The Malik Report
Red Wings-Sabres wrap-up and Wings-Canadiens set-up: Wings outlast Sabres, have hands full with Habs
We're at the point where the standings and out-of-town scoreboard have become so overridingly important that even Mike Babcock told the Red Wings' press corps that the first thing Piet Van Zant did after Detroit's slightly sloppy 3-2 win over Buffalo was update the team's whiteboard to account for the Wings' win, Columbus and Washington's losses, and possibly tonight's opponent's 7-4 romp over Ottawa (Detroit plays Montreal at 7 PM on FSD, the CBC, RDS, the NHL Network U.S. and WXYT AM)...
So here we are:
The Red Wings took what I'm sure was a bumpy flight to Montreal to face a Canadiens team that's won six of its past seven games, including a very ugly 5-4 decision over Detroit just over a week ago last Thursday--and they're an insane 7-1-and-1 in the back half of back-to-back games!
Depending on who or whom you believe, the Wings either did so having played quite solidy en route to their win over the Sabres, or the youngsters and veterans alike learned a hard lesson about underestimating your opponents.
The Red Wings' prospects had a bit of a mixed...Well, okay an entirely losing day on Friday, and the trio of teams taking part in playoff series (though one is "playing out the string" all had difficult efforts).
Starting in Sweden, in the SHL, Mattias Backman and Linkopings HC lost 4-1 to Skelleftea AIK, and LHC trails that series 3 games to none. Backman finished the game at -1 in 18:30 of ice time, and he had 3 shots;
Mattias Janmark's future with AIK Stockholm is somewhat uncertain because AIK is going to be relegated to the Allsvenskan next season, so their "Kvallserien" fate has already been determined. They lost 2-1 in a shootout to Orebo on Friday, with Janmark finishing at -1 with 2 shots on goal, a minor penalty to his credit and a 3-and-2 faceoff record;
As you already know by now, Red Wings prospect and Grand Rapids Griffins forward Mitchell Callahan suffered a broken jaw and lost somewhere between 10 and 12 teeth when he took a slap shot from teammate and roommate Ryan Sproul to his face, and he posted a particularly gruesome "selfie" afterwards.
There's good news on the Callahan front, and while I tend to shy away from posting family members' Tweets or Facebook or Instagram stuff (those of us who cover prospects suddenly find ourselves, well, providing info to players' family members), a certain adult Callahan who's going to help Sproul and Trevor Parkes take care of their roommate posted this photo of her son post-surgery and post-release from the hospital. I'd argue that it's worth posting despite privacy concerns:
One could expect the Red Wings to have a bit of a let-down after beating the Bruins, one could expect the Wings to predictably play down to the level of their opponent to some extent, and one could expect the Wings to have more trouble than they thought was necessary when battling the Sabres...
But the Red Wings did exactly what Mike Babcock warned they would with Pavel Datsyuk returning--they watched--and as such, the Wings SQUEAKED out of their affair with Buffalo, which they led 3-0 for 32-and-a-half minutes, with 2 points and a 3-2 win, thanks in no small part to Johan Franzen's ass blocking a last-second Rasmus Ristolainen shot.
Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples spoke with the Red Wings fan who tossed an unboiled octopus on the ice during the Wings-Bruins tilt, and while Katie Sochiacki felt that the experience was worth getting kicked out of a Wings game--and it's worth noting that she wasn't issued a $500 fine or charged with a misdemeanor (that was the policy the NHL may or may not have convinced the City of Detroit to enforce starting in 2011), Caples reports that once one throws an octopus, it's not exactly a "fun" experience for the "thrower":
The 19-year-old Sochiacki said she felt like she was “on the top of the world” after taking part in the Hockeytown tradition. She missed the end of the game, however, as she was detained by security shortly after throwing the squid.
“Someone told me before about the whole jersey change thing, you change your jersey and you’re good to go because they can’t find you, but they were so quick about it, I think they knew it was going to happen – they knew my little plan.
“My friend’s giving me a victory hug, has me lifted over his head, and all of a sudden the security guard pulls me down, wrestles me to the ground. Honestly, I was terrified. It was like ‘Oh my’, I didn’t know I could get in that much trouble. They take it pretty serious. Security was no joke, that’s for sure.”
Sochiacki said that security took down her information and took a mug shot of her while she was detained. If she ever attempts to throw another octopus at Joe Louis Arena, she won’t be allowed back for any more Red Wings.
Caples continues, and please remember, if you wish to enjoy getting kicked out of the game and detained by security for the sake of tossing a cephalophod on the ice, at least boil the damn thing.
The Calgary Sun's Scott Mitchell reports that two of hockey's greatest players just happened to make an under-the-radar appearance in Calgary recently, but the lack of media presence didn't make the impromptu summit any less special:
Their eyes were on the exhibits.
Everyone else’s eyes were focused squarely on them.
But that’s what happens when you put, arguably, the two greatest hockey players of all time in the same room, as Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe were Wednesday night inside Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.
Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg to skate soon; Weiss out for year, Ericsson back late 1st round?
#RedWings GM Ken Holland said he believes that captain Henrik Zetterberg (back surgery) will be back on skates sometime next week.
This, from the Windsor Star's Bob Duff, is not good, however:
Holland also indicated that C Stephen Weiss (sports hernia surgery) likely done for year following many setbacks in his recovery process.
#redwings GM Ken Holland said captain Henrik Zetterberg (back surgery) to resume skating next week.
Holland indicated earliest return to action for Zetterberg would be late in first round of playoffs. #RedWings
Update: Also, per Roose:
#RedWings Ken Holland also noted Jonathan Ericsson is "Probably out until the middle or late first round, maybe even miss the first round."
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness has penned a story about Weiss' status...
Updated 10x at 2:51 PM: The tightly-packed Wild Card standings have really turned tonight's game against Buffalo (7:30 PM on FSD Plus/MSG B and 1270 AM) into a must-win situation. As Paul noted, Daniel Alfredsson skated with the Wings at the morning skate, per the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...
Alfredsson on the ice for the Wings pre-game skate. Possible sign he plays tonight against Buffalo. He hasn't skated since Sunday.
Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Alfredsson appear to be out tonight against Buffalo. Both aren't taking part in line drills. #RedWings
Beat writers report Daniel Alfredsson is on the ice this morning which means it is possible he plays tonight.
Updates from practice will be posted here when available.
aded 10:34am, via Chuck Pleiness tweet,
Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Alfredsson appear to be out tonight against Buffalo. Both aren't taking part in line drills
added 10:37am, via Ansar Khan tweets,
Datsyuk skating with Helm and Abdelkader again.
Other lines: Nyquist-Legwand-Franzen, Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco, Miller-Glendening-Alfredsson.
added 10:43am, via Khan,
Different look on first power-play unit. Kronwall on D, Datsyuk and Franzen at half-walls, Legwand at net front and Nyquist roaming.
The Detroit Red Wings continue a stretch of 3 games in 4 nights (technically speaking, the season ends with 6 games in 10 nights) as they battle the Buffalo Sabres this evening (7:30 PM, FSD Plus/MSG-B/97.1 FM; the ice at the Joe may be sketchy as we're supposed to have thunderstorms today), and the Wings were done no favors in terms of the out-of-town scoreboard on Thursday evening, as DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose and the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa noted:
In plainer English, the Leafs ain't dead after defeating Boston 2-1 in OT (though they lost Jonathan Bernier in the process), those Damn Blue Jackets beat Philly 2-1, and now the Wild Card standings look like this:
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.