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Red Wings-Sabres game-day updates: Filppula’s in, and Bob Duff makes a grand Twitter entrance

Updated 6x at 3:19: Ted Kulfan confirms that Ken Holland has shot down the Bogosian trade rumor: Barring any unforeseen baby news, the Detroit Red Wings should receive two additions to the lineup when they face off against the Buffalo Sabres tonight at 7 PM EST (FSD/MSG-B/WXYT). Mike Modano will return tonight, and the Detroit News’s Eric Lacy

Ted Kulfan

says that Valtteri Filppula’s ready to go as well, though Wings coach Mike Babcock doesn’t expect either player to jump into the lineup and dominate play:

“It’s the wrestling in the corners that’s gets you exhausted, it’s the stopping on defense when the legs don’t want to stop,” Babcock said. “It’s all those little things that make it hard for you. The NHL is fast, so it can be a struggle.”

Filppula and Modano are expected to form a line with Tomas Holmstrom. Modano told reporters at the morning skate he feels no pain, can handle faceoffs, and expects to get time on power plays.

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Red Wings-Sabres set-up and Ken Holland suggesting that he won’t make a move at the deadline

The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Buffalo Sabres tonight (7 PM, FSD/MSG-B/WXYT) hoping to break a two-game losing streak without the services of Brian Rafalski, possibly without the services of Johan Franzen (if his wife delivers the couple’s first child two days early), and, if all goes well, Mike Modano and Valtteri Filppula playing on a line alongside Tomas Holmstrom.

The Wings face a Sabres team whose 4-2 victory over Ottawa on Friday night did little more than give them a 2-and-3 record going into the final game of a 6-game home stand and allowed the Sabres to remain in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, so while the Sabres have won two games in a row, they’re not going into tonight’s game with anything less than the same levels of urgency and “our playoff hopes are on the line” desperation that the Wings’ past two opponents—and just about every opponent from here on out—displayed and will display. 

The Sabres talked about already playing with a playoff-like level of intensity after defeating Ottawa, as the Associated Press’s recap of said game notes:

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Red Wings off-day update II: A bit about the Wings’ home-ice struggles and Modano talk

Updated with a WDFN interview with Chris Chelios: Given the lovely weather Detroit and Upstate New York have experienced over the past few days, both the Red Wings and their press corps practiced, kibbitzed and hauled tail to Buffalo to take in today’s Sabres-Sens tilt and prepare for Saturday night’s game against Buffalo (7 PM EST, FSD/MSG Buffalo/WXYT, and what a novel concept, the Wings being the rested team on the second half of back to backs!), but several members of the media who had to stay home to shovel more snow this weekend provided a pair of updates worth a separate entry.

WXYZ’s Tom Leyden spoke to the Wings about both their crappy home record of late and the imminent returns of Mike Modano and Valtteri Filppula (both will hopefully skate for the Wings on Saturday), and Leyden thankfully lets us boo birds know that the Wings are as ticked off about their crappy home record of late as the rest of us are:

“It’s like a broken record right now,” said Bertuzzi. “Guys aren’t obviously thrilled about it. No one’s pleased when they lose. Some nights it doesn’t go well but at the same time, we’ve got a lot more to give and a lot better play to do and we just have to refocus it for these road games.”

“I thought we played real good for five games, we were in a lull before that and we look like we’re right where we were,” said head coach Mike Babcock. “Ideally, this will be short. Thank God we’re going on the road and we don’t have to come back to the Joe so we can maybe help ourselves out and get ourselves a win.”

Dan Cleary went so far as to suggest that the paying public understandably deserves a little time away from the same old, same old, too:

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Red Wings GM Ken Holland weighs in on the flurry of pre-deadline trades

Yahoo Sports’ Nicholas J. Cotsonika spoke to Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford, Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk and Red Wings GM Ken Holland about the staggering number and, more importantly, substance of this year’s pre-trade deadline deals, and Holland believes that teams simply can’t afford to wait for the perfect deal when the standings are so very tight:

“In the history of the National Hockey League, the competition has never been closer,” Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “And I think it’s going to be closer next year, it’s going to be closer the year after, it’s going to be closer the year after.” And so GMs can’t afford to wait to improve their rosters. “The managers feel the sooner they can add somebody to change their team, they’re going to try to do that,” Rutherford said, “and that’s why we’ve seen this.”

