The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings and several other teams wished Gordie Howe a happy 85th birthday on Wednesday, but Howe's health is up and down, and he's dealing with a "mild cognitive impairment," so Mark and Marty Howe told the Canadian Press that they're just hoping for the best regarding Howe's birthday on Sunday:
"We're hoping this will be a nice birthday, and we'll have a good time with Dad and all," son Mark said in a recent interview. "His memory loss is getting to the point where it's almost becoming difficult to do a lot of interaction with Dad. I'm sure this [birthday] will go well, but a year from now, I don't know what life's going to bring. So we're going to make the best of it."
Howe's family revealed just over a year ago that the hockey legend has a mild form of dementia.Despite his health issues, Howe began celebrating his milestone birthday in early March when he attended a ceremony at a Vancouver Giants game.
The Detroit Red Wings face quite the task in attempting to both sweep their Western U.S. road trip against the San Jose Sharks tonight (10:30 PM EDT, FSD/CSN Bay Area/97.1 FM) and keep the Sharks off their backs for a simple reason: while the Wings spent Tuesday relaxing and Wednesday getting back to work, the Sharks did the exact same thing to Anaheim that the Wings did on Friday and Sunday:
The Sharks walked into Anaheim on Monday night and defeated the Ducks 5-3, and on Wednesday evening, San Jose began a 7-game home stand by handing the Ducks their fourth straight loss, dropping Anaheim by a 4-0 tally. The 15-11-and-6 Sharks now sit only 3 points behind the 5th-place, 17-11-and-5 Red Wings with a game in hand on Detroit.
Little did the Wings know when they flew to San Jose on Wednesday that they'd be facing yet another one of those pesky "statement games," at a rink that's nothing less than a house of horrors, no less, but that's what tonight's game is.
The Detroit Red Wings spent Tuesday by the pool in Phoenix after defeating the Coyotes on Monday night.
Today, they flew to San Jose to get back to work in preparation for tomorrow night's game against the San Jose Sharks (10:30 PM EDT, FSD/CSN Bay Area/97.1 FM, and the Sharks host the Ducks tonight). Many thanks to Paul for covering the main points as I plain old don't feel well today.
I know the Chief covered this, but Ken Holland did indeed fly to Toronto to wine and dine Danny DeKeyser...
George is running some errands so you have me for you latest Wings news from San Jose.
As The Chief reported earlier, Holland flew to Toronto to make his pitch for DeKeyser.
The Wings just completed practice in San Jose, Khan says Bertuzzi and Samuelsson both participated but Bert left early.
Oh yea, the boys had some keep away fun too.
The Red Wings are still 10 minutes away from landing in San Jose after spending last night in Phoenix, and there's no point in sitting on this story until the team practices at 2 or 3 PM PDT (see: 5 or 6 PM EDT), so...
In an "on-day" article, MLive's Ansar Khan duly notes that the Red Wings' power play stank on ice early on, as did the Wings' penatly-killing unit...
But the Wings have scored power play goals in 8 straight games now, and that comes as no surprise to coach Babcock--or his charges:
“Our specialty teams in the first 10 games were awful, both the power play and the penalty kill,'' coach Mike Babcock said. “We had a change in staff (Jeff Blashill became head coach in Grand Rapids, replaced by Tom Renney), also have a bunch of different players. So when you put it all together it takes some time. I thought it was coming on, but it never really went in the net for us and now it's going in the net.''
After a day off Tuesday, the Red Wings will return to practice today, in preparation for Thursday's game in San Jose (10:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit), when they will attempt to sweep this four-game West Coast trip. Detroit's power play is tied for 18th in the NHL at 17.6 percent.
Updated 4x at 3:02 PM: Pulkkinen and Jokerit Helsinki live to fight another day: Amongst today's Red Wings-related news stories:
TSN's Bob McKenzie reports that Danny DeKeyser may be receiving the kind of "wining and dining" treatment usually reserved for NHL superstars and not 23-year-old #3/4 defenseman in the making, but DeKeyser needs to make a decision as to which one of the probably 20+ teams that have made presentations at Newport Sports Management provides the best option and opportunity for him, and he needs to do so ahead of next Wednesday's trade deadline. As such:
In news regarding actual Red Wings players, ESPN's Craig Custance reports that MLive's Ansar Khan's suggestions that Jimmy Howard's about to ink a 6-year contract extension at or around $5 million per season might be a little premature.
