The Malik Report
I don't generally get too nervous about the Red Wings' opponents (nervous about everything else? Yes), but tonight's game against St. Louis (7:30 PM EST, NBC Sports Network/TSN2/97.1 FM) scares the hell out of me.
The Red Wings have won three straight games coming into their 3rd meeting with the Blues this month (the Wings beat St. Louis 5-3 on February 1st and 6-1 six days ago) and the teams' 4th meeting since the Wings' ugly 6-0 drubbing by St. Louis on opening night. While Sunday's 3-2 rope-a-dope win over Los Angeles was anything but beautiful, the Wings are feeling pretty good about themselves going into games 3 and 4 of their 4-game home-stand...
But the Blues are coming off a 4-1 loss to Los Angeles on Monday; and they went 0-3-and-1 on their four-game home stand, and the Blues are 0-for-February (0-4-and-1), having last won against Columbus on January 31st.
With Nicklas Lidstrom in attendance as he's in town to talk about his role with the Wings and attend 97.1 FM's SportsFest on Saturday, the Wings (who remain without Todd Bertuzzi as well as everybody else who's banged-up) face a final examination of their first-quarter progress while welcoming a snarling, angry 800-pound gorilla into their living room.
While watching the video, I continue to wonder if Babcock will ever learn how to pronounce Filppula?
Mental health issues are coming to the fore this week in Canada, where Bell Canada's donating 5 cents per Tweet with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk to mental health charities and research, and the Red Wings are voicing their support both the Bell Let's Talk campaign and Binghamton Senators (the primary AHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators) coach Luke Richardson's Do it for Daron charity, which hopes to help combat mental illnesses and prevent suicide in young people through their Hockey Talks inditiative.
These issues are very important to me, so I'd suggest that you check out the above link and watch the commericals the Wings and Danny Cleary shot for DIFD:
The 11-time Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings are partnering up with 97.1 The Ticket’s Fourth Annual Detroit SportsFest, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 16, from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Suburban Collection Showplace Exhibit Hall A in Novi, Mich. Admission to this sports-filled festivity is free with parking available for five dollars per vehicle.
Former Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom will make an appearance to sign autographs and help celebrate Motor City’s rich sports history. The Coke Zero Red Wings Experience will include a variety of interactive games, a live DJ and the chance to win tickets to upcoming Red Wings’ home games.
Updated 10x at 334 PM: The Detroit Red Wings are back on the ice today, preparing for a grudge match and-a-half against an ornery St. Louis Blues team tomorrow evening (7:30 PM EST, NBCSN/97.1 FM, and, via RedWingsFeed, Yahoo Sports' Sean Leahy expertly explored the Blues' issues), and it sounds like the Wings will have to continue playing without a pair of players battlng back ailments:
NHL.com's Dan Rosen spoke to Red Wings goaltending mentor/scout/part-time goalie coach/consultant Chris Osgood recently, asking Osgood "Five Questions" about his post-playing career and his take on Jimmy Howard's performance thus far:
Do you like the role you have with the Red Wings as a goalie consultant, and has it been a difficult adjustment after playing for so long?
"Yeah, I like it. I think I was still half-playing and half-coaching last year because I missed it so much and probably acted like a player more than I should have. Now I think I have transferred over into just coaching, distanced myself from when I was a player. I still miss playing; it's not easy, especially because I played with a lot of the guys that still play. But this year it has been easier because now it's been a longer period of time that I haven't played, so I feel like I'm more of a coach now than a player, for sure."
The Detroit Red Wings took Monday off to rest up as the team had played four games in six nights and a pair of weekend games, including Sunday's 3-2 win over Los Angeles, but the Kings made the Wings' lives a little more difficult on Monday night.
When the Wings return to practice today, they'll know that the St. Louis Blues will be coming into town in an awful mood thanks to a 4-1 loss to Los Angeles that left the Blues winless in February and possessing an 0-3-and-1 record on a four-game home stand. The Blues were all but predictably speaking in tongues and speaking of conspiracy theories regarding the dangers of individualism and "cookie-giving" after the game.
Given that the Wings have authored two of the Blues' February losses (a 5-3 win at the Joe on February 1st and a 5-1 win in St. Louis on February 7th) and will be meeting St. Louis for the fourth time this season on Wednesday evening (7:30 PM, and it's an NBC Sports Network-only, "Rivalry Night" game, so Mike Emrick, "Subtle Interference" Olczyk and Pierre McGuire will be in town)...
I would've left this in the morning/afternoon entry, but this strikes me as meriting its own post because it answers a question: if you remember the first time that the Red Wings began to prepare for the 2012-2013 season, way back in late August and early September, Henrik Zetterberg spent one day shooting a commercial for Warrior Hockey as he worked out at a local gym.
Via RedWingsFeed, Stack Media posted a video clip of Zetterberg working out in Madison Heights and discussing his beginnings in hockey and his progression as a hockey player when he and we Wings fans thought that the announcement of his captaincy was imminent instead of subject to a four-month delay, and, mostly, there's a bunch of gratuitous footage of him working out and getting sweaty, which I assumed that those of you who don't mind admitting that you find Wings players attractive might enjoy watching.
So this is "fo da ladeez":
Update: Whoops, wrong blog! Sorry! The CBC's Elliotte Freidman's penned another excellent "30 Thoughts" column, and he leads the affair off by duly noting that the rumors of the New Jersey Devils' Zach Parise-less demise were at least slightly exaggerated:
The New Jersey Devils lost Zach Parise for nothing and we were quick to write them off. Boy, do we look dumb.
"Part of it is the history of the organization," Devils head coach Peter DeBoer said minutes after the defending Eastern Conference champions finished a weekend sweep of the the Pittsburgh Penguins. "They've done this a half-dozen times and the mandate is always the same: fill the holes as best you can and continue moving forward. It's not even an option to feel sorry for yourself. One thing about the Devils, there are no irreplaceable parts. We do it by committee."
Since 2000, they've lost Scott Gomez, Bobby Holik, Alexander Mogilny, Scott Niedermayer, Brian Rafalski and Parise to free agency (Don't forget Scott Stevens to retirement, too).
Updated 4x at 1:51 PM: I'm a bit stunned. According to MLive's Ansar Khan, Joey MacDonald did not clear waivers: the Calgary Flames claimed him as they've got goaltending issues with Miikka Kiprusoff battling a knee issue:
The Calgary Flames have claimed goaltender Joey MacDonald off waivers today.
MacDonald, 33, was cleared to play today after being out since March 14 due to a bulging disc.
The Flames needed a goalie after started Mikka Kiprusoff injured his groin last Tuesday in a game against the Red Wings.
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness confirms...
As does the Free Press's Helene St. James:
Update: TSN's Bob McKenzie explains why the Flames snagged MacDonald:
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.