The Malik Report
Updated at 12:55 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to shake off Saturday's loss to Montreal when they battle the Sabres this evening (7 PM, FSD/MSG-B/97.1 FM), kicking off a slate of back-to-backs (Detroit plays in Pittsburgh tomorrow), 3 games in 4 nights and 4 in 6 to close out their regular season.
Again, last night's Devils loss theoretically drops the Wings' "Magic Number" of points needed to clinch a playoff spot down to 3, though the Wings and Blue Jackets (who host the Coyotes this evening) are still neck-and-neck in terms of locking down the first Wild Card spot, which would allow the teams to avoid a 1st-round match-up with the Boston Bruins (and again, Columbus has 40 total wins to the Wings' 37 and 35 Regulation-or-OT wins to the Wings' 32):
I would complain more about the Red Wings' schedule if the Blue Jackets weren't engaging in such similar circumstances.
After Monday's practice, the Red Wings flew to Buffalo to take on the Sabres tonight (7 PM EDT, not 7:30, on FSD, MSG-B and 97.1 FM); the Wings then head to Pittsburgh for an NBCSN "Rivalry Night" game against Pittsburgh on Wednesday (8 PM EDT start); the team will fly back to Detroit to host the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, likely after taking Thursday off, and they will then head to St. Louis to battle the Blues on Sunday (this time on NBC, at 12:30 PM EDT, or 11:30 AM local time).
I tried to avoid posting that gruesome "selfie" Mitchell Callahan shared with the world after losing somewhere between 10 and 12 teeth, requiring surgery for a broken jaw and a visit from "Momma Callahan" ahead of what are certain to be a set of reconstructive surgeries to repair and replace what used to be a gap-toothed smile.
Whether you agree or disagree with the optics--literal and physical--of posting that kind of gruesome content, all I can say is that the world is a very different place for young people, and hockey players in particular have always viewed showing their gory scars as a badge of honor, so we're probably stuck with the, "Warning, graphic content!" comments preceding links on sports websites forever.
To me, someone who's been speaking with Callahan every summer since a week after he was drafted, the hardest part of the picture to take was the glazed-over look on his eyes, because it was evident that the young man's injury had sent him into shock.
Callahan's of course feeling a little less introspective about the implications of his work, and instead, he tells the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner (per RedWingsFeed), via email, that he just did what came naturally:
Via Crain's Detroit Busines's Bill Shea, Olympia Development has filed a press release announcing the firm they've chosen to utilize to build the Red Wings' follow-on rink, the Barton Manlow Company (whose corporate headquarters is located in Southfield, MI):
Olympia Development Recommends Barton Malow-Hunt-White As General Contractor For New Events Center
Events center will create 5,500 jobs and $200 million in job-related income including over $100 million for Detroit residents
DETROIT, April 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympia Development of Michigan (ODM) today submitted to the Downtown Development Authority Board for its review and approval the recommendation of Barton Malow-Hunt-White as general contractor for the new Detroit events center. The DDA board is scheduled to consider and vote on the recommendation at a meeting on Wednesday, April 9, at 3 p.m.
Updated 9x at 4:46 PM: The Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena preparing for an incredibly busy week admist a tightly-packed race for the Eastern Conference's Wild Card spots.
As the Wings hope to rebound from their difficult loss to Montreal on Saturday when they tangle with the Sabres tomorrow and the Penguins on Wednesday (both games will take place away from Joe Louis Arena), MLive's Ansar Khan reported good news on the injury front--no changes in terms of the players skating at the Joe...
Wings on ice for practice. Everybody who played in Montreal is skating, plus Bertuzzi and Andersson.
Though the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reported that Wings coach Mike Babcock's line combination switch-ups, which began late in the 2nd period on Saturday, continue to involve experimentation:
Babcock juggling up the lines. Datsyuk skating with Franzen and Abdelkader. Nyquist with Sheahan and Tatar.
As the 2013-2014 season winds down, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock's name has popped up pretty regularly in discussion of potential Jack Adams Award candidates--and the NHL's coach of the year award is voted upon by broadcasters, not journalists--but those who predict how awards races will go haven't changed their consensus picks.