Sports Illustrated's Allan Muir points us toward a video in which a slew of NHL players, celebrities and other luminaries wish Red Wings legend Gordie Howe a happy 85th birthday:
If there’s one thing Hallmark’s on top of, its birthdays. So no surprise then that the Hallmark Channel is ahead of the curve when it comes to honoring Gordie Howe, who celebrates his 85th birthday on Sunday.
The U.S. cable net traveled to rinks around the NHL to gather best wishes for Mr. Hockey from current stars like Teemu Selanne, Dion Phaneuf, Dustin Brown and Nail Yakupov, among others.
Of course Hallmark has a vested interest in this. It’s promoting the U.S. premiere of “Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story,” on May 4. The bio-pic, which stars Michael Shanks (Stargate SG-1) and the great Kathleen Robertson (Beverly Hills, 90210) focuses on Gordie’s return to action at age 45 to play with his sons Mark and Marty in the World Hockey Association. And, being the Hallmark Channel, there’s probably a love story angle as well.
Should be worth a watch. In the meantime, check out the video and see which players were smart enough to refer to him as Mr. Howe.
Here's the video (and Howe turns 85 on March 31st):
Stupid internet. Oh, how you trick me, going out for long enough that I wait for you to return, get sleepy, decide to not write an overnight report, and then, poof! Back on you go!
I'm in a grumpy mood this morning as my "rest day" mostly involved not sleeping and engaging in a pain-in-the-ass chore. It happens.
Thankfully, regardless of what you think of Brendan Smith's Tweet (I think that between ordering 50 In N' Out burgers for their post-game meal and relaxing by the pool on Tuesday, somebody said, "Whatever everyone at the bar wants, this round is on us!" and they charged it to Smith, but that's my gut feeling, because I just can't picture anyone but Todd Bertuzzi having a Pina Colada), it's good to know that the Red Wings had a restful day off, and it's good to know that the team feels that it's finally finding its stride and identity.
Building upon today's early-afternoon post, the Red Wings' "day off" from their 48-games-in-99-nights marathon hasn't resulted in a dearth of Red Wings-related news. While the Wings are enjoying their time in Phoenix, back at Joe Louis Arena, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose spoke to Kyle Quincey about taking one bullet and dodging another.
Quincey's left cheekbone is "busted up," but Quincey won't need surgery to repair the fractures he incurred when a shot ramped up his stick and hit him in the face, so he told Roose that he'll take the good news that he could return in two weeks, but he's going to need some extra strength Tylenol, too:
“The incident is pretty scary,” Quincey said, “so (Monday) was the best day in a week and a half, for sure. I was dealing with all of that pain, and getting that good news was … worth it, I guess.”
Injured late in the third period of the Red Wings’ 3-2 overtime win at Edmonton on March 15, Quincey hasn’t returned to a regular diet as it still hurts to chew, and he’s experiencing some numbness and sinus problems. He even likened his cheekbone and orbital bone fractures to cracking a hard-boiled egg.
“It just shattered,” he said.
Quincey told Roose that his cheek will heal on its own, but it's still a bit of a mess:
The Red Wings and Darren McCarty have reminded us that today marks the 16th anniversary of, "The Brawl in Hockeytown," and in honor of "Turtle Day" (via RedWingsFeed), 97.1 the Ticket's Jamie Samuelssen offers five facts about the game that might surprise you:
1) Joe Kocur missed the game because of the flu. If there was one game in his career that Joe Kocur would have wanted to play in, it was that one.
2) Mickey Redmond missed the brawl because he was in the elevator heading down for a between period interview. If there was one fight in his career that Mickey Redmond would have wanted to call, it was that one.
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.