The Malik Report
Updated 8x at 5:03 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will descend into the land of media hype ahead of tomorrow night's pre-Winter-Classic-Warm-Up-Excitement-Excitement-Excitement-Game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, hoping to build upon a 3-2 OT win over and fan-pleasing performance against the Calgary Flames.
We'll kick things off with an FYI from the NHL:
.@DAlfredsson11 became the 3rd Swedish-born player to reach the 700-assist plateau, joining Nicklas Lidstrom (878) and Mats Sundin (785).
Today's practice yielded surprisingly good news on the injury front, per the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...
Good sign Wings are nearing full health. Zetterberg, Nyquist, Helm and Abdelkader practicing. No Howard or Franzen.
From the looks of things Helm could return Saturday in Toronto. Skating with Sheahan and Alfie. Tootoo and Samuelsson appear out.
And MLive's Ansar Khan:
I don't plan on following the reports from the Maple Leafs alumni's practices ahead of the "Alumni Showdown" games--save noting that the Toronto Star reported that Mats Sundin won't be able to take part due to knee surgery--and I've kind of ignored Sportsnet's "Greatest Maple Leafs of All Time" profiles on their 24/7 page (again, the "alternate showings" for tomorrow's episode are weird and inconvenient, so those of you who miss it--and I know I have a family Christmas party to attend that will complicate things for me--may have to wait until HBO posts it on YouTube to watch it)...
But Sportsnet's Ryan Dixon gives a little "equal time" to Steve Yzerman today, and even as someone who embraced hockey during the heyday of the Wings-Leafs Norris Division rivalry, it's still hard to explain how incredibly accurate Dixon is when he suggests that Yzerman was "Mr. Everything" to Detroit. As Dixon suggests, there's some irony in the fact that serious discussions about sending Yzerman out of town helped spurn him to change the way he played:
Very briefly: I was "out" for the last couple of days, so I'm going to try to catch up with the Red Wings' prospects exploits as quickly as possible:
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins played on Wednesday and will play tonight at home vs. Rockford and tomorrow against Chicago. Minus Patrick Eaves, Jordin Tootoo, Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan, the Griffins recalled Trevor Parkes and Louis-Marc Aubry from the Toledo Walleye on Tuesday and Martin Frk from Toledo on Thursday (and Petr Mrazek's in Detroit, too).
The Griffins had no problems playing through a "depleted" lineup on Wednesday, defeating the Iowa Wild 2-1 in OT.
TMR art corner: Gustavsson’s WC pads and mask, Howard’s Santa mask, Mike Posner video & Walleye Ugly
In the "Artistic Stuff" department...
The Detroit News noted that David "DaveArt" Gunnarsson" posted a picture of Gustavsson's Winter Classic mask...
Today is going to be...Interesting...For the Red Wings. While the team attempts to build upon its 3-2 OT win over Calgary, and hopes to welcome some players back from injuries tomorrow against Toronto (tomorrow's Hockey Night in Canada meets 24/7 game will be hyped as much as the lead-up to the Winter Classic should be, I suppose...) while Stephen Weiss finds out whether he needs surgery to fix his ailing groin...
Downtown, as the Detroit News's Louis Aguilar notes, the Detroit City Council will decide whether to approve the expansion of the Downtown Development Authority's "footprint" to include the 45-block area where the Wings' follow-on rink and "economic development" will be built pursuant to the DDA and the Ilitches coming to an agreement regarding the construction and management of the new rink (as well as the demolishing of Joe Louis Arena).
According to Aguilar, the Council's approval of the deal would trigger a massive "land swap":
As I try to get back up to speed after the Red Wings' 3-2 OT win over the Calgary Flames, the Free Press's Helene St. James delivered superb news regarding Justin Abdelkader, Danny DeKeyser, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Jimmy Howard, Gustav Nyquist and Henrik Zetterberg...
Lost amidst Daniel Alfredsson's 3-point performance...
MLive's Ansar Khan noted that Niklas Kronwall personally thanked the fans at the Joe for sticking with a struggling team...
The Detroit Red Wings played what seemed like an incredibly predictable game against the Calgary Flames, save perhaps the finish, in a 3-2 OT win over the Calgary Flames.
Daniel Alfredsson scored a slick goal right off the hop, chipping the rebound of Pavel Datsyuk's shot past Karri Ramo only 26 seconds in...
But as has become so predictable, the Red Wings' top line and top defensive pair got caught standing around as Mikael Backlund chipped the rebound of a Red Wings-like bounce off the end boards past a swimming Jonas Gustavsson 5 mintues later...
Rob Kerr of Sportsnet via theFlames website with a report from Joe Louis Arena, looking at the Flames/Wings matchup.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Defenseman Danny DeKeyser (separated shoulder on Nov. 19) hoped to be cleared by the doctor Thursday evening. He didn’t rule out returning Saturday in Toronto or Monday.
“I feel great,” DeKeyser said. “Some stuff is going to come back to me when I start playing as far as maybe being in game shape and that kind of thing, but I’m skating well and moving the puck well; I’m shooting well, so I feel really good.”
He added, “The strength has come back, and range of motion’s fine; even when I’m winding up to shoot slappers it’s been feeling very good so as far.”
The Red Wings have no salary cap issues when DeKeyser returns because Zetterberg is on LTIR. And when Zetterberg comes off LTIR, there's a chance Weiss will go on LTIR.
more on the Wings, basically a recap of the morning skate...
added 2:10 p.m.
Abdelkader said he had headaches and dizziness for two days after the hit by Engelland, but is symptom-free now. Return close. #RedWings— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) December 19, 2013
All via tweets from Ansar Khan,
Zetterberg skating with team for first time in more than 2 weeks. Had skated on his own a few times.
Abdelkader skating again. Franzen and Nyquist are not skating. Howard was on ice earlier but not ready to practice yet.
Wings skating with these lines: Jurco-Datsyuk-Alfredsson, Miller-Andersson-Tatar, Cleary-Glendening-Eaves, Bertuzzi-Sheahan-Tootoo.
Samuelsson appears to be a healthy scratch. Eaves takes his place at right point on 2nd PP unit. Sheahan up front on 2nd PP unit.
added 11:45am, More Khan tweets, this time updates on the injured...
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.