The Malik Report
Jack Edwards had a helluva time trying to say Andreas Athanasiou. Too hard to not make fun of:
Updated 3x at 5:53 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this early evening:
1. Here's the Wings' Game-Day Preview video:
If you read it real slow, you can kill some time before the puck drops...
from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,
It was just two months ago that Jimmy Howard’s future in Detroit was in peril.
Detractors were prepared to toss the veteran goaltender, and the Red Wings’ playoff chances, on the trash heap.
But now, with a playoff berth dangling in front of the Wings like low-hanging fruit, Howard will start his fourth straight game, the second on back-to-back nights. It’s also the second time in a week that Howard gets starts on consecutive nights. He backstopped Detroit to 3-2 wins over Minnesota last Friday and at Toronto last Saturday.
“Howie’s been unbelievable,” center Luke Glendening said Thursday morning. “He’s really stuck with in through a little shaky period, and to see him play the way he is right now is awesome for this team, it’s awesome for him. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Philadelphia in the regular-season home finale was monumental for the Red Wings, who are looking to extend their Stanley Cup playoff streak to 25 straight seasons.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Griffins rookie defenseman Robbie Russo on Thursday was named to the 2015-16 AHL Second All-Star Team.
Russo was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team on Wednesday, becoming the first player in the franchise’s 20-year history to earn both All-Rookie and All-Star Team accolades in the same season. He is the 16th player in team history – and fourth defenseman – selected to a year-end All-Star Team and the first Griffins rookie ever to be named a first or second team All-Star.
Via RedWingsFeed, ESPN's Craig Custance penned a list of 6 takeaways from the Wings-Flyers game, but the takeaways are contained in an Insider-only blog entry, so here's his "biggest" Wings-related observation:
2. Glendening’s time to shine: You can tell how much a coach trusts his player in how he uses them and it’s clear that there are few players on the Red Wings roster Jeff Blashill trusts more than Glendening.
Blashill’s reliance on Glendening has frustrated Red Wings fans at times this season in part because of his low possession numbers. When Glendening is on the ice, the Red Wings control just 45.6 percent of the even strength shot attempts. Part of that is because he starts his shifts in the offensive zone just 31.8 percent of the time. He also regularly sees some of the toughest competition among Red Wings forwards.
But a game like this one, with a playoff atmosphere and so little room for error, highlights his value to the Red Wings. He was great on the Red Wings penalty kill, including those two big deflections when Helm’s stick was broken.
He won battles consistently and was a physical presence against a Flyers team known for controlling the physical play.
“You don’t want to sit back and let them take it to you,” Glendening said, confirming just how much he enjoys playing in these types of games. “I love it. It’s a great time of year. It’s exciting. I think you attitude changes as the weather changes.”
Custance continues, praising Jimmy Howard and noting that the Wings' forwards played with strong structure, helping out their defensemen in a big way.
This video's getting a significant amount of traction on Twitter and vine, so kudos to WXYZ's Brad Galli for capturing the moment:
Coming up on 20 years after the incident, what is your relationship with Claude Lemieux like today?
It happened so long ago. From that hit and over the next six years, what went on with the Detroit Red Wings, a lot of good things happened to myself and our hockey team. I never had a relationship with him, I didn't know him, he was just a guy I played against and that was really the extent of it. Now post career, he's a player agent, I work in the front office of the Detroit Red Wings and we drafted one of his clients (Joren Van Pottelberghe) last year at the draft in Florida. Obviously with the recent alumni game, there were some interactions and some conversations and that's really how it is. Things happen, I wouldn't change anything in my career and what happened and the success that I was able to have. That's really how I feel about the whole situation. But I can tell you one thing; it (the hit) led to the best hockey that I think the NHL had seen in a while. It was physical, they hated us, we hated them but the bottom line is every year it seems like somebody from that rivalry is going into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Of Red Wings-related note ahead of tonight's game between the Red Wings and Bruins (7 PM EDT start on FSD in Michigan/NESN Plus in Massachusetts/NBSN elsewhere/TVA Sports in Canada/97.1 FM), which involved little to no morning skate for either team:
MLive's Ansar Khan confirmed...
Obviously, the significance of Thursday night’s tilt at the Garden can’t be overstated. If the Bruins beat the Red Wings, they’ll draw even in the standings, but they won’t have the tiebreaker (regulation/overtime wins). However, if the Bruins then went on to beat the Senators and if the Red Wings lost to the Rangers on Saturday, then the Bruins would magically leapfrog Detroit and earn that final playoff spot in the Atlantic.
However, that’s where our *asterisk* comes into play.
The Rangers are currently holding on to the final spot in the Metropolitan Division, a mere two points ahead of the Islanders. But the Rangers may actually prefer sliding out of that spot and into the first wild-card position, because doing so would result in the Rangers getting adopted for the first two rounds by the Atlantic. With Steven Stamkos out for the foreseeable future, the prospect of dealing with Tampa Bay and Florida (and either Detroit or Boston) would seemingly be preferable to having to deal with the Capitals before the Eastern Conference Final. So, come Saturday afternoon, Detroit may be playing to earn a playoff spot, while the Rangers may be playing to lose.
With that being understood, the chances of the Bruins actually beating out Detroit for that spot remain very, very slim.
Updated 4x at 11:56 AM: The Detroit Red Wings enter tonight's game against the Boston Bruins (7 PM EDT start on FSD in Michigan/NESN Plus in Massachusetts/NBCSN or TVA Sports everywhere else/97.1 FM) running on all cylinders, and coming off a 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday evening:
The Chief has the playoff scenarios down for the Wings, and if the Wings win in any fashion, they're in; if the Wings lose, it gets a little complicated.
The Bruins...well, two of them...took to the ice first at the TD Garden, per the Bruins...
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.