The Malik Report
The Red Wings will be starting Jimmy Howard in goal tonight as Petr Mrazek is sick, and the Blue Jackets' lineup is in flux as well ahead of tonight's game (7 PM EDT start on FSD/FS Ohio/97.1 FM).
NHL.com took note of the Wings' emergency recall of Jared Coreau...
Updated 7x at 1:52 PM: The Red Wings face a must-win situation as they face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening (7 PM EDT on FSD/FS Ohio/97.1 FM), and for whatever reason, John Tortorella holds his game-day presser during the morning skate.
ColumbusBlueJackets.com's Rob Mixer reports that Oliver Bjorkstrand, Michael Chaput and John Ramage will be in the lineup...
From the Red Wings:
DETROIT RECALLS JARED COREAU
… Third-Year Pro Ranks Top-Three in AHL in Wins, Goals-Against Average, Save Percentage and Shutouts …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled goaltender Jared Coreau from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Coreau, 24, has won each of his last six starts, helping the Griffins to a 12-game winning streak overall, the second-best run in franchise history. Since his streak start on Feb. 23, Coreau has a 0.99 goals-against average, 0.967 save percentage, three shutouts and established a new Grand Rapids franchise record for saves in a shutout performance after stopping all 45 shots he faced in a 4-0 win over the Chicago Wolves on March 13. The third-year pro ranks as one of the AHL’s top goalies this season, currently sitting second with 29 wins, third with a 2.15 goals-against average and tied for second with a 0.931 save percentage and six shutouts. Coreau was also the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for December after posting a 9-2-0 record, 1.92 goals-against average and 0.938 save percentage, part of his season-best 11-game winning streak that ran from Nov. 18 to Dec. 26. In 72 games with the Griffins since 2013-14, the Perth, Ontario native owns a 45-22-3 record, 2.28 goals-against average, 0.927 save percentage and nine shutouts.
A pair of radio-and-newspaper personalities weigh in on the Red Wings this morning, with the Oakland Press's/97.1 the Ticket's Pat Caputo pondering the fates of the Pistons and Wings...
In the bigger picture, three years down the road, what will these two franchises be?
The Red Wings will be in a sparkling new arena, but with Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall aging, what will the product on the ice be like? There is potential star talent there – Dylan Larkin and Petr Mrazek are certainly promising. But what about filling out the rest of the roster?
Will Drummond even be with the Pistons? Will the decision to place so much into the hands of Jackson be considered a mistake or a brilliant move by Van Gundy?
Both franchises, with such proud not-so-distant pasts, are clearly on the bubble.
And that goes not only for this year, but the foreseeable future, as well.
Caputo continues, and the Free Press/97.1 the Ticket's Jamie Samuelssen suggests that the Red Wings need to stop worrying about sustaining their playoff streak and start enjoying playing hockey again:
MLive's Brendan Savage conducted a Q and A with Red Wings play-by-play announcer Ken Kal, discussing Kal's aspirations, career achievements and outlook:
MLive: You're a Michigan guy. Was this your dream job?
Kal: Of course. I was at Michigan when the Sharks job came up when they were first in the league. I sent a tape and resume and never heard back. Not even a note saying 'Thanks a lot.' I figured when I tried to apply (in Detroit) there were so many other people that were probably more qualified than me and I didn't think I had a chance but I did it just to throw my hat in the ring and luckily enough, I think what really helped me out is at that time The Joe was really into college hockey and I had a college background. We had CCHA championships so I think maybe that helped me out because they were looking for somebody who knew the CCHA. That's what I'm thinking. Nobody ever told me that.
Updated 2x at 1:45 AM with a note from Joe Hicketts and a profile of Chase Perry:
Of prospect-related note:
In playoff action, in the SHL, Axel Holmstrom scored the 5-1 goal and had an assist in Skelleftea AIK's playoff-opening 6-1 win over HV71. Holmstrom played 10:29, winning 71% of his faceoffs, and he finished at +2 (click on the link for highlights);
And Christoffer Ehn didn't register a point in the Frolunda Indians' playoff-opening 4-2 win over Djurgardens IF, playing 10:01, winning 77% of his faceoffs and taking two shots.
