The Malik Report
Red Wings fans will tell you that the Wings' 9-4-and-2 record indicates some significant progress still needing to be made by both individuals and the team as a whole.
The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek notes that thenow-Eastern-Conference-dwelling Wings have played half of their games against the Western Conference thus far (tonight's game will mark the 8th of 16).The Wings already made a road swing to Denver and Phoenix, and they're wrapping up their Western Canadian swing in Winnipeg tonight...
But the Wings make only one more Western swing during the regular season--going to Dallas, San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim, and then making a country-criss-crossing trip to tangle with the Rangers right after the Winter Classic.
While Wings fans will tell you that the team arguably has much more work to do in terms of learning how to defeat its new conference and Atlantic Division opponents on a regular basis, both the Wings and their currently bleary-eyed fans agree that the team's conference swap will pay dividends down the line, as Henrik Zetterberg told Duhatschek:
TSN posted a 4:20 game-day clip ahead of tonight's game between the Detroit Red Wings and Winnipeg Jets (8 PM EST, FSD/TSN Jets in Winnipeg/97.1 FM, and the game-day post was frickin' massive in terms of content and video), and the Wings also posted a game-day preview which sets up tonight's affair very well as Ken Kal spoke with Jordin Tootoo, Adam Almquist, Brian Lashoff and coach Mike Babcock about the game ahead:
Babcock told Kal and the media that he wasn't delighted with the morning skate, so take that for what you will.
Update: The CBC Manitoba's Jeff Hamilton posted a 3:09 video of the Jets' game-day comments, too:
Kris Draper joined NHL Live today to discuss the game at Comerica Park and The Big House. The video is roughly 6 1/2 minutes long.
Update: Kris Draper and Wendel Clark spoke with 97.1 FM's Jamie Samuelsen about the Winter Classic Alumni Showdown as well:
As the Wings-Jets game-day post, which has been updated 15 times, slides off the main page...Martin Frk Tweeted that he was heading to Toledo earlier today, and RedWingsFeed found that the Grand Rapids Griffins have both confirmed that Frk is heading down to play a few games for the ECHL's Toledo Walleye, and as Brendan Smith's on Red Wings' IR for 1-2 weeks, yielding Adam Almquist likely staying in Detroit until the middle of the month, the Griffins chose to recall a defenseman from Toledo.
Their pick is intriguing, because Almquist was the Griffins' leading scorer on defense despite his smallish 5'10," 174-lb listed size (he's more like a Rafalski-ish 5'9," and he may really weigh about 165), and the player the Griffins recalled is both the polar opposite of Almquist in terms of playing style and size:
The Detroit Red Wings on Monday reassigned defenseman Richard Nedomlel to the Grand Rapids Griffins from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye and reassigned right wing Martin Frk to the Walleye from the Griffins.
Nedomlel, 20, returns to the Griffins after skating in four games with the Walleye, producing two points (1-1—2), two shots on goal and 18 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-5, 231-pound defenseman recorded his first professional point on Oct. 30 with a goal in Toledo’s 4-3 loss to the Cincinnati Cyclones. He has yet to appear in a game for Grand Rapids this season.
Frk, 20, has appeared in six contests with Grand Rapids, yielding six penalty minutes. Originally drafted by Detroit in the second round (49th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Frk spent the past three seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL.
The Griffins will take on the Rockford IceHogs at Van Andel Arena on Wednesday at 11 a.m. for their 13th annual matinee game, when Nedomlel will be available to play.
The Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins haven't made this official, but it appears that the team's chosen to assign first-year pro and still-top-prospect Martin Frk to the ECHL's Toledo Walleye. Frk hasn't registered a point and is a -3 over the course of 6 games played for Grand Rapids, and Frk himself Tweeted a photo suggesting that he's driving to Toledo today:
Petr Mrazek spent time in the ECHL and it didn't hurt him, so this move makes sense from a, "Give the guy some confidence" point of view. It's not surprising, either, given that Frk's learning that life without Jonathan Drouin or Nathan MacKinnon as his linemates is a little more difficult when one's turning pro...
Red Wings-Jets game-day updates: Franzen’s out, Tootoo’s in, Montoya starts for WPG; ‘It’s personal’
Updated 15x at 3:35 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to end their 4-game Western Canadian swing on a high note when they battle a virtual unknown in the Winnipeg Jets this evening (8 PM EST, FSD/TSN Winnipeg/97.1 FM). News Tweets and game-day stories tend not to precede player personnel news in my game-day posts, but the Wings posited a trio of important Tweets...
