The Malik Report
This note from ESPN's Paul Lukas, who penned a "Uni Watch" article discussing all the tweaks and changes in team uniforms, does indeed always arise during training camp and the preseason:
• The Red Wings will be wearing these gorgeous throwbacks for the annual Winter Classic on Jan. 1. Additional photos and info here. Meanwhile, in an annual rite of September, the Uni Watch inbox has been flooded with alarmed emails from fans who've noticed that the Wings have been wearing straight, block-lettered nameplates for their preseason games instead of their usual vertically arched lettering. Don't worry, people -- the Wings do this every preseason, so their equipment manager doesn't have to go through the trouble of making the vertically arched names for all the players who don't end up making the final roster cut. The arched lettering will return when the regular season starts. Promise.
In the days of hand-cut letters, where the "arch" was literally made by hand, the block-font was incredibly necessary to reduce time, energy and effort when making jerseys for 60+ prospect camp and training camp attendees...These days, I'm sure that it's easier to sew the block-font letters, but most places that customize jerseys use CNC machines and computer software to get things right, so in the present moment, the tradition is about tradition more than saving time.
It's about the privilege of earning your name in arched letters on a Wings jersey via a regular season appearance, and it may or may not be about selling unique training camp jerseys. That, and whatever the Wings' equipment manager wants to do, it's his workload, so Paul Boyer gets what he wants.
From the Red Wings' community relations department:
14TH Annual Toast of Hockeytown TICKETS NOW ON SALE
… Presented by ITC Holdings Corp., Event Takes Place Nov. 13 on the ice at JLA …
Detroit, Mich. - The 14th Annual Toast of Hockeytown presented by ITC Holdings Corp. will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. The event, which takes place on the covered ice of Joe Louis Arena and has sold out each of the first 13 years, benefits the Detroit Red Wings Foundation. Only 500 tickets are available to this exclusive event.
NHL.com's Craig Button previewed the Altantic Division, and he suggests that the Red Wings should finish second in the Atlatnic:
The Grand Rapids Griffins kick off a slate of preseason games tomorrow night in Plymouth, tangling with the Lake Erie Monsters at Compuware Arena at 7 PM, and they'll reprise their "neutral-site game" against Lake Erie on Sunday at Windsor's WFCU Centre.
The Griffins will begin their 2013-2014 campaign with back-to-back games in Rochester and Toronto on October 4th and 5th, and they won't raise their Calder Cup banner until their home opener on October 18th.
While coverage of the Griffins' training camp has been sparse, the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner notes that the Griffins have a crop of star and/or superstar-in-the-making forwards who hope to make significant impacts during their first AHL campaigns:
Updated 14x at 5:44 PM: The Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs kick off a set of home-and-home exhibition games tonight at Joe Louis Arena this evening (7:30 PM EDT, Leafs TV; Henrik Zetterberg's holding a smoke detector collection today), and the Red Wings' morning skate yielded the usual amount of, "Good news, bad news" on the injury front:
Red Wings-Maple Leafs pre-season set-up and overnight report: can the Wings defeat the hype machine?
The Red Wings' 2-and-4 preseason record may not "matter," despite the worries certain members of the media and certain bloggers have voiced about the team's 0-and-3 record at home and status as being out-scored 11-4 over those three games. The Wings insist that they'll get themselves sorted out by the Wednesday's home opener.
During a normal 82-game season, their annual end-of-exhibition home-and-home series with the Toronto Maple Leafs, which take place tonight and tomorrow (tonight's game is only on Leafs TV and it starts at 7:30 PM EDT, and Henrik Zetterberg's smoke detector collection continues this evening; tomorrow's game airs on Hockey Night in Canada and the NHL Network U.S. at 7 PM EDT, on the same night as the Hockeytown BrewHaHa and the Grand Rapids Griffins' exhibition game in Plymouth), serve as icing on the preseason cake, a reminder of a rivalry lost when the Leafs moved East.
As you and I know, this isn't a "normal" season.
The Red Wings' performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins and their 0-and-3 record at home (as well as the fact that they've been out-scored 11-4 during those three games) have me worried, and the Free Press's Helene St. James noted that the Wings' preseason has been pretty bloody mediocre overall.
The Wings and their coach spent Thursday's practice suggesting that the team would "sort things out," and with a pair of new recalls in tow (Tomas Jurco and Luke Glendening), MLive's Ansar Khan noted that the Wings fully believe that they'll play much, much better in this weekend's home-and-home series against Toronto, with the team's offense kicking into gear once the players stop worrying so much about their positioning...
As Ruslan Salei of all people told me, hockey players understand that dealing with the media is part of their job, and as professional athletes, the have to accept a certain level of scrutiny in terms of both what they do on the ice and what they say when cameras and digital sound recorders are pointed at them...
But the presence o HBO's 24/7 cameras at Thursday's practice had me wondering how the Wings and their occasionally prickly coach will adapt to spending all of December followed around by an "embedded" crew, and especially given how much access Fox Sports Detroit's crew was given during the prospect tournament, with bench, on-ice and locker room access, I've been wondering how the Wings' players will adjust to a more invasive environment in which they'll be followed home by filmmakers hoping to "reveal unseen" aspects of their personalities.
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness noted that coach Babcock, who is loath to share his coaching secrets, isn't exactly delighted by the concept of accommodating the crews, but he'll do his best to accept the price of Winter Classic admission...
Updated 6x at 4:17 PM:The Wings recalled Tomas Jurco and Luke Glendening and demoted Riley Sheahan and Teemu Pulkkinen: The Red Wings received some good news at practice, as previously noted...
And they entertained visitors as well...
I'm not thrilled with the Red Wings' collective or individual performances during their exhibition season, and while I can only scratch my head about the fact that the Wings continue to accumulate injuries (see: Jakub Kindl, Daniel Alfredsson, Jordin Tootoo, Jonas Gustavsson, Patrick Eaves, Jonathan Ericsson,etc.) at a worrisome pace, I'm glad to see the Free Press's Helene St. James suggest that the team's performances thus far are indeed worrisome:
The most jarring stat that has emerged so far is how problematic it has been for the Wings to score. They have 16 goals — the same amount they've allowed. But eight of those goals came in one game, that night in Boston when Detroit brought Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Howard, and the Bruins iced much less caliber. Eight goals divided by five games equals a scoring average that's not going to make hay later this fall.
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.