In regular season action, in the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins won their 12th straight game on the strength of a goal and an assist from Ryan Sproul, Zach Nastasiuk's first AHL goal and mostly Tom McCollum's 40-save performance en route to a 4-1 win over Texas. The Griffins' website posted a recap:
The Red Wings will sit outside the playoff picture when they battle the Columbus Blue Jackets (7 PM EDT on FSD/FS Ohio/97.1 FM) as the Flyers defeated Chicago on Wednesday night. If that isn't enough motivation to take their frustration out on the Jackets, last week's wretched 5-3 loss in Columbus should serve as enough motivation to ensure that the Wings come out flying tonight.
The Red Wings are in the middle of a 4-game road trip, and have lost 2 straight games, too;
Columbus will be playing the 4th game of a 5-game home stand, and they've lost two games as well, with their most recent defeat coming in the form of a 4-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday, so the Blue Jackets have been stewing for the past four days.
For Columbus, the Wings are a welcome sight: the Blue Jackets have a 10-2-and-2 record over their past 14 games against Detroit, and they've won both of this season's meetings against the Wings.
Among MLive's Peter J. Wallner's "10 reasons why the Grand Rapids Griffins have the best goaltending in the AHL":
In the current 11-game win streak, the Griffins have allowed 11 goals, including one three-goal game. The rest have been two goals or less.
During the streak, Coreau has six wins, three shutouts and a 0.99 GAA (.967 save percentage). McCollum has won five, with a shutout and a 1.00 GAA (.967 save percentage).
Let's talk about Coreau's numbers. Here is how he stands among the league best: Save total of 1,208 (1st); save percentage of .931 (T2nd and .001 off the lead); win total of 29 wins (2nd); six shutouts (T2nd), and goals against average of 2.15 GAA (3rd).
Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
1. The Free Press's Helene St. James duly noted that the Red Wings hope to apply the lessons learned in their recent losses as the team attempts to assuage last Tuesday's loss to Columbus in tomorrow's rematch:
The Wings were handed a deserved 5-3 loss March 8 at Columbus, when they were careless with the puck and undisciplined. Now they return, smarting from a 4-3 loss Tuesday at Philadelphia. Their coach sounded an alarm after a lack of composure set in as soon as the Flyers scored five minutes into the first period. He lamented how easily the Flyers kept building on it.
"We can't give away goals," Blashill said. "We've got to make teams earn goals. We had real, real bad mistakes that were preventable. We've got to keep pucks out of net early and, when we get scored on, we can't let the momentum get away from us. We haven't done a good enough job of that."
Blashill zeroed in on the back end, saying, "Our D corps is way better than that. We've got six real good NHL defensemen, and they've got to play better than that on Thursday, and I think they will."
No one is being called up from the minors, general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press, because the Wings already have used two of the four nonemergency call-ups teams are allowed after the NHL trade deadline.
2. St. James also posted an 11:44 podcast in which she discusses Anthony Mantha's debut and speaks with director of pro scouting Mark Howe regarding the team's defensive corps and the health of Mr. Hockey:
I've leaned toward saying nothing about the Red Wings' play of late, mostly because fans appear to be so pissed off that it doesn't seem like anything I can say would be comforting.
After yesterday night's loss to Philadelphia, the "odds" suggest that Detroit's a 50-50 shot to make the playoffs. I thought Paul Woods offered a pretty good estimate of how many games the Wings need to win out of their final 12 when he told WDFN's Matt Sheppard that the Wings need to go 8-and-4 or 9-and-3--which seems unlikely given the Wings' record of late--to make the cut.
Looking at the Wings' predicament, there's lots of blame to go around, from the lack of secondary scoring to dearth of decisive play on defense, the squeakers Mrazek's let up of late (despite playing stellar hockey), the special teams coaching, the coaching in general...You don't get to this point without multiple reasons for a lack of success.
I keep wondering when Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist are going to score in the same game, for example, or when we'll see consistent dominant performances from the top six forwards and top four defensemen, but those are my concerns.
We're going to have a LOT of time to talk about the ways in which the team can and must improve over the next couple of months, regardless of whether the Wings actually make the playoffs.
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.