UPDATE: The #RedWings have placed Brendan Smith on short-term IR, meaning he will miss a minimum of seven days.
Tickets to the 2013 Alumni Showdown are on sale now! Witness living legends back on the ice for one last time! MORE: http://www.DetroitRedWings.com/2014WinterClassic …
Our first #RedWings Viewing Party is tonight at @Applebees in Woodhaven (23200 Allen Road) watch the game, play some trivia, & have fun!
And it's not official yet, but it appears that the Grand Rapids Griffins have assigned Martin Frk to the ECHL's Toledo Walleye, per Frk himself:
Former Red Wings Brendan Shanahan and Chris Chelios will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame a week from today. Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika (via RedWingsFeed) penned a pair of must-read stories about Chelios, who very literally went on a road trip with Chelios as the Wings exec headed to Grand Rapids to help mentor the Griffins' defensemen:
Last week he let Yahoo Sports come along for the ride as he went to see the Wings’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. Some of the interview told the incredible story of his playing career. Some of it is here in edited Q&A form. We could go on forever, but we won’t. He is going to write a book.
Could you still play?
“Could I play eight or 10 minutes a night on a good team like the Wings? Maybe. But no. I always said it was going to be a physical thing why I couldn’t play, and towards the end of my career I couldn’t train because of my left knee. That’s what really limited me. I couldn’t do the heavy workload in the gym to get to the level I always was at. So basically, to answer your question, no, I couldn’t have kept playing.
“I don’t skate a whole lot. I’m on the ice pushing pucks and blowing whistles. When I do skate hard in practice, I feel it for the next day or two, but it goes away. For the Winter Classic [alumni event], I was thinking of skating, getting in shape, working real hard with [former Wings center] Kris Draper and his crew. But for me, it’s better just to do things that don’t hurt and get my conditioning. I’m not going to skate, because I think if I did, it would be killing me by the time the game rolls around.
“I think Drapes is still working out harder than anybody that I’ve ever seen after they’re done in hockey. He trains hard. He didn’t play until he was 48, either. If he’s doing that when he’s 48, I’ll be surprised.”
Cotsonika continues in what really is a must-read article, and Chelios clarifies his coaching aspirations along the way. The embedded link heads to another must-read story in which Cotsonika tells of Chelios's unlikely journey from surfing in San Diego to playing an what was then an unnatural position for a 16-year-old Chelios--defense--with the Moose Jaw Canucks:
Updated with a Swedish interview with Mattias Janmark at 4:17 AM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to wrap up their four-game Western Canadian swing with a win in Winnipeg this evening (8 PM EST, FSD/TSN/97.1 FM), but the Wings' attempt to finish a slate of 4 games in 4 cities played over the course of 6 evenings hit a bit of a snag when Brendan Smith's decision to fight Will Acton proved to be a supremely selfish one.
While the 9-4-and-2 Wings come into tonight's game on a 3-game winning streak thanks to victories over Vancouver last Wednesday, Calgary on Friday and Edmonton on Saturday, they were already feeling the pinch of Jonathan Ericsson's absence on the blueline (Ericsson's on the LTIR until November 15th due to a partially-separated shoulder), and Jonas Gustavsson's stiff neck necessitated Petr Mrazek's recall from Grand Rapids.
On Sunday, we found out that Smith tweaked his left shoulder during his fight, and the Red Wings recalled Adam Almquist from Grand Rapids as a result. The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan confirmed Smith's status, and explained why the Wings recalled Almquist over Xavier Ouellet....
The Grand Rapids Griffins ended up sweeping their week's slate of three games, defeating the Charlotte Checkers 5-2 last Wednesday, the Lake Erie Monsters 6-4 on Friday, and taking out the Rockford IceHogs by a 3-1 tally on Sunday afternoon. Tom McCollum stopped 34 of 35 shots in Petr Mrazek's stead, as the Griffins website's recap notes:
Watch the fight below, may be a left shoulder issue...
update 3:22pm, St. James tweets it is short-term IR for Smith.
added 3:55pm, via Ansar Khan tweet,
Wings defenseman Brendan Smith out 1-2 weeks w/ slightly separated shoulder from fight last night, Ken Holland said. Adam Almquist recalled.
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.