The Malik Report
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Jimmy Howard was the Jimmy Howard of old Sunday, rejecting point-blank shots, making a blocker save on a penalty shot, stepping up as the Detroit Red Wings' top penalty killer.
"I told him through the 11 years of on an off (as a teammate) that might have been the best game I've ever seen him play," Kyle Quincey said. "I'm happy that he had such a great game and hopefully he can keep going with that. If he does that, we're in great shape."
They still need to score more. They didn't score any on Sunday and that's why they lost 1-0 in overtime to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, in a game the struggling Howard deserved to win.
"First and foremost you want to get the two points and walk out of here feeling really good about yourself," Howard said. "But on a personal note maybe this is a step in the right direction figuring out my role here. It's been hard. It's been tough to figure out, but hopefully I'm starting to get it."
From DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose...
As the Red Wings boarded their team bus Saturday in Ottawa, Jeff Blashill saw the tragic news of the senseless mass shooting that left six people dead and two critically injured in Kalamazoo.
It wasn’t that long ago that Blashill coached college hockey in the West Michigan town, but his immediate thoughts were of one of his assistants.
“Pat Ferschweiler’s family still lives in Kalamazoo, so I let him know as soon as I saw it on the Internet,” said Blashill, who led Western Michigan University to the CCHA championship game in 2010-11. “That incident wasn’t far from Pat’s home. So certainly our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Kalamazoo. It sounds like it was a random, horrific act, so it’s a real sad thing.”
Blashill himself spent a year in the area when he coached at Western Michigan in 2010-11. He lived for three years in Grand Rapids while coaching the Griffins, from 2012-2015.
"I only spent a year there, but it was a great year," Blashill said. "Great, great people in west Michigan. Obviously, spent numerous years in west Michigan, and it's not a spot you think something is going to happen but that talks about how it's a fleeting life at times. Real sad thing."
And the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:
“Horrible,” Blashill said of his emotions. “My first thought was actually Pat Ferschweiler’s family still lives in Kalamazoo so I let him know as soon as I saw it on the Internet. That incident wasn’t far from Pat’s home.
“Certainly our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Kalamazoo. It sounded like a random, horrific act. A real sad thing.”
The Red Wings kicked off a 3-game late-season series against the New York Rangers on Sunday night, hoping to snap an 0-4-and-1 road record with Jimmy Howard in the net opposite Henrik Lundqvist. That's...That's a stiff task.
Howard almost pulled it off, stopping 29 of 30 shots as the Red Wings lost 1-0 to the Rangers in overtime. The Wings were involved in a controversial no-goal call in which Jimmy Howard tripped a Ranger but was allowed to do so because Jesper Fast's skate came up and caught Howard in the mask, and the Rangers will insist that the Wings stole a point from them for that reason...
But Howard was damn, damn good in bailing out the Wings on many occasions, and the now-toothless-on-the-road Wings just couldn't or wouldn't generate offense in a simple, direct manner against an incredibly tough-to-score-on Rangers team. During a game that was more than a little bit of, "Old Time Hockey" in terms of the allowance of tackle/wrestling/rugby hockey plays, Detroit ground out a point, and they may have deserved a second one, but a terrible read in OT yielded the one shot that Howard could not stop, a perfect chip by Kevin Klein that went over Howard's glove.
Detroit's 0-for-4 power play played into the equation, but Detroit couldn't score period because they couldn't find their way into Lundqvist's field of vision, and when you can't screen a goaltender as good as Lundqvist, it's a matter of time and a margin of error before you get beat first.
That being said, Detroit got 2 points in 2 OT losses, and those points will add up come playoff time.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"Whatever opportunity you get you have to make the most of it and do the best to help the guys win, whether it's scoring a goal to build momentum or just going out there and working hard in the D-zone," Athanasiou said.
He was playing 18-to-20 minutes a game in all situations with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Now he's logging 8:25 a game, none of it on the power play and only a little on the penalty kill.
"You've got to be ready whenever you hear your name called," Athanasiou said. "You know how to play the game whether you're playing 5-10 minutes or 10-20 minutes. It's hockey. You've always got to be ready."
The more defensively responsible line of Luke Glendening, Darren Helm and Riley Sheahan logged twice as many shifts as Athanasiou's line, with Tomas Jurco and Teemu Pulkkinen, in the close game against the Senators.
Blashill said Athanasiou is the kind of player who can have an impact with limited ice time.
"It's real hard to play seven minutes and keep your focus and be able to go out and still have a positive impact in the game," Blashill said. "I thought he had a positive impact in the game. So good for him, keep battling, keep doing things the right way."