At present, it appears that Babcock might finish in the top 3, but Lightning coach Jon Cooper, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, Bruins coach Claude Julien, Flyers coach Craig Berube, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma and, most regularly, Avalanche coach Patrick Roy have received more nods as the consensus picks.
NHL.com's Brian Compton praises Babcock's work in pushing an injury-decimated Wings team toward the playoffs, but only after suggesting that Roy should win the award..
I'm afraid that the Red Wings may have to "win out" to stave off the Blue Jackets. The Wings will resume practice ahead of a slate of 3 games in 4 nights and 4 in 6 (@ Buffalo on Tuesday; @ Pittsburgh on NBCSN on Wednesday; home vs. Carolina on Friday; @ St. Louis on
Easter Sunday) today at Joe Louis Arena, and they'll do so with the standings whiteboard in their locker room looking like this:
Those damn Blue Jackets just keep rolling along. They defeated the Islanders 4-0 on Sunday, and they've gone 4-2-and-1 since defeating the Wings on March 25th. Their schedule is also comparable to the Wings' sked--they host Phoenix on Tuesday and head out on a 3-game road trip through Dallas, Tampa Bay and Miami to wrap up their regular season,
I posted a set of prospect-related scores and stories on Sunday evening, but "more has happened" since the time I posted said entry, and I'd like to continue to keep the prospect news and team news separate, so here's a second summary:
In playoff action, in the OHL, Tyler Bertuzzi scored a goal and now has 4 goals and 1 assist in 5 playoff games played, but his Guelph Storm lost an ugly 7-2 decision to the London Knights, who tied the teams' second-round playoff series at 1 game apiece.
Bertuzzi made a surprise return from a set of neck injuries that have sidelined him for the vast majority of the past two seasons, so it's very encouraging to see him play so strongly despite missing several months' worth of action;
And Andreas Athanasiou scored a goal in his Barrie Colts' 4-1 loss to North Bay, which trails the teams' second-round playoff series 2 games to 0, but Athanasiou's goal was so slick that Yahoo Sports' Buzzing the Net's Nate Seager both posted the goal and noted that Athansiou made sure to not make a big deal out of breaking a team's 4-0 shutout with 6:20 left in the game:
The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson penned a significant slate of "Hockey World" columns, and I'm stealing his headliner from KK to utilize here on TMR--because it's all about the Red Wings' system of prospect development, and it's prompted (of course) by Gustav Nyquist's
Matheson duly notes that the Wings take some swings and miss at the draft...
The prevailing opinion is the Red Wings mine the NHL draft better than anybody else, considering where they pick every June — no first selection higher than 19th overall (Jakub Kindl in 2005) in the last 15 years. Kindl is largely a third-pairing defenceman with detractors. “This Kindl doesn’t read that well,” said one pro scout, when asked why the Czech hadn’t made bigger NHL strides.
But he reveals some intriguing comments about the Wings' system of drafting and developing, as well as a surprise pick for the organiation's top prospect (not Anthony Mantha?) from an anonymous pro scout...
Amongst this evening's Red Wings-related news stories (the Wings didn't practice today; they'll do so tomorrow before kicking off a stretch of 3 games in 4 nights and 4 in 6):
1. First and foremost, if you're watching the out-of-town scoreboard, the Columbus Blue Jackets are hosting the Islanders--between the time I started writing this entry and the time I submitted it, Columbus took a
2-0 first period 3-0 second period lead--and Tuesday's opponent, the Buffalo Sabres, are playing in Philly (with the Sabres set to possibly regain the services of Marcus Foligno, Chris Stewart, Drew Stafford and Torrey Mitchell on Tuesday, per the Buffalo News's Mike Harrington). Columbus had 85 points to Detroit's 88, and Columbus is playing their "game in hand" tonight (their 78th game), but the Blue Jackets already own more total wins (39 vs. 37) and Regulation-or-OT wins (34 vs. 32).
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.