The Malik Report
The Wings flew to Vancouver on Monday afternoon, choosing to make the four-and-a-half-hour trip west ahead of a four-games-in-six-nights slate of Western Canadian games (Wednesday against Vancouver, Friday in Calgary, Saturday in Edmonton and Monday, November 4th in Winnipeg).
As such, the Vancouver Sun's Elliott Pap reports that at least three members of the organization watched the Vancouver Canucks rattle off their fourth straight win, a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals:
Red Wings early overnight report: Babcock dissects Wings’ problems; on hockey bios & Star Wars Night
Updated 3x at 2:16 AM: Some of this will be a bit repetitious, but there's a reason for it: it appears that no one captured what Red Wings coach Mike Babcock had to say after the Red Wings' practice on Monday, and that's disappointing--because Babcock very bluntly critiqued both his players and his coaching staff's performance over the past four games, essentially outlining a) what he believes his team's doing wrong and b) what the team needs to do to snap its 4-game winless streak.
The Detroit News's David Goricki captured the vast majority of Babcock's comments...
The Windsor Star's Bob Duff rarely mixes sports metaphors, but he does so this evening as he feels that Metro Detroiters of all nationalities should appreciate a "triple threat's" worth of sublimely-talented athletes (and if you're not from "around here," you might not know that Windsor, Ontario is located due south of Detroit, and tends to be split 50-50 between those who cheer for Detroit sports teams and those who look up the 401 Highway to Toronto's teams):
It was a performance for the ages, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Or maybe not, if you happen to live in the Detroit area.
In terms of the chance of seeing greatness in action, currently no fans in sports are as lucky as those who live around here.
They can go to Ford Field and see the NFL’s best receiver Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions. Up the street at Comerica Park is where during baseball season, the game’s best hitter, Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, sends balls into orbit. Across town at Joe Louis Arena, centre Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings is a dazzling magician with the puck, operating as hockey’s best two-way performer.
DETROIT –The Detroit Red Wings® today announced that tickets for the 2013 Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown™ on Tuesday, Dec. 31, at Comerica Park will go on sale Monday, Nov. 4, at 10 a.m. The event marks the final day of the 2013 SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival™ in Detroit, leading up to the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® between Detroit and Toronto on New Year’s Day at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. Each ticket is good for both games of the New Year’s Eve doubleheader (1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.) and provides free access to the Coke Zero Fan Zone in the parking lots just outside Comerica Park. Tickets can be purchased at www.DetroitRedWings.com/2014WinterClassic or by calling 313-471-7575.
As noted in the practice post, the Detroit Red Wings recalled Luke Glendening because Johan Franzen's suffering from some sort of unspecified injury that the beat writers report will sideline Franzen for Wednesday's game, but the Griffins also sent a pair of players to the ECHL's Toledo Walleye to receive more playing time.
Per the Griffins' PR department:
GLENDENING RECALLED, TWO TO TOLEDO
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Monday recalled center Luke Glendening from the Grand Rapids Griffins and reassigned defenseman Richard Nedomlel and left wing Marek Tvrdon to the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye from their AHL affiliate.
Glendening, a 24-year-old native of East Grand Rapids, made his debut with the Wings on Oct. 12 versus Philadelphia, when he became the 133rd Griffins alumnus to play in the NHL. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound forward has appeared in five games with the Wings, posting six shots on goal and two penalty minutes. Glendening has also skated in five games with the Griffins in his second professional season, producing three points (1-2—3) and eight penalty minutes.
Red Wings Monday practice post: Franzen out, Glendening to be recalled and lots of ‘gnus and gnotes’
Updated 10x at 3:52 PM: The Red Wings took to the ice after a very disappointing weekend and very disappointing slate of 4 consecutive losses, with bad on-ice habits requiring work-it-out repair and the team's negative results requiring some 'splaining to do.
Practice kicked off with bad news from the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:
Johan Franzen missing at practice. Waiting on an update. #RedWings
MLive's Ansar Khan confirmed:
Wings on ice for practice. Franzen not skating. Waiting for word on his status.
Ugh, per the Free Press's Helene St. James:
Red Wings prospect Phillipe Hudon has 2 years to prove that the undersized-by-today's-standards (at 6'1" and 205 pounds) is worth signing to an entry-level deal, an the affable young man has done his best to add a physical bite to his meat-and-potatoes grinding game, registering 7 points and 23 penalty minutes over the course of 12 games for the QMJHL's Victoriaville Tigres.
Today, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald's Wily Pavlov reports that the Q chose to suspend Hudon for four more games.
Per the QMJHL's website:
The Red Wings have a significant amount of work to do when they return to practice today, and they've got some 'splaining to do, too.
The Wings didn't anticipate facing "must-win" situations during what's going to be a particularly difficult Western Canadian Swing (the Wings play 4 games in 4 different cities over the course of 6 nights, starting with Wednesday's game in Vancouver and continuing on Friday in Calgary, Saturday in Edmonton and next Monday in Winnipeg), but dropping consecutive games to Phoenix, San Jose (albeit via a shootout), Ottawa and the Rangers--with three of those losses coming a home-stand--means that the 6-4-and-2 Wings need to right their listing ship as soon as possible.
As noted in the Wings-Rangers wrap-up, coach Mike Babcock was particularly disappointed with the high number of turnovers the Wings are committing between their own blueline and the opposition's blueline, suggesting that the team's tendency to give up 30+ shots an evening has everything to do with the team's inability to move the puck up ice without surrendering possession and control to their opponents.
This morning, the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness notes that Niklas Kronwall seconded his coach's remarks:
Red Wings prospect news: McCollum backstops back-to-back wins for Griffins; Mantha, Bertuzzi roll on
The Detroit Red Wings' prospects wrapped up a busy weekend in mostly winning fashion, and a Red Wings prospect who's essentially on "probationary" status via an AHL-only contract took two big steps foward over the past two days.
The Grand Rapids Griffins lost a 5-0 home decision to the Charlotte Checkers on Friday night, and then they headed on the road for what will end up being a thousand-plus-mile bus trip across the midwest.
The Griffins' website provides a superb game recap:
The Detroit Red Wings' schedule ahead is a busy one: they'll leave town on Tuesday to take part in what is now a once-yearly Western Canadian swing, playing the Canucks on Wednesday, October 30th, heading to Calgary on Friday, November 1st, battling the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday the 2nd, heading to Winnipeg to finally play the Jets on Monday the 4th. Then the team returnshome for a 4-game home stand and a month in which the team will play 8 of their 11 post-Western Canadian swing games at home.
Something tells me that some of the Wings' players wanted to leave for Vancouver immediately after Saturday's game given the eggs the Wings have laid over the past week. The Wings followed up their 5-2 loss to Phoenix a week ago Saturday with at least something of an improvement, opening their 3-game home stand with a 1-0 shootout loss to San Jose, but the bottom's fallen out over the past two games.
Getting whacked 6-1 by Daniel Alfredsson's former employer on Wednesday was bad; I hate to say it, but surrendering 40 shots en route to a 2-1 OT loss to the moribund Rangers--with the Wings frittering away 1-0 and 2-1 leads, and yielding the final goal with all of 12.9 seconds left in OT--may have been worse.
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.