The Malik Report
from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
Pavel Datsyuk took part in the optional skate and still hopes to return for a game or two before the Olympics.
“Hoping, looking to,” Datsyuk said when asked if he was still going to play in the Olympics. “I don’t know. I’m just trying to make sure I play one or two games (before). That’s my goal now.
“I’m not thinking about over there now,” Datsyuk added. “I’m thinking about coming back to our team and helping our team.”...
Asked about what some fans are saying that if players can’t play for their NHL team that pays them then they shouldn’t play in the Olympics, Datsyuk said, “No comment. Everybody has own mine. Everybody has own decision. It’s my decision.”
added 10:48am, Also from Pleiness,
Datsyuk also on ice with Weiss. Holland confirmed Datsyuk is out tonight. Still day to day.
added 11:02am,Pleiness again,
Gustavsson confirms he's starting.
added 11:12am, Mor from Pleiness,
Lashoff in for Smith on defense. Gustavsson starting. According to Babcock.
Per the Free Press's Helene St. James...
And the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa, regarding a certain Jimmy Howard and the Red Wings' 6-5 OT loss to Washington on Sunday:
As for the status of one Pavel Datsyuk, we head back to St. James:
Ridiculous. The Red Wings had a hat trick performance by Gustav Nyquist, but I'm very unhappily putting on the tinfoil hat for this one, because Alex Ovechkin got tripped in OT (the reffing was awfully spotty all game long), bitched at the ref, Brendan Smith was awarded a chintzy penalty as a result, and Alex Ovechkin got loose and fired a shot through Danny DeKeyser and a screened Jimmy Howard to give Washington a 6-5 win over the Red Wings on Sunday.
Good news in terms of asset retention for the Red Wings, for now, anyway:
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Entering his third Olympics, Kronwall understands how much his role has changed even from 2010, when he was an 18-minute per game defenseman but still more of a role player on a team that featured Nicklas Lidstrom.
He's the sixth-oldest player on Sweden's 23-man roster behind Daniel Alfredsson, Henrik Tallinder, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Henrik Zetterberg. Kronwall is the second-oldest defenseman behind Tallinder, who is expected to be seventh or eighth on the depth chart.
Kronwall could play more than 20 minutes per game on a team that on paper has the requisite amount of skill, speed and patience to win gold on the big ice in Sochi.
"The older you get, I want to think the wiser you get somehow," Kronwall said. "I have to try to bring some calm to the table."
I may not be particularly active at present due to the whole concussion issue but I have been following the Wings as best as able, and all I can say about the following is this: people tend to forget that, prior to his heroic status grimmacing and skating through femur scraping on tibia and fibula along the way to the Red Wings' 2002 Stanley Cup championship, the Red Wings and their fans had to endure watching Steve Yzerman make similar pained faces while skating for Team Canada at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.
The NHL and NHLPA's Olympic participation is something of a devil's bargain, and whether we like it or not (and I do not like it at all), I have no doubt that Henrik Zetterberg will skate through any back issues he experiences in Sochi to captain the Swedish team, I have no doubt that Niklas Kronwall will continue to block shots, that Tomas Tatar will fearlessly skate into scrums with forwards half-a-foot taller and 40 pounds heavier than he is, and I have absolutely no doubt that Pavel Datsyuk will be skating for the Russian Olympic hockey team as its captain on home soil, regardless of how badly his left knee's messed up.*
As Paul noted, Datsyuk didn't skate with the team on Saturday, and he may not play in any of the Wings' four remaining games before the Olympics (Sunday vs. Washington, Monday vs. Vancouver, Thursday in Miami and Saturday in Tampa Bay), but given his history of hurrying home, even when injured, to play for the Russians at the World Championships, I don't think that anyone should question Datsyuk's status unless the Magic Man himself states that he's not healthy enough to play.
from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
The Wings have placed Cory Emmerton on waivers Saturday.
He has until noon Sunday to clear or be picked up by another team.
If he’s not picked up he’ll head back to Grand Rapids.
It’s the second time this season Emmerton has been placed on waivers.
“You know, everyone knows what’s going on here,” Emmerton said when he was placed on waivers the first time and wound up staying with the team after Patrick Eaves was placed on injured reserve. “There’s too many players, no cap space, so something’s got to give.”
According to those who cover the Detroit Red Wings, Datsyuk practiced today, Zetterberg did not and neither did Weiss.
Other than that, nada.
The heart attack Wings nearly gave it away but earned the extra point in what is all but the beginning of a set of five near-must-win games on Friday night, rallying from a 1-0 deficit, going 0-for-5 on the power play, surrendering a tying goal with seven seconds left...
And taking a crapton of shootout shooters to take out a fantastic Michal Neuvirth and the Washington Capitals by a 4-3 tally, with Neuvirth stopping 42 of 45 shots in regulation and OT, but one fewer than Jimmy Howard in the shootout.
The Red Wings will practice at the Joe tomorrow--presumably--and head to Washington to tangle with the Caps on an NBCSN Superbowl pre-game-game at 12:30 PM on Sunday, and with the Wings having barely sank their hooks into one of the "wild card" spots, it will be absolutely essential for the Wings to come out of the Verizon Center with a point ahead of the final pre-Olympic home game against Vancouver on Monday (the Wings also head to Florida on Thursday the 6th and Tampa on Saturday the 8th).
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