The Malik Report
Updated 10x at 2:57 PM: The Red Wings face a stiff test in Barry Trotz's Washington Capitals this evening (7:30 PM, NBCSN/TVA Sports/Sportsnet One/97.1 FM), and Tomas Tatar pretty much summarized the Wings' goals going into this game while speaking with MLive's Brendan Savage:
Washington ranks third in the NHL on the power play with seven goals in 27 chances (25.9 percent) while the Red Wings are No.1 on the penalty kill with a 96.2-percent success rate after allowing just one goal in 26 power plays.
"All the years that I've seen Washington, their power play has been very good," said forward Tomas Tatar. "Their first line is very good with lots of shooters, who are very good playmakers too. So it will be a very big challenge for our PK guys to try to stop it. On the other side we've been working on our power play, shooting more pucks, trying to get more pucks to the net. So we have to challenge ourselves more. We want to score more goals on the power play and help ourselves out a little bit during the game."
The overnight report: Red Wings-Capitals set-up; assorted notes, prospect stuff and Quincey blingin’
The Washington Capitals have been a bundle of contradictions for a while now, at least from the outside looking in. It appears that Ted Leonsis is finally letting new GM Brian McLellan make his own personnel decisions and Barry Trotz coach after a complicated relationship with previous GM George McPhee and a set of coaches that most recently included Adam Oates...
But just as the Red Wings are starting to feel a little too "old-school" in terms of the ownership and management's stubbornness in the player personnel department, perhaps the Caps are the best American NHL example of a team whose coaching and personnel machinations always seemed to involve an owner overly concerned with public perception.
Tonight's "Rivalry Night" opponent (the Wings and Caps play at 7:30 PM on NBCSN/TVA Sports/Sportsnet One/97.1 FM) possesses the same record as the 4-2-and-2 Red Wings, but after dropping a 4-2 decision to Vancouver on Sunday, Barry Trotz told NHL.com's Dan Rosen that he plans on ensuring that the team plays a more traditional game this evening (see also: dump, chase):
Cotsonika profiles Jim Nill and his decision to leave Detroit for Dallas; so GM’s aren’t infallible?
Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned a fine profile of Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill and Nill's decision-making process in terms of turning down previous opportunities to leave the Red Wings before finding his "fit" in Dallas a year-and-a-half ago, and Cotsonika's article includes an absolutely wonderful exchange in which Nill's former employer and Nill himself admit that--gasp!--general managers are not infallible:
“I think Jimmy Nill was ready a long time ago,” Holland said. “Jimmy probably could have left a lot sooner. We benefited from that, but I also think he benefitted from more experiences, more experiences, more experiences. Not everything you do works, and when it doesn’t work, it’s also an opportunity to evaluate yourself and your decision – why something didn’t work the way you thought it should work.”
Nill led the Wings’ drafting and developing, helping unearth players like Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Jimmy Howard, Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg. The Wings’ general philosophy with prospects was to over-ripen them – to keep them in Europe or the minors not until they could play in the NHL, but until they were ready to help the Wings win. That kind of philosophy can work for executives, too.
“You think you’re ready, and you’re not,” Nill said. “You think you know all the players, and you think you’ve got it figured out. The more you’re in the business, the more you realize the less you know. When you’re in it real early, you see players, and you’re like, ‘Yeah, that guy’s going to play – bang, bang, bang.’ Well, the more you’re in it, the more of those bang-bang-bangs you see that don’t make it. Now that gets you thinking. When you go to make a decision, you’re like, ‘OK, I think that’s the guy, but I’ve also seen in my 15 years five guys that didn’t make it.’ It gives you a bigger scope.”
Cotsonika continues at extended length, and Nill is the nicest person I've met in the hockey business. I wish him all the best--except when the Wings play the Stars, of course...
And Nill's quote is very, very true for everyone in the hockey business, regardless of whether you're an exec or an amateur assessor of player talent.
