The Malik Report
Good morning. The Detroit Red Wings tangle with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Winter Classic today (1 PM EST, NBC with pre-game coverage on WDIV in Metro Detroit and post-game coverage on WDIV and FSD, CBC, 97.1 FM) at Michigan Stadium, and both sides' bluster (see Mike Babcock's presser and Randy Carlyle's insistence that more Leaf fans than Wings fans will be among 105,000-or-so spectators)--and the blustery conditions--aside, today's game is about two things:
1. It's about the players and fans having fun amidst the spectacle, pre-game introductions, Olympic announcements and the insistent forecasts of anywhere from 2-7 inches of snow that have yet to play out as promised, at least sa I look outside and see three quarters of an inch of snow on my trusty Pacifica...
2. And it's about the Red Wings attempting to "sort out" their season on the biggest stage they'll have at their disposal.
NHL Alumni Showdown, game 2 in six minutes...
The Detroit Red Wings alumni's kids are skating at the rink at Comerica Park as attendants roll up the fake snow, with the Red Wings' alums having defeated the Maple Leafs' Alums 6-5 in a shootout.
After the game I went into the locker room and I did my best to do what I try to do. I stopped at the first stall as a gigantic surge of press headed into the Tigers' clubhouse, and who happened to be there? The overtime hero, Tomas Holmstrom. We spoke for about four minutes regarding his overtime heroics--and Mickey Redmond's advice--his status as sadly heading back home to Sweden(!) once he's built a house there, playing in the Alumni Showdown, getting in shape and whether he was in Scotty Bowman's Dog Yard:
Two of the highlights of the Alumni Showdown actually happened before the puck was dropped for the 2nd game today.
Below, watch Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay drop the puck and the 2nd video is the Russian Five reunited including Vladimir Konstantinov.
I wandered into a Red Wings locker room FULL of legends after the Wings' "B Team" took Game 1 5-4...And kind of sort of accidentally didn't see the sign that said that after Game 1, the room was closed. Walking amidst the Fedorovs and Yzermans and Chelioses and Holmstroms and Lidstroms, I just did what I do--I made a beeline for someone I know, in this case Jiri Fischer, and we talked for three minutes before I was delicately told I'd made a boo boo (sorry Wings!)
The Good news is that the Wings made Red Berenson, Dallas Drake and Jiri Fischer available to the media for 11 minutes, and I got the last question in:
After the rights-holders do their thing, hopefully I won't step on any toes during the second game, but as I told Fischer before our interview was cut short, you don't see these kinds of groups of players together unless it's for a funeral these days, so seeing them all together for a joyous, FUN celebration of their time together--and their FOUR CUPS TO ONE 1993 LEAF PLAYOFF WIN--is beautiful.
The Red Wings' and NHL's beat writers were Tweeting the heck out of Red Wings coach Mike Babcock's post-Wings practice presser, and Babcock did indeed deliver a command performance while speaking for nearly 8 minutes:
Here's the transcript of his presser:
I will update this post as needed.
added 12:18pm, via Khan tweet,
Tomas Jurco isn't practicing. Might have been sent down and replaced by Glendening. No word yet from the team.
Also, Gustavsson was just on the ice for a team picture, not practicing.
added 12:34 PM from George, Khan confirms that Jurco's been sent down:
As the Winter Classic Alumni Showdowns approach (1 PM and 3:30 PM on FSD and the CBC, 1 PM and 4 PM on NBCSN)...
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.