The Malik Report
Darren Helm's less than happy to find himself squarely placed in blinding glare of the media spotlight, but it comes with the territory. Helm was assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins for 2 "conditioning stint" games yesterday evening (Helm, who will wear #9, will play in Friday night's Calder Cup Championship banner-raising game against Milwaukee and Saturday's game in Rockford) and the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner spoke with Helm after today's Griffins practice:
“I just want to have a solid, smart game and not try and do too much,” Helm said after practice. “I mean, I’ve played four periods in the last 18 months, so it’s going to be a little different for me out there. So I’m a little nervous but I just have to get out there and go.”
Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland said the plan is for Helm to play Friday and Saturday – when the Griffins are at Rockford – and then return to practice with the Red Wings.
Coach Jeff Blashill said Helm will be on a line with Riley Sheahan and Landon Ferraro.
Ferraro was assigned to Grand Rapids today after recovering from some sort of leg injury.
Updated with pictures of Petr Mrazek's new mask at 2:21 PM: As noted earlier, the Red Wings have sent Petr Mrazek to Grand Rapids as Jimmy Howard's apparently at least healthy enough to back up Jonas Gustavsson tomorrow against the Avalanche, and the Griffins report that another Wings prospect's health has improved to the point that the Wings can make the paper transaction of sending him to the AHL:
FERRARO AND MRAZEK ASSIGNED
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday assigned center Landon Ferraro and goaltender Petr Mrazek to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
A native of Trail, British Columbia, Ferraro had been on injured non-roster status with Detroit since the preseason. The third-year pro has appeared in 130 games with the Griffins, posting 67 points (33-34—67) and 91 penalty minutes. During the 2012-13 regular season, Ferraro led the AHL in shorthanded goals and ranked among team leaders with 24 goals (1st), 23 assists (6th) and 47 points (3rd) in 72 games. The six-foot, 182-pound center also tied for third on the team and for sixth in the AHL with 16 points (5-11—16) in 24 playoff games en route to the Calder Cup.
Updated 5x at 2:57 PM: There's good news on the goaltending front via a demotion this morning...
Sending Mrazek back to Grand Rapids indicates that Jimmy Howard's sore catching hand may have healed to the point that he's able to at least back up Jonas Gustavsson against the unbeaten Avs tomorrow night, if not against Phoenix on Saturday.
Red Wings-Blue Jackets wrap-up and overnight report: on beating Columbus, Helm and a charitable plug
The Detroit Red Wings' 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets served as something of a palate-cleanser for Tigers fans ticked off by their team's 1-0 loss to the Red Sox, and between the surprise news regarding Darren Helm being sent to Grand Rapids for a conditioning stint, the news that Jimmy Howard's getting better, the Wings' big win over the Bruins and the team's imminent departure for a showdown with the 6-and-0 Colorado Avalanche on Thursday (with a rematch against the plucky Coyotes to follow)...
It kind of felt like Tuesday's rope-a-dope win got lost in the shuffle, especially given its lack of aesthetic value.
If it's possible to believe it, Jonas Gustavsson may have been even better against Columbus than he was in fending off the Bruins. The Wings were out-shot by an ugly 18-7 margin in the 1st period, and his third-period save on Jack Johnson made Red Wings fans forget Gustavsson's "the Groin" nickname from last season:
So I'm doing my thing, writing the quick take on the Red Wings' 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, getting the stats up, and getting the Red Wings' confirmation of Darren Helm's conditioning stint in Grand Rapids...
And my go-to Twitter source for Wings news, RedWingsFeed, notes that NHL.com's highlight clip of Daniel Alfredsson's first goal as a Red Wing reads as follows: "Ottawa Senators Daniel Alfredsson's first Red Wings goal."
Talk about rubbing it in.
Another "Friend of TMR" in We All Bleed Red on YouTube snagged Alfredsson's first intermission interview, too, and I'm not posting these to "rub it in"--I'm posting these because I think that Alfredsson's goal merits its own entry given that he's played fantastically well for the Wings over his first seven games, registering a goal and 5 assists, leaving him tied with Niklas Kronwall for 3rd in team scoring.
In the words of Mike Babcock, when discussing Jonas Gustavsson's strong play, "Good for him and good for us." The Wings will worry about the Senators on the 23rd, and not before.
The Detroit Red Wings were not particularly sharp in terms of defensive details during Tuesday night's 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The team gave up far too many scoring chances for any fan's liking, never mind the coach's.
The Wings continue to be out-shot by a wide margin on an every-game basis, and the stats were pretty bloody ugly overall: Columbus out-shot Detroit 18-7 in the 1st and 37-32 overall, and many of Columbus' scoring opportunities were of the grade-A variety...
But it turns out that the Red Wings have a capable back-up behind James Tiberius Howard this season, and his name is...Jonas Gustavsson?
Updated 9x at 12:02 AM: According to Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels, the Red Wings have assigned Darren Helm to Grand Rapids, where he will play 3 games over the course of 5 nights for the Griffins.
Time to fire up the trading-players machine...And it was Daniels that said it. I get the feeling that Tootoo is as good as gone, regrettably, and the Wings will obviously have to both demote Glendening and move another body when Eaves comes off the IR--possibly Eaves himself.
Update: Khan and Pleiness confirm:
The Red Wings are Detroit sports fans, too, and they're rooting for their "sister ship" in the Ilitch fleet...
Amongst the storylines ahead of tonight's very late-starting (8 PM, Fox Sports Detroit/FS Ohio/1270 AM) Red Wings-Blue Jackets game, in which Jonas Gustavsson will start in Jimmy Howard's stead against a to-be-determined Blue Jackets lineup:
The Red Wings posted Ken Kal's Game-Day Preview video, including a double-announcer-wowing recap of the Datsyuk-to-Zetterbeg deke, dangle, pass and goal, as well as game-day comments from Wings coach Mike Babcock:
The Wings' Game-Day Blog offers notes of note...
The Grand Rapids Griffins' "Between the Benches" series chronicling the team's Calder Cup Championship run offered fans over 2 hours' worth of behind-the-scenes footage, and today, the team's Twitter account posted a much shorter but no less important video, this one explaining how the Griffins' Calder Cup Championship rings were made:
Via RedWingsFeed, the Griffins' weekly press release sets up their home-opener tilt against Milwaukee as well:
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.