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The Malik Report

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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Red Wings-Stars game-day updates: injury news and other stuff

Updated 7x at 4:44 PM: As the Detroit Red Wings prepare to face off against the Dallas Stars tonight (7:30 PM, FSD/FS Southwest/NHL Network/WXYT), the Wings received mixed news on the injury front.  MLive’s Ansar Khan reports that Patrick Eaves has “soreness in his groin” but did not sprain his knee during a collision with Torrey Mitchell during Tuesday’s game against the Sharks, meaning that he’ll return after the Wings’ road trip…

“I’ll see the doctor tonight and get the full report (from Wednesday’s MRI),’’ Eaves said Thursday. “Not a knee, I lucked out there. Hopefully (out) just a little while.’‘

Eaves said he just saw the replay of the hit on San Jose’s Torrey Mitchell.

“I hit the guy, kind of went up in the air and as I was coming down kind of got into a split situation, didn’t feel very good,’’ Eaves said.

Khan reports that Chris Osgood’s timeline for returning from sports hernia surgery mirrors Eaves,’ which isn’t great news given the Wings play four of their five West Coast road trip games over the course of six nights. 

Eaves also spoke to the Free Press’s George Sipple about his status, while Wings coach Mike Babcock raved about Eaves’ interim replacement:

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Red Wings-Stars set-up: Slumping Stars present challenge for still-shorthanded Wings

The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Dallas Stars tonight (7:30 PM EST, FSD/FS Southwest/NHL Network/WXYT—and please don’t forget that the Wings are collecting diapers for the Detroit Area Diaper bank tonight) facing a near polar-opposite team to the San Jose Sharks that defeated the Wings on Tuesday: the Stars have lost 5 straight games and 9 of their past 10, punctuated by a 1-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

While the Wings are worried about the San Jose Sharks (4 points behind Detroit’s 80) and Phoenix Coyotes (5 behind the Wings) catching up and dropping the Wings into third or fourth place in the West, the Stars have gone from nipping at the Wings’ heels to swimming against 9 teams separated by seven or fewer points, a.k.a. the “playoff pack,” and while the Stars added defenseman Alex Goligoski, and, as the Dallas News’s Mike Heika notes, Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Williams to their lineup, they’re without their most valuable player, Brad Richards, who continues to miss time with concussion-related issues heading into tonight’s tilt:

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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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