The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings took Superbowl Sunday off after sustaining a blow to their collective confidence in the form of a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday, and the team's decision to recall both Petr Mrazek and Tomas Tatar on Sunday evening suggests that the team doesn't anticipate Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Mikael Samuelsson (groin), Jan Mursak (shoulder) or anybody else save perhaps Ian White (lacerated quadriceps) to return any time soon.
Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), Samuelsson, Gustavsson and Darren Helm (back) are hoping to do little more than take small steps toward getting back into hockey shape this week, and Joey MacDonald (back) hoping to head down to Grand Rapids for a two-week conditioning stint soon (thus the goalie shuffle, with Tom McCollum heading back down to Grand Rapids on Sunday evening).
Worse, the Wings believe that Brendan Smith's going to miss at least two weeks after suffering a left shoulder injury in Columbus, with Smith likely to spend today hanging out in an MRI machine at the Detroit Medical Center, and the team's severely undermanned defense (again, White wants to return on Tuesday, but whether Dr. Douglas Plagens will allow White to jeopardize the sutures holding his muscles together is another story) will be facing a very angry Calgary Flames team on Tuesday.
Given the economic mess that the City of Detroit is in, the continued corruption investigations facing Wayne County and the still-somewhat-tenuous economic status of the State of Michigan's ability to broker just about anything these days, I and probably you have been assuming that the Detroit Red Wings won't begin to build Joe Louis Arena's follow-on facility for another 4-6 years at the earliest.
Crain's Deroit busness' Bill Shea has been pretty busy dropping bombshells regarding the Red Wings' follow-on facility of late, resulting in an estimation of the follow-on rink's location from the Detroit News's Louis Aguilar...
And this evening, Shea's back at work, suggesting that the Red Wings will break ground on a new rink within the next year, and that the rink itself may take under two years to build, with the rest of the Ilitch Holdings/Olympia Entertainment-proposed retail, corporate and residential-use construction taking a little longer to complete at the location between Cass and Woowdward Avenues just north of I-75:
The Detroit Red Wings have recalled forward Tomas Tatar and goaltender Petr Mrazek from the Grand Rapids Griffins, general manager Ken Holland said.
Mrazek's promotion could enable the Red Wings to give Jimmy Howard a much-needed break. Howard has started all eight games this season. The Red Wings play back-to-back home games Saturday (Edmonton) and Sunday (Los Angeles).
Mrazek is having a strong rookie season with the Griffins. He is 16-7-1, with a 2.26 goals-against average and .916 save percentage. He played in the AHL All-Star game and recorded his first shutout as a pro on Saturday, 1-0 over Abbotsford. Goalie Tom McCollum, who backed up Howard the past six games, was reassigned to the Griffins.
"Ouch" if you're McCollum...
The Detroit Red Wings are recharging their batteries after wrapping up their second of 12 sets of back-to-back games in the form of a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
The Wings will play 13 more times over the course of February's final 24 days, with 4 games over the course of 6 nights scheduled for this upcoming week and next weekend, so the Wings rather desperately need some good news on the injury front. They're not going to get it: this afternoon, the Free Press's Helene St. James confirms that Brendan Smith will miss approximately two weeks after suffering a shoulder injury during last night's loss:
Updated 2x at 6:56 AM. Why the Columbus Dispatch doesn't update its website until 6:30 AM is beyond me.
The Detroit Red Wings took a 27-minute flight back to Detroit from Columbus on Saturday night, perhaps feeling (as well as publicly looking) a world away from the team that happily shuffled off to Columbus after rallying to defeat the St. Louis Blues 5-3 on Friday.
The Wings laid an egg on Saturday night, plain and simple, dropping a hideous 4-2 decision to the Blue Jackets, and none of the 19 Wings whose skates hit the ice during Saturday's game had a decent night.
