The Malik Report
In theory, when you've got a team that's down, you pounce on them, and the Red Wings had every reason to pounce on the Sharks on Friday night. The Sharks had gone 3-and-8 over their past 11 heading into Friday night's tilt against the Wings, and getting Pavel Datsyuk in the lineup should have been all the impetus the Wings needed to take the Sharks out.
On Friday night, it was the Red Wings who were chomped upon, literally, figuratively and physically, as Detroit was out-competed over the course of a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks. The Wings actually out-shot San Jose 28-14 and out-attempted San Jose 63-27, but Detroit wasn't generating quality scoring chances in the "hard areas" of the ice in the slot and near the goal crease, and the Sharks did a fantastic job of checking, trapping, tackling, clutching, grabbing and otherwise impeding the Wings in such a manner that Detroit was deterred from attacking the net directly--and as a result, the Wings were booed off their home ice.
Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
Among MLive's Brendan Savage's game-day article's points:
• The Red Wings have won four of their last five despite their offensive problems. They're coming off a 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals, who own one of the best records in the NHL. The Red Wings have allowed just five goals in the aforementioned four victories. The one glitch in that stretch was a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars. Penalty killing has been a big key to Detroit's recent surge. The Red Wings have successfully killed 15 of 17 penalties during the last five games, a success rate of 88.2 percent. In the last 11 games, the Red Wings are 22-for-24 (91.7). That has their penalty killers tied for eighth in the NHL at 83.3 percent. San Jose's power play is the worst in the NHL at 11.4 percent.
DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji penned a notebook about Pavel Datsyuk's return, Riley Sheahan shifting to wing and more:
Have fun with this one. Ryan Lambert, an avid Wings-hater, pounced upon the Justin Abdelkader contract like a mosquito on an open cut. That's not to say that Lambert's all wrong by any stretch of the imagination, but whether his disdain for the team or disdain for a risky contract are in charge is difficult to distinguish:
So here's the thing with this deal: If it's entirely predicated on Abdelkader's chemistry (if we want to call it that) with Zetterberg, what happens when Zetterberg gets hurt, or loses a step, or retires? One or all of these scenarios are entirely plausible if not inevitable in the next seven-plus seasons. And when that happens, do you continue sticking a guy who will likely return to being roughly replacement level with your Nyquists and Tatars, or do you have a third-liner (at best) who costs $4.25 million? Oh and this contract, fortunately for all involved, has a no-trade clause built-in. It's full for the first four seasons, and then partial for the last three. Because of how many teams will be totally clamoring to trade for this contract.
Lambert continues, and he makes some good points, but he's also absolutely convinced that Abdelkader is going to suck donkey balls in terms of his performance, and that's a wee much for me.
Updated 7x at 1:56 PM: The Red Wings and San Jose Sharks' respective morning skates revealed the goaltending match-up--Jimmy Howard vs. Martin Jones--and the Wings' slightly revised lineup for Military Appreciation Night (7:30 PM EST start on FSD/CSN Bay Area/97.1 FM). If you missed it, MLive's Ansar Khan Tweeted out the Wings' lineup:
Andersson, Jurco extras.
Green replaces Kronwall on top PP unit with Nyquist-Zetterberg-Datsyuk, Abdelkader (net).
2nd: Pulkkinen-Larkin-Tatar, Sheahan, Kronwall
And Khan reported that the Ericsson-DeKeyser, Kindl-Marchenko and Kronwall-Green pairs will remain intact:
Blashill said same six on D as last game because he liked what he saw. So Smith is out.
The Mercury News's Curtis Pashelka reported that Martin Jones will start opposite Jimmy Howard this evening, and while the Sharks have lost 8 of their past 11 games, the NHL on Sirius XM Radio notes that the Wings' record against San Jose is anything but dominant:
Among ESPN's Craig Custance's Friday Insider column's topics:
So, the Justin Abdelkader contract seems to have riled a few people up. I noted on Twitter the gap between the value of a winger with size who can score held by general managers and those in the analytics community, and set off a bit of debate. Not just on Twitter, either. Immediately, the e-mails and texts started popping up on my phone.
One executive pointed out that the Red Wings have significant raises coming for good, young players like Riley Sheahan, Danny DeKeyser, Petr Mrazek and Teemu Pulkkinen. He didn’t like the term, calling it a “huge premium” and wondered what the rush was considering the 2016 UFA class is still not established.
A defender of the deal pointed out that people are getting too caught up in the seven-year term, that nobody expects these deals to provide value at the end. Going that long is about driving down the average annual value, and getting value in the shorter term, capitalizing on contributions out of the players in the first few years of the deal and then figuring out what to do with the contract down the road. By front-loading the deal, it’s possible Abdelkader is worth something closer to his actual salary in the second-half of the deal, and a team that isn’t a cap team or is trying to get to the floor will find value in it.
