The Malik Report
It's somewhat ironic that MLive's Ansar Khan is reporting the following about Red Wings forward Tomas Jurco just ahead of tonight's game against Blake Comeau's Blue Jackets:
After skating by himself a few times, Tomas Jurco practiced with the team Tuesday for the first time since suffering a broken rib March 11 on a cross-check by Columbus’ Blake Comeau.
“It feels better and I think I’m really close to being ready to play,” Jurco said. “I hope for Thursday.
“It doesn’t bother me to breathe, but it’s still sore. I guess it’s just going to go away in the next few days. It’s not that bad that I can’t play so I think I’ll be good.”
He’ll be wearing a protective jacket.
Khan continues with more Datsyuk talk.
Detroit's City Council has until April 1st to determine whether they will approve the new lease for Joe Louis Arena which happens to include a down-payment against any possible liabilities owed, and while WWJ reports that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Strategic Fund have approved $6 million to cover Joe Louis Arena's demolition, the AP reports that the City Council plans on milking the "old" rink's dramatics for all they're worth by meeting not this week, but instead, on the last day of March:
The Detroit City Council has scheduled a special meeting March 31 to vote on a new lease for Joe Louis Arena, which is slated to be replaced as venue for the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings.
Councilwoman Brenda Jones announced the meeting Monday at a meeting of the council's Health and Safety Standing Committee.
The proposed lease with Olympia Entertainment would expire on June 30, 2015. It would be retroactive to 2010 when the old lease expired.
As the Free Press and MLive reported, the 39-block land transfer previously approved by the City Council doesn't happen without a new JLA lease, so the City Council's acting like...Itself.
Here's more about Tuesday's events from the Free Press's John Gallagher:
As Paul noted, Pavel Datsyuk's begun skating on his own, which is good news, and the Red Wings issued a particularly intriguing press release about 55 minutes ago:
RED WINGS CAPTAIN HENRIK ZETTERBERG AVAILABLE TO THE MEDIA ON MARCH 26
DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will address the media tomorrow (Wednesday, March 26) in the Red Wings dressing room at Joe Louis Arena for the first time since back surgery. Zetterberg, who underwent a successful procedure on his back on February 21 at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, will be available to the media at the conclusion of the team’s 12:00 p.m. practice.
Also from the Wings, part 1:
from Shawn Mitchell of Puck-Rakers,
“Sometimes you get wrapped up in it all,” Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert said. “But that doesn’t matter. It’s a battle from here on out. We battled with these guys last year and they beat us out. Now, it’s our turn to take that playoff spot.”...
Nyquist scored more goals than all of the Blue Jackets combined last week. The Jackets have six goals in their past five games and have failed to convert their past 36 power plays.
“We have to find ways to score and get pucks and bodies to the net,” Richards said. “This team isn’t going to allow you to make tic-tac-toe plays. It’s going to be getting pucks to the paint and getting some bodies there, getting second and third opportunities.”
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Mitch Callahan, a physical, agitating forward, will become the eighth player to make his NHL debut with the Detroit Red Wings this season tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena (7:30, Fox Sports Detroit)....
Callahan, a right-handed shooter who’s collected 25 goals, 40 points and 51 penalty minutes in 66 games with the Griffins this season, will skate on a line with Darren Helm and Joakim Andersson.
“It’s pretty surreal, seeing a lot of my old teammates from the Calder Cup team last year,” Callahan, 22, said. “It’s nice to get reunited with these guys, but at the same time it’s the NHL, couldn’t be happier right now.”
Said coach Mike Babcock: “He’s got some goals in the minors, he’s a tough kid, seems to know how to play, he’s a good penalty-killer. I’m going to watch him, give him an opportunity and see how he does.”
Bill Roose of the Wings website on Datsyuk,
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
“I think confidence grows every game you’re up here,” Nyquist said. “Right now, obviously scoring a little bit, that gives me more confidence out there with the puck.”
This hot streak does not necessarily mean Nyquist will become another Datsyuk or Zetterberg, the sixth- and seventh-round draft picks who became cornerstones in Detroit. It does not necessarily mean he will become an elite goal-scorer, either. He has always been more of a playmaker than a sniper, and he’s bound to cool off.