From as clincial a perspective as I can muster, this is...Expected. Gordie Howe's battle with dementia is partially due to a set of "mini strokes" suffered while caring for an ailing Colleen, and at some point, "mini strokes" are going to yield a larger cardiopulmonary event. So the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa and Chris McCosky's news that Gordie Howe has suffered a serious stroke is not surprising.
He's also Gordie Howe, an absolute living Clydesdale of a man who's made it through so much, and Red Wings fans will tell you that he, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky and Steve Yzerman are the best hockey players to ever have played the game--but Gordie could do it all. He's someone that, until recently, we were not suprised to see in the stands at hockey games, patiently signing pictures he'd brought to the game to sign until the demand became too great, and he'd have to scoot to a suite so that the people in his section could watch the game (if he wasn't on the concourse signing books).
Only one Red Wings prospect has yet to play this evening. Joe Hicketts and the Victoria Royals will battle the Brandon Wheat Kings at 10:05 PM EDT, so:
In terms of the balance of today's game action, in Europe:
Tomas Holmstrom made an appearance at the Red Wings' practice today, but if you missed that little bit of news, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose noted that Holmstrom is in fact keeping himself quite busy after moving back to Pitea, Sweden this past summer...
Enjoying his retirement, the 41-year-old Holmstrom remains close to the sport, helping coach his two sons’ youth teams while also lending his knowledge to Sweden’s national development program.
“I’m on the ice pretty much every day, coaching the boys and then doing some national team assignments, U15, U16 and helping out the elite team in Lulea. So I keep myself busy,” Holmstrom said. “It’s fun to work with driven kids who want to make it and take the next step. They want it, so it’s fun.”
He offered oodles of praise for the Wings' current lineup after explaining why he was in town, as Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji noted (she also posted a non-embeddable video interview with Holmstrom)...
Oh boy. This is scary news from the Detroit News's Chris McCosky and Gregg Krupa:
Hockey legend Gordie Howe, 86, suffered a serious stroke Sunday in Texas, has lost some function on one side of his body and has difficulty speaking.
The all-time Red Wings great, whom millions across North America call "Mr. Hockey," is resting at his daughter's home in Lubbock, according to his son, Dr. Murray Howe.
"Basically, sometime in the early morning on Sunday he suffered a pretty bad stroke," said Howe, who heads the department of radiology at Toledo Hospital. "The right side of his body is very, very weak. He's unable to stand without help. He's able to speak, but very, very difficult to speak. He knows who he is. He knows the people around him. But it is very difficult for him to get up and walk around. So he is pretty much confined to his bed right now. So we're just trying to keep him comfortable, and that's our goal."
Update: From WDIV:
Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe suffered a serious stroke on Sunday, Local 4 has confirmed with his family.
Howe, 86, suffered the stroke on Sunday in Texas. He is resting at a hospital. His three sons -- Mark, Marty and Murray -- all are down in Texas with him.
Update #2: From Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji:
Update/FYI from the Free Press's Helene St. James:
This makes good sense:
This also allows the Wings to kick the can down the line regarding who ends up getting nixed from the roster when Johan Franzen eventually returns to the lineup (based upon today's reports, he's at least a week out from returning from his groin injury), so Andrej Nestrasil (would require waivers), Daniel Cleary (ditto) and Weiss get a reprieve here. Mostly this is a sound idea given that Weiss needs to get his legs under him.
Quick update: The Wings filed a press release regarding the move:
Updated 16x at 4:08 PM: The Red Wings will take to the ice shortly at Joe Louis Arena ahead of tomorrow's "Rivalry Night" game against the Washington Capitals (7:30 PM EDT on NBCSN/97.1 FM), and the Capitals are playing up the...Erm...Former Whaler quotent?
Tom Wilson back on the ice at Kettler, ready to roll for #CapsWings. http://instagram.com/p/us0fE6SGh1/
The Capitals hit the ice at 10:30 AM, so if you're interested in their lines, the Washington Post's Alex Prewitt posted them...
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