The Wings lost the game, the Wings lost whatever momentum and/or identity-building that the team achieved via defeating the Blues, and the Wings lost the services of Brendan Smith, who suffered a right shoulder injury that will be tested further when the Wings return to practice on Monday. It's assumed that Smith will miss at least two weeks of action, with Brian Lashoff rotating into the lineup--unless Ian White is going to return on Tuesday against Calgary (which dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to Chicago on early Sunday morning Detroit time).
Update: in his post-game interview with Fox Sports Detroit's John Keating, Mike Babcock says that he's "not certain" about Smith but that he has a shoulder issue that he'll get looked at. FSD's Keating said Smith was not wearing a sling at least.
Update #2: From MLive's Ansar Khan:
I don't know what the *#$%@& happened between last night's 5-3 victory over St. Louis and tonight's 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets--which was neither the fault of Niklas Kronwall nor Jimmy Howard--but my God, if the Wings think that they can play through the next ten slates of back-to-back games by slaying a dragon one night and being slain the next, they aren't going to get anywhere.
This was a "team" loss from start to finish, with no Wing truly playing particularly well in all three zones save the one who plays in one zone in Howard. The Wings played dumb hockey, they played inefficient hockey, they were unfocused, didn't work hard, didn't compete, didn't care and didn't seem to mind standing around and watching a much hungrier and much more competitive Blue Jackets team hand Detroit its ass.
Red Wings Brendan Smith took a hard hit from Columbus Blue Jackets forward Derek MacKenzie, popped up, either hit the boards with his shoulder or back, and left the ice about halfway through the first period. The injury bug has bit the team again:
Fox Sports Detroit's shown replays of the hit, and it looks like Smith's right shoulder took the brunt of the hit. He then took a spin on the ice and left....Sigh.
Updated 6x with game-day video from Columbus and Zetterberg discussing his status as Wayne Gretzky's favorite active player at 2:45 PM: The Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets will face off tonight (7 PM, FSD, FS Ohio, 97.1 FM) with the Red Wings hoping to sustain the momentum generated by their 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Friday.
There's actual good news on the injury front for the Wings, too: the Free Press's Helene St. James reportsthat David Backes' controversial hit on Kent Huskins did little to no lasing damage:
MLive's Ansar Khan confirms...
The Detroit Red Wings took a very short, 27-minute flight to Columbus to prepare for tonight's game against the Blue Jackets (7 PM on FSD, FS Ohio, 97.1 FM) a world away from the team that had its collective ass handed to it on opening night, courtesy of the St. Louis Blues.
The Wings' 5-3 victory on Friday night was an identity-defining one and then some.
The Wings definitely received a fortunate "bounce" in what may have been the strangest miscalculation by officials on Joe Louis Arena ice since Tomas Holmstrom saw a goal waived off against the San Jose Sharks on the night before Thanksgiving, 2008, when he was 10 feet away from the crease--while David Backes definitely hit Kent Huskins, and apparently hurt Huskins, there's no way in hell that Backes should have been assessed a 5-minute major and a game misconduct for a hit to the head--but the Wings also needed it to some extent, and just as no team gave the Wings any sympathy when Holmstrom's goals were waived off, legal or not, the Wings can't afford to not take the breaks afforded them.
As noted in the quick take, and as just about any Red Wings fan will tell you, the penalty assessed to St. Louis Blues David Backes for what was most assuredly a hard and was probably an intent-to-injure hit on Red Wings defenseman Kent Huskins--who did leave the game, and does have an "upper-body injury," according to Helene St. James and Ansar Khan--may have been the worst match penalty for a hit to the head ever assessed.
Late hit? Sure. Intereference call? I'm pretty sure that's what those "late interference" calls were designed to do, punish late hits where players in vulnerable positions are taken out (and as much as I dislike the Blues, I can't help but admit that Backes is remarkably efficient at being viciously predatory in that department) for the sake of hurting them.
But a 5-minute major and a game misconduct? Seriously? I don't think that any Wings fan would decline the penalty, even as bad as "our" team's power play has been, but jeez...This was horrible, just horrible. Yahoo Sports' Greg "Puck Daddy" Wyshynski offers a video of the hit...
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.