The Malik Report
Helene St. James tells us what most of us know, Jimmy Howard and most of the Wings need to be better,
If the Wings continue at their current pace of accumulating points, they would finish with 90 points, probably not enough to make the playoffs even in the weaker Eastern Conference.
The loss to Toronto — Detroit’s seventh in eight shoot-out attempts this season — left the Wings clinging to a wild-card spot.
A few players have had big first halves: Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Daniel Alfredsson, Niklas Kronwall. Jonas Gustavsson has been a bailout presence while Jimmy Howard has struggled.
Howard was a somewhat controversial choice for Team USA given his numbers this season, but from the Wings’ perspective, the selection can only boost his confidence.
Howard is far from the only guy looking to bounce back from a poor first half. Stephen Weiss was ineffective. Johan Franzen lacked in effort for stretches. Daniel Cleary has six points in 41 games. Kyle Quincey is minus-14.
It’s dangerous to need to win so much during the second half; every team’s goal is to bank points in the first half to ease the pressure going into the playoff stretch.
My early favortie piece..
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul will have a disciplinary hearing Friday with the NHL following his cross-check to the neck of Detroit Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves Wednesday during the Winter Classic.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Thursday that he had no update on Eaves, who had tests done to determine if he has a concussion. Holland said nothing appears to be broken and they'll see how Eaves feels on Friday when the team returns to practice.
Let's take a look how Elite Prospects describes Mantha...
Mantha is a brilliant skater with great speed. He is a dangerous scorer with a very good shot and quick release, which he loves to use. Mantha has very good size and reach and knows how to hold on to the puck. While receiving criticism for insonsistancy, he has improved his defensive play and physicality. Once he adds some grit aggressiveness into his play, Mantha has the tools to become a solid top-six NHL forward. (Matias Strozyk, 2013)
Here is his penalty shot goal (user submitted) from today which put Canada up 2-0 against the Swiss.
Canada won the game 4-1.
TSN talked with Mantha post-game if you would like to watch.
Katie Baker of Grantland wraps up the Winter Classic,
They arrived in waddling droves, bundled in their winter warmest so that they all looked twice their size. They hopped off yellow school buses and emerged from SUVs dusty with salt and snow and trudged toward a college football stadium, in the heart of bowl season, for a professional hockey game.
These hundred thousand hockey fans had waited almost two full years to make this walk. The NHL first announced in February 2012 that the next Winter Classic would feature the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. In November of that same year — thanks to the lockout — the league's much-trumpeted event was officially postponed.
But that all seemed like a distant memory on a cold and snowy New Year's Day that Detroit coach Mike Babcock, even in defeat, would later call "a home run for hockey." Before a reported 105,491 in attendance and beneath photogenically inclement conditions, the Maple Leafs edged the Red Wings in a shootout, 3-2.
FYI, George is taking care of getting a rental car, checking on the repair of his car after sliding into a ditch yesteday while driving to the Winter Classic.
He will return tomorrow.
5 1/2 minutes of Mike Babcock meeting with the media after the Winter Classic game.
Watch the crosscheck below...
Credit goes out to both teams, the NHL and the folks at Michigan for putting on a great show even though the game was played in frigid weather conditions.
I hate to see a game like this end in a shootout, to me it is an anti-climatic finish.
The Wings can now get back on a regular routine, no more HBO cameras or Winter Classic to worry about.
They now head out to Dallas to play on Saturday, then San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim and then across county to play the Rangers.
You can watch the regulation goals from Alfredsson and Abdelkader below...
I just received a phone call from George and as soon as I saw his name, I knew what the call would be about.
He slid off of the road and he is okay bur vehicle suffered some bumper damage.
He is waiting to get towed out of the ditch and will head back home to catch the game from there.
I know he was looking forward to covering the game so he has to be disappointed but the good news is he did not get injured.
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.