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Red Wings friday practice updates: Rafalski’s out for Saturday, Franzen for Monday

Updated 8x at 2:44 PM with fashion gnus, Babs, baby and Miller vs. Miller news, Filppula quotes, etc.: Oh, goody. The Red Wings have taken to the ice at Joe Louis Arena for one last practice before heading out West via Buffalo, and the Red Wings’ Twitter account broke some less than spectacular news as the injury bug’s revolving door continues to clip players and drag them in:

Brian Rafalski will miss Saturday’s game against Buffalo due to back spasms. He is expected to join the team for the remainder of the trip.

Gah. Rafalski’s out for Saturday and Eaves will stay home due to his “lower-body” injury. More to come as the Wings’ beat writers update their websites before hopping on a plane to Buffalo (at least the Wings get the Sabres on the back half of a back-to-back against Ottawa tonight. No pun intended).

Oh goody, part 2, per MLive’s Ansar Khan:

 

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Are Wings fans allowed to boo their team for poor home-ice performances before the game’s over?

As the Detroit Red Wings were in the process of dropping their second straight home game and fourth of their six February home dates during their 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars, more than a few fans at Joe let their team know that yet another 2-0 first-period deficit, courtesy of a short-handed goal given up within the last minute of play, wasn’t acceptable.

They did so by booing the Red Wings off the ice, and given the lack of bang for fans’ bucks and the Wings’ disheartening 7-9-and-2 home record of late, I didn’t have a problem with a few thousand leather-lunged fans letting their team know that they were a little tired of a predictable on-ice product.

The issue of daring to boo the Red Wings at home, after only one period of play, touched a particularly tender nerve for WXYT’s Jeff Riger, and after discussing the issue during last night’s post-game show, he penned a rather lengthy column dissing those who issued disrespect, if you will:

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NHLPA ED Donald Fehr keeping his cards close to his vest

Via Rinkrat on LetsGoKings.com’s message board, “Mayor’s Manor” interviewed NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr at the conclusion of his tour around the NHL to meet both players and agents, and he offered an intriguing but somewhat muted set of comments regarding his tour:

Mayor’s Manor:  I would assume most of the meetings held in various cities have had a similar overall tone and message.  Was there anything unique about the sessions today?

Donald Fehr:  Well, the purpose of today was for me to meet the agents, to see them in a small group and get to the point where I could get to know some of them…and ask some questions and hear what’s on their mind. Their concerns (today) are, in most respects, similar to what the agents voiced at the other meetings. There are always some particular things that come up because of individual clients though.

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Red Wings-Stars wrap-up: Half-arsed doesn’t cut it

Updated 2x in the middle of the night with quotes, multimedia, notes, stats and other goodies: The Detroit Red Wings returned home from a successful road trip on a five-game winning streak, and over the course of the past two days, they’ve managed to squander successive efforts against the San Jose Sharks, who defeated the Wings 4-3 on Tuesday, and the Dallas Stars, who defeated the Wings by a 4-1 tally this past evening. Instead of learning from the errors the Wings committed in a Tuesday tilt that was played at three-quarters’ speed, the Wings decided to dial things back to 60%, hoping that their skill would win out over a much more desperate but struggling team.

Passes placed onto opposing players’ sticks, fanned-upon shots, inattentiveness instead of intensity, lackadaisical attention to detail and a lovely combination of making the opposing goalie look like a world-beater thanks to no little traffic and almost no secondary or tertiary scoring opportunities (which are hard to earn when you can’t seem to sustain possession and control of the puck in the offensive zone, even during five power plays) and the usual, “Holmstrom stands within five feet of a goaltender = no goal” penalty yielded what has become an all-too-predictable result for the Red Wings in front of their paying fans of late—another frustrating loss.

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Adding Larry Murphy was one of the Red Wings’ best trade deadline moves—ever

Just before I head out the door to take in the Wings-Stars game (click for game-day updates): TSN’s posted “trade deadline primers” for the Eastern and Western conferences which are pretty darn solid, but as Fanhouse’s Monte Stewart makes the baffling suggesting that the Red Wings might move Kris Draper for a depth forward and/or goaltender (um, no), NHL.com’s Corey Masisak allows Wings fans to revisit one of the best moves the Red Wings ever made at the trade deadline in acquiring an old, slow player who did nothing less than help the team win back-to-back Stanley Cups:

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My appearance on the ‘War Room’

I appeared on the NHL on XM Satellite Radio’s War Room with Mick Kern and Peter Berce this morning, talking about the trade deadline, mainstream media gripes, Mike Modano’s return and Mike Babcock’s status as an overlooked candidate for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s best coach. If you’re interested, take a listen:

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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.

 

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