The Malik Report
I did my best to sumarize a day-and-a-half's worth of Red Wings-related stories in one post, and what follows are mostly "tailings," but they're intriguing nonetheless.
Before we begin the little round-up, however, two sets of comments from the previous post stood out, and bear repeating. While speaking with MLive's Ansar Khan, Wings coach Mike Babcock summarized his mindset going into training camp with this take on what the Wings prospects' championship run showed him about the job security his present players can boast of having, as well as what training camp and the exhibition season are all about:
“In the nine years I’ve been here that was the best rookie (class) we’ve had by far,'' Babcock said. “We have 16 forwards in camp that plan on playing in the NHL, that’s too many. So the competition from within is as high a level as we’ve ever had it, which is a positive thing.''
More than 60 players will start practices and intrasquad scrimmages Thursday morning at Centre I.C.E. The preseason opener is Monday at Pittsburgh. They will break camp the next day.
As always, Babcock wants to use camp to establish work ethic, rebuild structure and concentrate on the details of the game.
I've been pretty close to comatose for the past two days, so Paul's been doing his best to keep up with the lunacy that surrounds Daniel Cleary's fate and to offer the most pertinent Red Wings-related stories. Here's my attempt to catch up with the past 30-some hours' worth of stuff, on a source-by-source basis:
Take this for what you will:
Updated with the team's official release: Per the Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau, here are the Red Wings' training camp "teams":
I've been updating the recent Cleary news in the KKHockey section, but...
from Bill Roose of the Wings' website,
The Red Wings had holes to fill in their power play last season. Coming off a year when the special teams unit finished in the bottom third in the league, some of the responsibility to turn things around fell upon assistant coach Tom Renney.
Detroit ended up in the middle of the pack last season. The power play was 18.4 percent, scored 34 goals on 185 chances. Part of the problem, Renney acknowledges, was a lack of shots on goal with the man-advantage.
“There are guys that have good touches and get good looks that I'd like to see shoot more, no question about that,” Renney said. “There was an improvement from the previous year, I think we were 22 to 15 or something like that and you want to see marked improvement again this year. What it comes down to is a successful power play to me is all about retrievals and there's no retrievals if you're not shooting. So the bottom line is we need shots, we need net-presence, we got to get the puck back.”
After years of lobbying, realignment has allowed the Red Wings to finally return eastward for the first time since 1981.
Gone are Detroit’s frequent trips to the West Coast and the club should benefit from limited trips outside their time zone. The Red Wings lose long-standing division rivalries with Chicago and St. Louis but will settle easily for Original Six rivals Toronto and Montreal.
Detroit was frequently a challenger for the Western Conference crown alongside strong teams like the Blackhawks and Canucks and should find themselves in a comparable spot in the East alongside elite clubs like the Bruins and Penguins.
As the Wings begin training camp, what player or position will you be keeping an eye on as the camp progresses into pre-season play?
Me, I am watching the play of backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson. The Wings are going to need 20-25 games out of him this year and hopefully he can provide some wins and solid play.
So your turn, you can mention Helm if you wish, but that topic has been beaten to death in my opinion.
added 11:38am, from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
The Wings have announced how the three teams will look as training camp is set to begin Thursday morning.
For the start of things, Justin Abdelkader will be paired on the top line with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, while Stephen Weiss will center another newcomer, Daniel Alfredsson, and Johan Franzen.
The third line will consist of Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Todd Bertuzzi, while Cory Emmerton will center Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves.
That leaves Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo and Tomas Tatar battling to work their way into the lineup.
via Chuck Pleiness at Tout...
And Babcock talks too at the start of camp, watch below...
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,
The Wings headed to Traverse City Tuesday and will undergo physicals and participate in their annual charity golf outing today before taking the ice Thursday. "It's different," Alfredsson said, laughing somewhat uncomfortably over the need to find a new comfort zone after so many years in Ottawa.
"I've been in one spot for a long time. It's exciting for me to come to a new organization, a new team, and try something else."
In terms of mere numbers, it's easier to decipher why the Wings would want Alfredsson. There are his 426 NHL goals, his 1,108 points, and his 13 seasons of 20 or more goals.
Adding up what Alfredsson brings to Detroit's mix is about vastly more than simple digits, though.
"He's been playing in the league for 17 years and a captain for 13 years," Zetterberg said. "That's a lot of experience.
"There's the skill factor he has with the puck, and he skates very well.
"He's a right-hander and that's something that's always nice to have on the power play.
"He's been playing as a D-man on the power play for many years, so it's a perfect fit for us."
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.