The Malik Report
The Red Wings' game against the St. Louis Blues today (12:30 PM EDT, NBC Sports/NHL Network Canada/97.1 FM, and today the Wings are partnering with the Make-A-Wish Foundation at the Joe today) makes for "good TV" and "easy storytelling") for those without a rooting interest, for several reasons:
- After today's Winter Classic presser, a pair of teams separated by one point in the Western Conference standings (43 points for Detroit to 42 for St. Louis, though the Blues have 2 games in hand, and that 12-to-10 ratio won't change after today's game) face off with playoff hopes on the line (the Wings sit in 7th place in the West and the Blues 8th, with Detroit holding a 3-point lead over the Coyotes and 4 over those infernal Blue Jackets);
I've already received some Tweets and will certainly receive some emails regarding the mysterious email the Red Wings sent their fans on Saturday night, stating that they will make an "announcement" at 10:30 AM EDT today (and that the announcement will be streamed on DetroitRedWings.com and re-shown in snippets during today's matinee between the Wings and Blues, which starts at 12:30 PM EDT, and will conveniently air on NBC and the NHL Network Canada), so if you missed Sportsnet's John Shannon's tip-off that it involves formally awarding the 2014 Winter Classic to Detroit, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff reiterated that statement on Saturday afternoon:
The NHL sent the following email to media types on Thurdsay, and yes, I am pretty damn sure that the "jersey unveiling" will involve displaying merchandise that will be available at the Joe and/or on the NHL.com's online store in short order (I've removed the contact info so you don't call the contact person in the middle of the night):
Updated and turned into an afternoon report at 5:32 PM: The Red Wings flew back to Metro Airport this morning after splitting their road trip, dropping a 4-2 decision to Phoenix on Thursday and defeating Colorado 3-2 in overtime last night.
As today is "Fan Day at the Joe," and as tomorrow's post-Winter Classic announcement matinee game against St. Louis will represent the team's third game in four nights, MLive's Ansar Khan's Tweet about a recall offers the only worrisome news we'll know about tomorrow's roster machinations:
After last night's game, Mike Babcock told the media that he was worried that Henrik Zetterberg had re-tweaked his groin, so this recall (Sheahan has to fly all the way from Abbotsford, British Columbia to Detroit to make tomorrow's game) probably involves making sure that the Wings have enough warm bodies to cover in case Zetterberg and/or Damien Brunner (hip flexor) can't play.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
“I thought Mule was fantastic in the middle, dominated the faceoff circle, really played well, went head-to-head against (Matt) Duchene all night long and was very good,'' Babcock said.
Babcock paired Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg together in an effort to energize the team following Thursday's 4-2 loss at Phoenix. He had Franzen center the second line with Valtteri Filppula and Gustav Nyquist.
Franzen, who won 8-of-13 faceoffs, enjoyed the change of pace.
“Little bit more involved in the game,'' Franzen said. “Got some more pucks, a lot more skating, so it was fun.
“Try something new and get a little boost maybe.''
Red Bird III remained parked at Denver International Airport on Friday night as the Free Press's Helene St. James reported that the Red Wings' coaches and leadership agreed that burning a Saturday for the sake of an overnight flight back to Detroit, especially given that the team's going to play a 12:30 PM matinee game against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, wasn't worth the wear and tear on their bodies.
The Wings barely earned their night's rest, but Jimmy Howard was sensational, Niklas Kronwall was vicious and Pavel Datsyuk scored two gorgeous goals as the Wings rebounded from a downright doofy 4-2 loss to Phoenix with a rope-a-dope, 3-2 overtime win over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.
As such, the 19-14-and-5 Wings now sit in 7th place in the Western Conference, 1 point ahead of Sunday's opponent (though the Blues have played 36 games to the Wings' 38) and 4 points ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets, in no small part thanks to St. Louis' 3-1 win over those same Blue Jackets earlier on Friday evening.
I don't usually post video-only entries, but these beauties from the Red Wings' 3-2 OT win over Colorado merit time in the spotlight--and they merit time in the spotlight not only for the magnitude of their impacts, but also the ways in which the Avalanche's broadcasters on Altitude TV reacted to them, as opposed to Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond.
Here's Niklas Kronwall's smoking of Jamie McGinn, first from the Avs' announcers...
It's all about regulation or overtime wins for the Red Wings, and in what may or may not have been a make-or-break-the-season game--with Sunday's opponent, the Blues, pulling ahead of the Wings in the Western Conference standings...
The Detroit Red Wings dominated the first period against the Colorado Avalanche, nearly gave the game away in the second and third periods, and in overtime...Leaders lead and the leaders led, giving Detroit a crucial 3-2 OT win over Colorado.
Coming off the Wings' awful loss to Phoenix, the Wings HAD to win. They HAD to win. And they played wonderfully in the first period, with Pavel Datsyuk getting the first goal on a slick, slick power play pass from Johan Franzen, and the Wings rebounding nicely from Mark Olver's goal via a Gustav Nyquist Datsyukian-deke style goal 13 seconds after Olver scored...
Updated 3x with game-day videos at 5:42 PM: The Detroit Red Wings basically have to win tonight's game against the Colorado Avalanche (9 PM EDT, FSD/Altitude/97.1 FM) thanks to their awful performance in the team's 4-2 loss to Phoenix last night, and we already know that the Wings will swap out three defensemen for Ian White, Kyle Quincey and Danny DeKeyser.
The Avs' morning skate revealed little in the way of roster changes...Because the Avs will go with the same lineup they dressed in their 3-1 loss to Nashville on Tuesday...
And while the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the team informed the media of Mike Babcock's choice to start in goal opposite J-S Giguere...
The Wings did not hold a morning skate after not arriving in Denver until 1:36 AM local time, so St. James reports that we're going to have to wait until game time to discover the identities of the defensemen Babcock chose to scratch:
It didn't just seem like it took two weeks for the Red Wings to actually sign Northern Michigan University goalie Jared Coreau after TSN's Bob McKenzie reported that the Wings signed a tentative agreement with the 6'5" netminder...It really did take sixteen days between McKenzie's Tweet and the Red Wings' official confirmation of said 3-year entry-level contract.
Accoring to the Marquette Mining Journal's Matt Wellens, Coreau feels that signing with the Wings was more than worth the wait:
This is going to go over well...Via RedWingsFeed and MLive's Brendan Savage, NHL.com took a poll among 10 of their writers and NHL Network contributors, and Corey Masisak reports that the group deemed Red Wings coach Mike Babcock to be the league's best coach:
1. Mike Babcock (5 first-place votes) -- 68 points: Babcock is proof that a great coach can come from just about anywhere in hockey. His only playing experience as a professional came in England, though he was a captain at McGill University. He didn't have a ton of success at the Canadian junior level as a coach, reaching the Western Hockey League finals twice in eight years.
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.