The Malik Report
Update #3: Oh, swell:
It was NOT pretty--and Wings fans will worry like nobody's business until we find out whether Pavel Datsyuk left the game after Rob Scuderi shoved him into the glass near the bench because he was just done for the night or because he was "banged-up"--but the Red Wings defeated Pittsburgh 2-1 to capture their first exhibition game.
Just like Darren Helm and his blackened left eye and gauze-tipped right nostril, the Wings got a little bruised by the Penguins, and the Robert Bortuzzo hit on Ryan Sproul, face-first into the boards/glass, was just downright dirty, but Sproul was OK)...
Detroit will fly back to Traverse City for one final morning skate and practice (10:30-11:15 morning skate, 11:30-12:15 [or 45?] practice); the "B Team" will head to Chicago to play the Blackhawks (8 PM EDT on CSN CH+, Gustavsson Starts, Mrazek finishes the 3rd), while the rest of the team will are pack up after the skate to head back to Detroit, where they will open their preseason hosting Chicago on Thursday).
This is not the kind of update I'd like to be posting amidst a 1-1 tie between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins in the teams' first preseason game...
But then, WHEW!
It is apparently possible to be so tired that you're nauseous, and as such, the "player takes" are going to be awfully quick. I'm sorry, I've done my best to keep things going interview-wise ahead of tonight's game in Pittsburgh and MSM/Blogger-wise, but...After 8 very hard days of at-the-rink work and 12 away from home, the body's starting to break down and the hours are taking their toll.
In any case...
Updated 4x at 4:20 PM: If it's okay with you, I'm going to searate the "Morning Skate in the Afternoon" post (Wings vs. Pens, tonight at 7 PM EDT on WPCW or mysterious quasi-legal streams) on its own and start a what-will-be-updated afternoon news post.
1. I guess first and foremost, I'm surprised that nobody jumped all over the dang fact that the Red Wings' player releases and prospect returns to Major Junior Teams didn't include one Joe Hicketts. The 5'8" Victoria Royals defenseman wasn't at practice today and he wasn't visible off the ice, so who knows what exactly is going on, but the Wings would have to sign him to an amateur try-out for him to take part in games and an NHL contract to ensure that he doesn't end up in the 2015 draft, so...Cross your fingers for Joe and the Wings.
2. The Wings are indeed taking a solid lineup to Pittsburgh tonight, but as the Free Press's Helene St. James notes, Wings coach Mike Babcock wasn't exactly backing off his, "We'll wait and see" stance regarding younger players stepping up:
Updated with Pens stuff at 2:31 PM: he Red Wings' players engaged in a morning skate ahead of tonight's game against Pittsburgh (7 PM on WPCW in Pittsburgh) and a practice for the non-game-day players (and FYI if you're here on Tuesday: the morning skate is from 10:30-11:15, there's a practice from 12:15-12:45, and Babcock changes rinks at the last second, so the game-day skate might take place in the West Rink as it did today).
The morning skate was partiuclarly interesting as the team didn't just ice tonight's already-listed lineup (that and Tony Granato used a laser pointer during the 15-minute pre-skate video session):
That's a little different than tonight's announced lineup, per MLive's Ansar Khan:
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today returned forwards Tyler Bertuzzi, Zach Nastasiuk, Dominic Turgeon, and defensemen Marc McNulty and Mitchell Wheaton to their respective junior teams. Additionally, the team released forwards Blake Clarke, Hayden Hodgson, Darby Llewellyn, Brandon Robinson and Jerome Verrier; defenseman Ty Stanton; and goaltender Lucas Peressini.
The Red Wings’ roster now sits at 55 players, as the team heads into its first of eight preseason games tonight (Monday) in Pittsburgh at 7:00 p.m.
The beat writers and bloggers covered the vast majority of stories from the final day of training camp prior to midnight last night (ditto for myself in terms of interviews and player takes), so this morning's crop of Red Wings-related news is spartan (again, the Wings open the exhibition season against Pittsburgh tonight at 7 PM EDT; if you're in Pittsburgh, the game will air on WPCW and if you don't, you'll find a stream like I will).
However, haven't found out which players the Wings either released from try-outs or reassigned to Major Junior hockey teams. On Sunday, as MLive's Brendan Savage noted, Wings GM Ken Holland wasn't sure whether the players who starred during the prospect tournament could really stand out in training camp, but Holland made an exception in discussing a certain 5'8," 186-pound defenseman:
For simplicity's sake, here's a "cheat sheet" as to what's transpiring over the next two days:
1. The Red Wings are playing against the Pittsburgh Penguins this evening (7 PM EDT on WPCW in Pittsburgh) and the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday (8:30 PM on CSN TV+ in Chicago; I will endeavor to provide whatever quasi-legal streams of said games as I can), but the Wings are still skating at Centre Ice Arena for the next two days:
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
White Team (Game Day Players)
10:00 AM-11:00 AM Pre-game skate DAVID’S RINK
Red Team Practice (Non-Game Day Players)
11:30 AM-12:15 PM Practice DAVID’S RINK
12:15 PM-12:45 PM Practice WEST RINK
Technically speaking, as the Red Wings begin their exhibition season against the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow night (7 PM EDT; roster avaialble here, and let's hope somebody streams WPCW's coverage online) and the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, training camp wrappd up with the Red vs. White game.
More realistically speaking, the Wings' will hold their morning and non-game-day player skates at Centre Ice Arena on Monday and Tuesday, and while the eventual release of the players sent back to their Major Junior teams will yield a roster basically comprised of a "Team Datsyuk" and a "Team Zetterberg," I've found that the coaching staff still tries to jam as much teaching into their final days at Centre Ice as possible.
Updated 7x with overnight report stuff and Pens roster at 10:25 PM: I guess it's gonna be media takes first, my takes later--audio aside. It appears that tomorrow night's Wings-Penguins game (7 PM EDT start) will air on WPCW in Pittsburgh, which means bootleg streams for you and me and the following lineup:
As Babcock told the assembled media Howard will get two periods tomorrow and Gustavsson will get two periods vs. Chicago on Tuesday (8:30 PM EDT start on CSN TV+, more bootlleg streams; the Wings also host Chicago on Thursday the 25th--the day I finally travel home--Boston on Saturday the 27th and Toronto on Monday the 29th [with the latter game airing on FSD]).
Babcock called Petr Mrazek the "closer" for both games.
MLive's Ansar Khan took note of both what this lineup means and perhaps what it means going forward--especially given that Major Junior players are taking part in exit interviews today (Zach Nastasiuk, Marc McNulty and Tyler Bertuzzi were among the early players taking that long walk to the coaches' office):
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.