The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings may or may not hold an optional skate today given that the team a) defeated the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 on Wednesday and b) given that the Wings' second, third and fourth games of their 4-games-in-6-nights slate take place over the course of 3 evenings, battling the Flames on Friday, the Oilers on Saturday and the Jets on Monday.
That being said, the Wings have a significant number of "moving parts" in play:
This is actually a good sign, because it means that Johan Franzen's good to go tomorrow vs. Calgary. Per the Red Wings' PR department:
DETROIT ASSIGNS GLENDENING TO GRAND RAPIDS
… Red Wings Continue Western Canada Swing with Calgary on Friday, Edmonton on Saturday and Winnipeg on Monday …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned center Luke Glendening to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Glendening has appeared in six games with the Red Wings this season after his making his NHL debut on Oct. 12 versus Philadelphia. The 24-year-old forward has averaged 9:18 of ice time with Detroit, recording two penalty minutes and seven shots on goal. He’s also played in five games with Grand Rapids, registering three points (1-2-3) and a plus-three rating.
I don't disagree with some of the Canucks' assessments of the game. It was definitely won and lost in the trenches, and the first period at least wasn't elegantly-played, especially on what was just wretched ice at the Rogers Centre.
Something tells me that Red Wings fans who witnessed their team drastically cut down its turnovers, motor through the neutral zone efficiently and speedily and hem the Canucks in their own end via sustained possession and control of the puck might argue that board battles playing out 150-200 feet from Jimmy Howard are in fact a beautiful thing.
The Canucks let their frustrations be known while speaking with the Vancouver Sun's Brad Ziemer:
Red Wings fans tend to view their team's bench boss as, well, theirs, but Babcock engaged in a little Q and A with TSN prior to the Red Wings-Canucks tilt, and he barely discussed his "day job."
Wednesday marked the 100-days-and-counting mark to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and NHL.com's Dan Rosen profiled Babcock as Team Canada's coach and man at the helm as the team attempts to defend its 2010 gold medal. Babcock himself plays something of a supporting role, with Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson, Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman, would-be assistant coach Ken Hitchcock and likely roster player Sidney Crosby about Babcock's value to the "team."
Last weekend, the Grand Rapids Griffins took two of the three games they played over the course of 3 weekend nights, but their 5-0, home-ice loss to the Charlotte Checkers stood out like a sore thumb.
The Griffins welcomed the Checkers back to Van Andel Arena on Wednesday night, and the Griffins earned a much better result, scoring 4 goals on Rick DiPietro and defeating Charlotte 5-2. The Griffins provide a superb game recap:
T'was a strange game. You would think that John Tortorella and the streaking Vancouver Canucks, having won 4 straight and coming into a game against an 0-2-and-2 Wings team that was giving up 32-and-change shots per game, well...
You'd think they'd shoot the damn puck. Instead, on some absolutely atrocious ice, the Canucks seemed relatively content to win a low-scoring affair.
The Wings were able to embrace something of an ugly road game at times; very regularly, they blocked Canucks shots--because Vancouver had 20 shots and hit Wings bodies another 15 times--and when shots did come through, Jimmy Howard was superb.
Sprinkle in some clutch scoring, and the Wings take a 2-1 decision over Vancouver, snapping the 4-game losing streak.
From the Red Wings' PR department:
RED WINGS OFFICIAL VIEWING PARTIES FOR 2013-14 SEASON KICK OFF ON MONDAY, NOV. 4
... Doug Brown and Jiri Fischer Scheduled to Appear at First Two Parties of the Year …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings are proud to announce another year of Red Wings Official Viewing Parties for the 2013-14 season. Red Wings fans will have the opportunity to connect and cheer on the team with hundreds of their peers all throughout the 2013-14 season at a variety of locations throughout Michigan.
Updated 14x at 10:01 PM: The Detroit Red Wings begin something of a gauntlet-running slate of 4 games played over the course of 6 nights when they tangle with the Vancouver Canucks tonight (10:30 PM, FSD/TSN/97.1 FM), and the Wings spent Tuesday insisting that they're ready to address the issues which have contributed to a 4-game losing streak.
The Canucks apparently held a very brief morning skate, because their Twitter account was tossing off quotes from John Tortorella by the equivalent of 10:30 AM Pacific Daylight Time (at least these 10:30, 9:30 and 10 PM starts include a "Fall Back" hour of sleep on Sunday morning!):
On Tuesday, the QMJHL announced that Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha will represent the Q in the first two games of a 6-game "Super Series" between a Russian prospect team and 3 teams reprsenting the Canadian Hockey League's 3 respective leagues (the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League). The first two games will take place on November 18th and 20th in Gatineau and Sherbrooke Quebec, respectively;
Today, via RedWingsFeed, two more Wings prospects were named to the roster of the second Super Series team, representing the Ontario Hockey League in games 3 and 4: Saginaw Spirit announced that goaltender Jake Paterson will play for the OHL's team in Game 4, which will take place on November 25th in Sudbury, Ontario, and the OHL announced that Owen Sound Attack captain and Wings prospect Zach Nastasiuk will take part in Game 3, which will take place on November 22nd in Owen Sound, ON.
The Red Wings' WHL-playing prospects include Kelowa Rockets defenseman Mitchell Wheaton and Prince George Cougars defenseman Marc McNulty, and neither are "top prospects," so I don't anticipate that the Wings will have any representation from the WHL's team.
Whoops, proof that it was a very late night and long day for me. I posted this in KK Hockey instead of The Malik Report:
I've got some good news and some bad news.
The bad news first: The Detroit Red Wings kick off a slate of 4 games in 4 Western Canadian cities over 6 nights starting this evening against the Vancouver Canucks (10:30 PM EDT, FSD/TSN/97.1 FM), who possess an 8-3-and-1 record, and have rattled off 4 straight wins, with their most recent coming in the form of a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals.
The Canucks have been receiving stellar scoring from Henrik and Daniel Sedin, as well as Ryan Kesler, and John Tortorella's riding his big dogs so hard that the Hockey News's Ken Campbell wondered whether playing the trio 22+ minutes per night will burn them out early, and in the practice post, the Globe and Mail's David Ebner noted that Roberto Luongo's 7-3-and-1 record is one win short of setting a career best for a historically slow-starting goaltender.
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.