The Malik Report
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
If Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg can have some semblance of health.
If Jimmy Howard inserts himself into the Vezina conversation.
If Gustav Nyquist (28 goals in 57 games) truly is an elite NHL scorer and Tomas Tatar can take the next step.
If Mike Babcock, who carries 415 wins and two Stanley Cups into this season, re-signs either before the season or, if he doesn’t, doesn’t become as a sideshow during the campaign.
If Anthony Mantha really is a beast and can bounce back from a fractured right tibia suffered in rookie camp.
If 2013 free agent addition Stephen Weiss (sports hernia) can make some kind of contribution.
via Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Here are the Red Wings' line combinations and defense pairings:
Johan Franzen-Henrik Zetterberg-Gustav Nyquist
Justin Abdelkader-Stephen Weiss-Kevin Porter
Teemu Pulkkinen-Luke Glendening-Mitch Callahan
Andrej Nestrasil-Tomas Nosek-Landon Ferraro
Danny DeKeyser-Jakub Kindl
Kyle Quincey-Brendan Smith
Brian Lashoff-Aaron Rome
Jonas Gustavsson (first two periods)
Petr Mrazek (third period)
Game is at 8:30pm ET and no local TV. Game is on CSN+ in Chicago.
A minor injury update below...
The Red Wings will take to the ice at Centre Ice Arena for one last time this morning (pre-game skate from 10:30-11:15 AM; non-game-day-player skate from 11:30-12:15 [or later?]) ahead of tonight's exhibition game in Chicago (8:30 PM EDT on CSN CH+ or The Game 88.7 FM in Chicago, "alternate means" for the rest of us; sorry for listing the start as 8 PM earlier).
Hopefully we'll find out good news regarding Pavel Datsyuk, who suffered some sort of shoulder injury in the Wings' 2-1 exhibition win over Pittsburgh last night.
The other "intrigue" (if you can call it that) involves the status of Wings camp try-out Joe Hicketts and whether the Wings have signed him to an entry-level contract (he's apparently got to be either signed by the time the NHL season begins or he goes back into the draft next June). He didn't practice with the team yesterday, and the Victoria Times-Colonist's Cleve Dheensaw reports that the Victoria Cougars expect the 18-year-old back in the WHL either way:
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The Red Wings didn't make any splashes this offseason, but Holland's optimism for a 24th consecutive trip to the playoffs stems from what his team did last season despite the injuries.
"If you look at our '13-14 season, for the most part we got a half a season out of [Darren] Helm, a half a season out of [Jonathan] Ericsson, a half a season out of [Johan] Franzen, a half a season out of [Pavel] Datsyuk, a half a season out of [Henrik] Zetterberg and less than a half a season out of [Stephen] Weiss," Holland said.
"Certainly I understand injuries are a part of the program, and we've been hit hard here the last two years, but we qualified for the playoffs both years where 19 teams have missed the playoffs at least once in the last two years. It's not like we've knocked it out of the park, but we've played our way in."
The Red Wings played their way in last season on the backs of players coach Mike Babcock still calls "kids" even though they're between 22 and 25 years old.
Gustav Nyquist, who is 25, scored 28 goals in 57 games, including 12 goals on 30 shots in a 10-game span from March 16-April 2.
"It felt like everything was going in at the time," Nyquist said.
Good game! Did you watch?
And the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dave Molinari...
Datsyuk, who drew an assist on Tatar's goal, did not finish the game. He went to the dressing room under his own power late in the third period after taking a big hit from Rob Scuderi.
A Red Wings spokesman said Datsyuk had a shoulder injury and will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
Darren Helm also emerged from the game with a black eye and gauzed-up nostril due to a high stick, and somehow, Ryan Sproul wasn't injured in this hit from Robert Bortuzzo, as posted by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Seth Rorabaugh (and there was no penalty on the play):
Update #3: Oh, swell:
It was NOT pretty--and Wings fans will worry like nobody's business until we find out whether Pavel Datsyuk left the game after Rob Scuderi shoved him into the glass near the bench because he was just done for the night or because he was "banged-up"--but the Red Wings defeated Pittsburgh 2-1 to capture their first exhibition game.
Just like Darren Helm and his blackened left eye and gauze-tipped right nostril, the Wings got a little bruised by the Penguins, and the Robert Bortuzzo hit on Ryan Sproul, face-first into the boards/glass, was just downright dirty, but Sproul was OK)...
Detroit will fly back to Traverse City for one final morning skate and practice (10:30-11:15 morning skate, 11:30-12:15 [or 45?] practice); the "B Team" will head to Chicago to play the Blackhawks (8 PM EDT on CSN CH+, Gustavsson Starts, Mrazek finishes the 3rd), while the rest of the team will are pack up after the skate to head back to Detroit, where they will open their preseason hosting Chicago on Thursday).
This is not the kind of update I'd like to be posting amidst a 1-1 tie between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins in the teams' first preseason game...
But then, WHEW!
It is apparently possible to be so tired that you're nauseous, and as such, the "player takes" are going to be awfully quick. I'm sorry, I've done my best to keep things going interview-wise ahead of tonight's game in Pittsburgh and MSM/Blogger-wise, but...After 8 very hard days of at-the-rink work and 12 away from home, the body's starting to break down and the hours are taking their toll.
In any case...
Updated 4x at 4:20 PM: If it's okay with you, I'm going to searate the "Morning Skate in the Afternoon" post (Wings vs. Pens, tonight at 7 PM EDT on WPCW or mysterious quasi-legal streams) on its own and start a what-will-be-updated afternoon news post.
1. I guess first and foremost, I'm surprised that nobody jumped all over the dang fact that the Red Wings' player releases and prospect returns to Major Junior Teams didn't include one Joe Hicketts. The 5'8" Victoria Royals defenseman wasn't at practice today and he wasn't visible off the ice, so who knows what exactly is going on, but the Wings would have to sign him to an amateur try-out for him to take part in games and an NHL contract to ensure that he doesn't end up in the 2015 draft, so...Cross your fingers for Joe and the Wings.
2. The Wings are indeed taking a solid lineup to Pittsburgh tonight, but as the Free Press's Helene St. James notes, Wings coach Mike Babcock wasn't exactly backing off his, "We'll wait and see" stance regarding younger players stepping up:
Updated with Pens stuff at 2:31 PM: he Red Wings' players engaged in a morning skate ahead of tonight's game against Pittsburgh (7 PM on WPCW in Pittsburgh) and a practice for the non-game-day players (and FYI if you're here on Tuesday: the morning skate is from 10:30-11:15, there's a practice from 12:15-12:45, and Babcock changes rinks at the last second, so the game-day skate might take place in the West Rink as it did today).
The morning skate was partiuclarly interesting as the team didn't just ice tonight's already-listed lineup (that and Tony Granato used a laser pointer during the 15-minute pre-skate video session):
That's a little different than tonight's announced lineup, per MLive's Ansar Khan:
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.