But this does mean the Wings identified yet another smaller prospect with skill, hockey sense and character, then took him later in the draft and let him mature into a player. He was ready when they needed him – more than ready – and they think he can be a productive top-six NHL forward for years to come. He had 22 goals in 56 AHL games two seasons ago. He had 23 goals in 58 AHL games last season. He has 23 goals in 46 NHL games this season.
“It’s a good example for young players,” said Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill, the former Wings assistant GM who drafted Nyquist. “Everybody wants to get to the league real quick. But it’s a tough league, and you need your development time. He might have come up two years ago and struggled and got sent down, and before you know it, you’re back in the minors and nothing happens. He stuck with it.”
via Ansar Khan tweets,
Bertuzzi, who missed last game with flu, not skating in Columbus. Jurco, out with broken rib since March 11, is skating.
Callahan skating on line with Helm and Andersson.
Other lines: Franzen-Legwand-Alfredsson, Tatar-Sheahan-Nyquist, Miller-Glendening-Emmerton.
added 11:48am, again from Khan,
Power play: Franzen-Nyquist-Andersson (net front), Kronwall-Alfredsson (points); Tatar-Legwand-Sheahan (net front), DeKeyser-Kindl (points).
added 12:02pm, via Khan,
Babcock said Bertuzzi is playing tonight's he said the plan is to play Callahan, but didn't commit to it.
added 12:36pm, Bill Roose tweet,
Holland said the #RedWings have reassigned Emmerton to Grand Rapids. Means Bertuzzi and Callahan will be in lineup tonight.
added 8:31pm, from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
Here are updates on a few of the players from Wings general manager Ken Holland:
Datsyuk: “Don’t know what’s next. I’ll talk to the trainers and doctors to see what’s next, but right now he’s still going through the time he needs to give it a chance to heal.”
Zetterberg: “I don’t know when he’ll be cleared to skate. I’m told at around eight weeks he’ll be cleared for physical contact. I do know before the end of the season he’ll be back skating, but I just don’t know when.”
Weiss: “He had a second opinion. The second opinion was similar to that of the Philadelphia doctor, Myers’ opinion. I think what’s going to happen is he’ll get a cortisone injection, hoping it relieves things. We don’t know if it’s inflammation or if it’s a different issue or if it’s scar tissue. He feels OK going 65, 70, 75 percent, but when he pushes all out he feels pain and when he gets pain he backs back off. He’s been told to push through. He’s pushed through. We’re going to give him another 72 hours and keep our fingers crossed that there’s some progress.”
File this under, "A little intriguing": the Red Wings may have swapped Landon Ferraro for Mitchell Callahan, but the Griffins' defense must have taken a hit this past weekend, because the Griffins both recalled Max Nicastro from the Toledo Walleye and they signed fellow defenseman Marc McNulty to an amateur try-out (McNulty's Prince George Cougars didn't make the WHL playoffs):
CALLAHAN RECALLED BY DETROIT, NICASTRO AND McNULTY JOIN GRIFFINS
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Monday recalled left wing Mitch Callahan from the Grand Rapids Griffins and reassigned defenseman Max Nicastro from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye to their AHL affiliate. In addition, the Griffins signed defenseman Marc McNulty to an amateur tryout.
The Red Wings probably won't win all of their games this week--the Wings face an incredibly important game in Columbus tomorrow, they host the Canadiens on Thursday, head to Toronto on Saturday and close out a four-games-in-six-nights stretch by hosting Tampa Bay on Sunday (and DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose offers the details thereof in his "Look Ahead in Hockeytown")--but it would sure be nice if the Wings earned points in the vast majority of those games.
The Wings' Wild Card spot comes thanks to two games in hand on Toronto, but the pursuing Blue Jackets (2 points behind the Wings, even in games, and by the way, Tuesday's game is on NBCSN out of FSD range, and no, I don't believe anybody will send Blake Comeau into April, though I'd sure like to see it) and Devils (5 points behind with 1 more game played than the Wings' 71) have more regulation-or-OT wins than the Wings do, and the Capitals sit only one point behind the Wings (with one more game played), too, so the Wings don't exactly have a "magic number" yet.
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