The Malik Report
Updated 14x at 3:56 PM: The morning after the Detroit Red Wings dropped a 4-1 decision to the Boston Bruins via a succession of self-inflicted wounds, we received reminders of two unique parts of this series:
1. There is only so much you can work out via practicing in late April, when "exam season" is taking place both at the collegiate and NHL levels...
2. And this ain't a West Coast series, when off-days are completely spent in the air, traveling from city to city:
The hardest part of what I'm about to do in surveying the media's takes on the Red Wings' 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 involves the fact that Claude Julien and the Bruins will likely receive oodles of credit for "adjusting," when the truth of the matter--to Red Wings fans like me, happily professional and biased--is that the Wings' fans, players and media are all on the same page this morning (I'm sure Chris Osgood will say things we've all heard when he chats on Freep.com at 11 EDT).
What happened? What Mike Babcock told us happened. The Wings stopped playing like themselves and started playing like the Bruins, and from Jimmy Howard's puck-flickering dimwit play on out to Brendan Smith's attempts to scale Mount Chara to the terrible penalty-kill (why did you reunite Quincey and Smith, coach?) and power play (aggravating fans' nerves: Olczyk and McGuire gushing about the standard of officiating as the Wings let themselves get suckered)...
I will try to cobble together a solid wrap-up later, but as I look back at the Red Wings' 4-1 loss to Boston in Game 2 (shockingly, Glendening and Miller were on the ice for 3 of the Bruins' 4 goals--2 at even strength--and Lashoff was on the ice for both PPGs against, so that may show you that the Bruins wanted Glendening to battle and lose against Krejci's line), some scribes are already chiming in with notebooks and recaps, and none speaks more succinctly to what ailed the Wings than the Boston Globe's Nancy Marrapese-Burrell's notebook.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock had this to say about his team going 0-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-4 on the penalty-kill:
“I thought we were ineffective period, to tell you the truth,’’ said the coach, whose team is 0 for 6 on the power play in the series. “I didn’t think we were very good. I thought they were better. I thought we were better than them in Game 1. I thought they were way better than us in Game 2. They were engaged, they won the battles. They were quick, we were slow. We didn’t execute.
The Detroit Red Wings had to know that the Bruins' comments were going to yield more strict officiating and more penalty calls--some spurious, some warranted, on both teams--coming into Game 2, but instead of coming into the game with composure...
The Red Wings tried to beat the Bruins at their own game, engaging an angry, mean alligator in a bite-fight. The Wings lost their nerve, lost their resolve, lost their game plan and, thanks to a TERRIBLE power play, a TERRIBLE penalty-kill, MEDIOCRE goaltending, and yes, some really shitty calls against them (to which the Wings did a shit-ass job of giving their beleagured goaltender any sort of help closing those squeaky pads).
Updated 4x at 2:25 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will battle the Boston Bruins later today (3 PM EDT on NBC, TSN and 97.1 FM), hoping to persist amidst accusations of "subtle interference" and Milan Lucic's attempts to play Feelyat with Danny DeKeyser's...Parts.
NESN, Bruins Daily, WEEI, Pro Hockey Talk (times two), the Associated Press, Reuters, MLive's Brendan Savage (with a "What They're Saying" antecedent), and as Paul noted, the Boston Globe's Kevin Dupont have penned game-day previews and/or "Spirit of the Thing" articles, as did the Toronto Sun's Rob Longley (via RedWingsFeed):
I already posted one entry regarding today's game between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings (3 PM EDT on NBC, TSN and 97.1 FM), but there was so much "stuff" that popped up between "the evening" and "overnight" that I needed to pen a new entry. This one is a lot less about the comings and goings and a lot more about playing up a narrative.
The Boston Bruins' narrative is a surprising one given what's transpired thus far, and especially what was said regarding a certain Bruin's actions (or not said in the case of his coach). The Wings' narrative, thankfully, is mostly predictable, though there are a few surprises in store.
Saturday delivered mixed results for the Red Wings' prospects, including a difficult journey ahead (literally) for the Grand Rapids Griffins.
