The Malik Report
I literally ran out of bandwidth in the overnight report, and I've had an adventurous night (in the bad sense of the term), so here's some "Red Wings overage."
The Owen Sound Sun Times' Bill Walker reports that Red Wings prospect Zach Nastasiuk received marching orders of a sort when he departed training camp:
At times it was beautiful, and at times it was downright ugly, but the Red Wings opened their 2013-2014 campaign and kicked off a slate of three games played over the course of four nights by defeating the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Wednesday evening.
By Red Wings standards, the team's spate of penalties (seven), Jimmy Howard's late hand-it-to-em goal and inability to score on their own power plays (three), the game left much to be desired, but two points and holding your opponent to 20 shots ain't bad.
For the Sabres, it was a case of, "Could'a, would'a, should'a," as they told the Buffalo News's John Vogl:
As is perhaps typical at this time of year, the Detroit Red Wings found themselves on the short end of a "crackdown," their power play was ineffective, and a gigantic brain fart from Jimmy Howard made the team's 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres far, far too "interesting"...
But Mikael Samuelsson's somewhat fluky-but-earned goal 12:05 into the 1st gave the Wings the lead...
Pavel Datsyuk scored a slick deke-and-dangle-and-backhand all of 36 seconds later...
This was plain old pretty. Welcome back, Red Wings, welcome back, Pavel.
The Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres face off in about 90 minutes (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/TSN2/97.1 FM, and in addition to today's game-day post, an afternoon/evening slate of stories cropped up while I was taking my pre-game nap.
The Red Wings posted Ken Kal's game-day preview...
Updated 6x at 3:28 PM: The Red Wings open their 2013-2014 season campaign against the Buffalo Sabres tonight (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/TSN2/97.1 FM), and the morning skate's underway at the Joe:
Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha's had a helluva month (as RedWingsCentral noted), and he's been rewarded for coming back from the Red Wings' prospect tournament with oodles of confidence:
Per the QMJHL:
The first star is awarded to the Val-d’Or Foreurs forward Anthony Mantha with a total of 14 points in 5 games in the month of September, scoring 8 goals including 2 on the penalty kill. He has played two games with 3 goals or more since the beginning of the season. Mantha had 36 shots on goal in September, an average of more than 7 shots per game. His best game was against the Quebec Remparts on September 28, in an 11-2 road win, scoring 4 goals and adding an assist for a total of 5 points
On what's forecasted to be an unseasonably warm 78-degree day in Downtown Detroit, the Red Wings will open their season against the Buffalo Sabres tonight (NBCSN only in the U.S./TSN2/97.1 FM), and aside from telling you that it is highly unlikely that those of us watching at home will be able to watch the "fun part" of the pre-game ceremonies in player introductions...
It's hard to say what will happen this evening. The Wings kick off the 2013-2014 season having posted a 3-and-5 preseason record in which the team lost 4 of its final 5 games and lost the services of Jonas Gustavsson (groin, on the short-term IR), Patrick Eaves (sprained ankle and sprained MCL, on the LTIR), Jordin Tootoo (bruised shoulder, on the short-term IR) and never regained the services of Darren Helm (back and groin issues, on the LTIR).
The Red Wings begin their 2013-2014 regular season campaign when they host the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night (8 PM EDT, NBCSN only), and the season must be near if Mike Valenti and Terry Foster are asking fans whether the Pistons or Red Wings are "more intriguing."
Building upon the overnight report and today's pair of practice posts, we haven't witnessed avalanches of season previews as much as we've witnessed a slow cavalcade of preview-type stories, and while most of you won't see Fox Sports Detroit's network season preview until 6 PM EDT on Friday, when it precedes the Wings-Canes pre-game show, FSD helps tide us over with a 20-minute season preview presented by Art Regner, Dana Wakiji and Chris Osgood:
This move seems to make little sense given that the Red Wings supposedly have to keep 23 men up to maximize their LTIR space:
The Wings now have 22 men on their roster.
Per the Wings' PR department:
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.