
How do you blow your only two home games of February?
How do you blow 3 straight games, scoring 5 goals and giving up 10, after a 9-and-1 stretch?
How do you play a game so offensively inept that Kyle Quincey leads your team in shots with 7 and attempts with 10?
And how do you possibly justify blowing a game in which you were tied with the mighty Montreal Canadiens for 57:30?
The Wings got their asses handed to them by Pittsburgh last Wednesday, the Wings flubbed and fluttered their way to a shootout loss against Winnipeg on Saturday, and Detroit's indecisive play yielded a stunning and staggering 2-0 loss to Montreal that should and could have been (cue the should'ves and could'ves AGAIN) a strong win had Detroit played with the kind of poise, discipline and resolve it had been displaying prior to whatever the hell happened after the team got back from the Fathers' Trip.
Sixteen full updates were crammed into the game-day post, but more Red Wings-related stuff has popped up on another, "File the notebook early" day, so let's see whether I can get it all in one place prior to the start of tonight's Red Wings-Canadiens game (7:30 PM on FSD/Sportsnet/97.1 FM).
First, the Red Wings posted their game-day preview video...
Special assistant to the GM Chris Chelios also appeared on TSN 690 in Montreal, speaking with Chris Nilan about the Wings' campaign thus far and the Wings' probability of making a trade...
WXYZ's Brad Galli promised to deliver a superb feature on Tomas Tatar and his tributes to his late father, and here it is:
And here's the accompanying text regarding his every-goal point to the skies for his father, Jan:
One year later, Tatar's goal celebration have become must-see-TV for Red Wings fans. He carried the tribute to his dad as his go-to celebration for months.
There is one thing he has done before every game since his father passed away. Tatar took me to the team's stick rack, and pulled each of his Reebok pieces off the shelf. They all had one thing in common.
"Right now I have him on my stick," Tatar said of his father. "I always put his initial there, and he is with me."
One after another, each of Tatar's stick features his dad's first initial, 'J.' Every pass, every shot, every goal, the man who turned Tomas Tatar into a hockey player and an adult, is right there with him.
"I believe he's getting a little bit better," general manager Ken Holland said. "I know he's working with Dr. (Jeff) Kutcher (a specialist at Michigan who treats sports concussions). I get a report occasionally from (trainer) Piet Van Zant when Piet talks to Dr. Kutcher. But (Franzen) is not here. He's not on the bike. I don't know how far he is away."
Franzen, who has a history of concussions, was injured from a blindside hit by Edmonton's Rob Klinkhammer on Jan. 6. Franzen finished the game but began experiencing concussion symptoms the next day.
"The way it works, I think, is they start to feel better for a while and then they ride a bike," Holland said. "They come the next day and they feel OK, so they ride a bike a little harder. Then after three, four, five days of riding a bike they keep ramping up and ramping up and ramping up. But until he has a number of days in a row where he feels good you never push it to the next level. All I know is he needs to be here every day riding the bike and if he's not here every day, he's not on the radar screen to return to play hockey anytime soon."
As well as this (part of a longer discussion) regarding the Wings' three-headed goalie monster:
"Before we head out to Dallas we're going to make a decision," Holland said. "What we want to do is make sure Howie's groin is good. So we'll get through tonight's game and in the next 2-3 days we'll make a decision of some sort."
I'm sorry, I don't mean to bash ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, nor the person who first posited this rumor in Sportsnet's Damien Cox, but I think that the suggestion that the Red Wings might be best-served by pursuing Dion Phaneuf, who has 6 years remaining on a $49-million contract, is ridiculous:
[W]hat about a guy like Dion Phaneuf? The general belief is that Toronto will look at what’s out there for Phaneuf and Phil Kessel (both of whom carry huge contracts) in the offseason when more teams can get involved. But what if there’s an offer before March 2?
Phaneuf has six seasons left on his deal after this season, which carries a $7-million salary cap hit.
My sense is this: For the Wings to even contemplate taking on that type of contract, Phaneuf would have to become a $5.5-million player, with the Leafs retaining the rest of the salary. And I don’t think Detroit would pay a large return, either; you can forget a first-round pick ever being part of it.
Updated 17x at 2:50 PM:
The Detroit Red Wings face an incredibly difficult task in breaking a 2-game winless streak and a 4-game against-the-Montreal Canadiens losing streak in their second and final home game of February (7:30 PM on FSD/Sportsnet/97.1 FM) as the Wings host the Habs, and tonight's game defines a "4-pointer."
The Montreal Gazette's Dave Stubbs is nothing less than a Twitter maestro, so we begin with his factoids instead of morning skate news:
Since Mike & Marian Ilitch bought #RedWings in 1982, team has won combined 1,500 regular season & playoff games, most of all NHL franchises
#RedWings only NHL team to have won 1,000+ games since 1995-96: 877 regular-season & 141 playoff wins = 1,018 victories #Habs #HabsIO
Mike Babcock's #RedWings, since 2005-06, have won 446 regular-season & 64 playoff games, NHL-best in that span. Credit Detroit PR for stats
It looks like tonight's a Dan O'Halloran game, too (the Wings website's game notes confirm that, O'Halloran and Justin St. Pierre are refereeing tonight's game), so expect a waved-off goal when Carey Price humps some Red Wings player's leg:
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.