In playoff hockey, in the QMJHL, Anthony Mantha had an assist as his Val-d'Or Foreurs defeated the Halifax Mooseheads 4-2, taking a 2-games-to-none lead in the QMJHL semifinal.
Mantha now has 11 goals, 7 assists and 18 points in 12 playoff games played.
In the WHL, things did not go so well for the Kelowna Rockets. Mitchell Wheaton was held off the scoresheet and Marek Tvrdon registered an assist en route to the Rockets dropping a 5-3 decision to the Portland Winterhawks. The WHL's Western Conference Final is now tied at 1 game apiece.
Updated significantly at 3:38 AM, and holy hell, Cam Neely and the Bruins' beat writers are in on the "Not So Subtle Interference" kick:
Moving on from the Milan Lucic silliness, Danny DeKeyser's reaction and Saturday's practice news, the vast majority of the Red Wings and Bruins' beat writers have already filed stories in advance of tomorrow's Game 2 (3 PM EDT on NBC, TSN and 97.1 FM), so...
Oh hell with it, we're not quite done with the Loosick stuff yet (I was waiting to hear Don Cherry defend Loosick after returning from a cheery pre-Easter grocery shopping run [bleh], and instead, he just skipped the incident entirely), while Loosick started singing Asia's Heat of the Moment, DeKeyser kept his composure and channeled a little Nicklas Lidstrom, as DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose noted:
DeKeyser made a clean body check on the Bruins’ 6-foot-3, 235-pound forward in the defensive zone. But as the play shifted up ice, Lucic, who was trailing the play, swung his stick upwards like a pitchfork between DeKeyser’s legs.
“I didn’t really know what happened, I was just kind of skating back to the bench and to be honest right after the play I didn’t even know who did it,” DeKeyser said. “I’m fine. Just something that happens during the game. Just deal with it.”
The Vancouver Province's Ed Willes insisted that the Red Wings were offering up two of Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and I believe either Riley Sheahan or Brendan Smith in a package for Alex Edler last summer (which supposedly included a 1st round pick and a "fourth piece" that the Wings wouldn't bite upon)--which seems a little outlandish, but may very well be what the Canucks were asking for Edler...
And while I do not doubt the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons' temerity, his as-usual-superb Sunday notebook includes a could'a would'a trade suggestion that I simply believe was not the selling price but instead, the asking price:
As if they didn't have enough to complain about, imagine what Calgary Flames fans feel knowing they could have had Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar in a deal last year for Jarome Iginla. But general manager of the day, Jay Feaster, was insistent on a first-round draft pick being included in any deal for Iginla. In the end, the Flames may have little to show for Iginla and the Red Wings are flourishing with Nyquist's scoring and Tatar's speed.
I respect the hell out of Simmons, who continues at length and includes a variety of sports topics, but even the GM who traded Calle Jarnkrok, a 2nd round pick and Patrick Eaves to Nashville for David Legwand wouldn't bite on that kind of deal.
Nyquist has been in the, "Who comes after Pav and Z" succession pipeline for a while now, and this sounds more like the kind of rumor that would've made the rounds after Tomas Tatar admittedly considered asking for a trade, and, in the process, helped fire up the Slovak rumor mill (remember last summer, when he was talking about the Wings allowing him to play for a KHL team until they traded his rights?).
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
Red Wings-Bruins Saturday practice post: no changes for DET; Bruins call in cavalry, Julien cops out
Updated 4x at 3:38 PM: The Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins practiced ahead of Sunday's Easter matinee-ish game (3 PM EDT on NBC and TSN) today, with the Red Wings hoping to build upon last night's 1-0 win in Game 1, and the Bruins' beat writers, including the Patriot-Ledger's Mike Loftus, reported that the Bruins' injured cavalry (Daniel Paille, Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid) skated prior to the B's main skate:
Not sure yet what #NHLBruins are doing, but Paille, Seidenberg, McQuaid on ice now w/conditioning coach J. Whitesides
Pavel Datsyuk did "have a funny" regarding last night's physicality...
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.