The value in it for the Red Wings is they know what they’re getting in Abdelkader both on and off the ice compared to an unknown they might have pursued in free agency. If he’s the top-six player they believe he is, the contract is reasonable. If he’s not, the criticism will only get louder.
Custance continues, and I thought an, "A deal of this magnitude depends completely upon the player's performance" analysis of said deal was rather obvious.
Cue the WTF?
RED WINGS' PULKKINEN FINED $2,000 FOR DIVING/EMBELLISHMENT
NEW YORK (Nov. 13, 2015) – Detroit Red Wings forward Teemu Pulkkinen has been fined $2,000 as supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64 (Diving/Embellishment), the National Hockey League announced today.
NHL Rule 64 is designed to bring attention to and more seriously penalize players (and teams) who repeatedly dive and embellish in an attempt to draw penalties. Fines are assessed to players and head coaches on a graduated scale outlined below:
Citation # Player Fine(s) * Head Coach Fine(s)
1 Warning N/A
2 $2,000 N/A
3 $3,000 N/A
4 $4,000 $2,000
5 $5,000 $3,000
6 $5,000 $4,000
7 $5,000 $5,000
8 $5,000 $5,000
* For Head Coach, each FINE issued to a player on his Club counts toward
Citations are issued by the National Hockey League Hockey Operations Department, which tracks all games, logs all penalties for diving or embellishment and flags all plays not called on the ice that in its opinion were deserving of such a penalty. A Citation is issued once Hockey Operations, through its internal deliberations, is convinced that a player warrants sanction.
Pulkkinen was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 116 at Vancouver on Oct. 24. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident at 12:36 of the first period during NHL Game No. 211 against Dallas on Nov. 8.
Update: Here's the incident:
Updated 4x at 11:52 AM: The Red Wings host the San Jose Sharks this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/CSN Bay Area/97.1 FM; tonight is Military Appreciation Night at the Joe). The 8-6-and-1 Wings hope prey upon the 7-8-and-0 Sharks as San Jose's lost 8 of their past 11 games, and Pavel Datsyuk's return to the lineup should bolster Detroit's cause.
According to the Free Press's George Sipple, Brad Richards skated alone before the morning skate began...
Richards #wings http://vine.co/v/iBK2tmaLI9q
And it appears that Jimmy Howard will start this evening, per DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose...
The Detroit Red Wings kick off a stretch of 6 games played over the course of 9 nights against the San Jose Sharks on Friday evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/CSN Bay Area/97.1 FM), and this would be a good time for the Wings to bite down upon the Sharks.
The Sharks have gone 3-and-8 over their past 11 games, and are beginning a 6-game road trip having lost 2 straight and 3 of 4, including Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the Islanders, Patrick Marleau trade rumors are swirling as the Sharks falter, and the team's without Logan Couture, who's recovering from a broken leg.
All of that sounds like a recipe for an easy win, and as you and I both know by now, the Red Wings and "easy win" have yet to meet.
Just as importantly, as the Mercury News's Curtis Pashelka notes, the Sharks believe that they'll be able to steady themselves on the road...
Of prospect-related note:
In the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin played all of 1:36 in SKA St Petersburg's 5-3 win over Vityaz;
In the Finnish Liiga, Julius Vahatalo played 12:48 in TPS Turku's 5-1 win over HPK;
And in the QMJHL, Adam Marsh finished at -2 in the Saint John Sea Dogs' 5-0 loss to Moncton.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness penned an article about Justin Abdelkader's extension:
“I know the person, I know his passion and I know his commitment,” [Ken] Holland said Thursday at Joe Louis Arena. “I’m with him every day. If you’re outside the organization you might have some hesitation but I know what he’s all about. So I think at the end of the day if it’s too long, you worry about it six years from now. The most important thing was to get him signed up.
“I know I’ve talked to some people in the industry that think it’s a fabulous deal for us,” Holland added. “I think it’s a fabulous deal because we’ve found a way to keep him signed and we couldn’t afford to lose him.”
The deal with Abdelkader, who would have been an unrestricted after this season, has an annual salary cap hit of $4.25 million.
“I wanted to make it clear in negotiations that I wanted to stay here and be here long term,” said Abdelkader, who’s in the final year of a four-year deal with a salary-cap his of $1.8 million. “I’m gonna keep fully committing myself to this team, this organization on and off the ice, and do what I can to be a leader.”
2. MLive's Brendan Savage spoke with Brad Richards about his recovery from a back issue:
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.