Neither team is skating, there is an afternoon basketball game at MSG.
The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland about the team's trade deadline plans, and he confirmed that:
For starters, they have very little in the way of salary-cap space. General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press last week that “if we do anything, from a cap standpoint, to bring in the type of player that would have a real impact, we would have to move somebody out.”
Basically, the Wings are in a dollar-in, dollar-out situation. That’s because they have had several players on long-term injured reserve, which affects a team’s salary cap. Pavel Datsyuk was on LTIR the first five weeks of the season, and Johan Franzen has been on since two games into the season. Franzen and Drew Miller are on the list through the end of the season.
That makes it impossible for the Wings to simply add an impact player before the deadline. Not that many are available because all but a handful of teams are in contention to make the playoffs. The Wings had interest in Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien, a multidimensional behemoth, but the Jets locked him up. The Jets are trying to do the same with forward Andrew Ladd, but if they do end up moving him, expect the price to be a high pick and a prospect — and in the Wings’ case, they’d also have to get rid of a player if the range of Ladd’s $4.4-million salary.
Holland made two things clear: If he makes a trade, it will be for someone significant, and he is not moving goaltender Jimmy Howard, whose struggles have seen him drop to the backup job.
“I’m keeping Howard,” Holland said.
St. James continues, and if the Wings can't add money without subtracting money, if they won't move Howard, and if they don't want to do anything unless they can significantly upgrade their team, it's highly unlikely that the Wings will do anything other than exceed the 23-man roster, which lifts at the trade deadline.
I'm going to allow you to guess who's speaking with the New York Post's Larry Brooks. There are times when intent is no excuse:
“I’ve always said the same thing: What happened on the ice, it happened on the ice,” he said. “If you attack my family verbally or physically, that’s personal. What happened during those games was not personal.
“Gord Kluzak broke my face in Boston. I never took it personally,” said Lemieux, an essential piece of two of the Devils’ Cup teams and with whom he won the 1995 Conn Smythe. “That’s how I am.
“Kris and I have talked a couple of times since then. We’ve run into each other (Author’s note: not literally) and have had nice chats. I’ve done a few autograph sessions with McCarty,” he said. “So really, it’s not an issue.
“You take the emotion out of it from back then, and at the end of the day, we were all just trying to do what we did best. Kris was a really good player. At the end, everybody is just a good guy.”
Brooks continues, and perhaps Claude is a better man than I, because I believe that certain things are not forgivable, and a LOT of what happened on the ice during those games was very, very personal.
Kris Draper, to Fox Sports Detroit: "It's funny, you're not supposed to use the word 'hate,' but I think any time you talk about Colorado-Detroit, the first thing you talk about is how much we hated that hockey team. Didn't like them at all. You kind of, you walk in, walk into their building and you kind of feel the hatred right away, and I'm sure that when they walked through Joe Louis Arena they felt it right away, and that goes to the fans, the gray coats, to the concessions, you name it, everyone was ready for the games no matter when Colorado and Detroit played in the late 90's and early 2000's."
The Red Wings were mired in a 4-game road losing streak heading into Saturday night's game against the Ottawa Senators, a team that they could either say goodbye to in terms of the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division standings or end up leading by only 5 points, depending on the outcome of the game.
Minus Dylan Larkin (illness), the Red Wings' lineup looked a little different...
Pulkkinen was, as per usual, a non-factor.
The Red Wings got a fine effort from Petr Mrazek, who stopped 25 of 27 shots, and Detroit capitalized on Ottawa's mistakes via 2 unassisted goals...
But Detroit made mistakes of their own, and weren't helped by the official (1; Tom Kowal got whatever was ailing Larkin after 1 period) as the Senators slashed, grabbed, hacked and hooked their way to a game-tying goal in which Tomas Tatar was blatantly tripped as he passed the puck inadvertently to Dion Phaneuf, who tied the game with 3:51 remaining...
But the Wings had their chances, the Wings got away with crap due to the wrestle-happy standard of officiating as well, and Detroit was unable to score on the power play, in overtime or during the shootout, giving Craig Anderson a relatively easy time over the game's final 25 + 3 shooters, losing 3-2 in a shootout.
Detroit is now 6 points ahead of Ottawa, tied with Tampa Bay and Boston for the 3rd Atlantic Division playoff spot, and Detroit faces the New York Rangers--minus a morning skate for either teams as MSG's ice surface will be booked for a basketball game at 1 PM--tomorrow at 7 on NBCSN.
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.