The Malik Report
This evening, the Wings kick off their final week at home before a Halloween-and-election-day-spanning trip through Western Canada, and they'll have their hands full--both on the ice and in terms of a crowded locker room full of story-hungry beat writers--as the team will wrap up a slate of 8 games played over the course of 14 nights when they battle the 9-0-and-1 San Jose Sharks this evening (7:30 PM, FSD/CSN Bay Area/97.1 FM), Daniel Alfredsson's former employer on Wednesday and the struggling New York Rangers on Saturday.
On Fox Sports Detroit's "Wingspan," prior to the Red Wings-Coyotes game on Saturday, there was a 30-second blurb that stunned me: according to the narrator, single-game tickets for the Winter Classic are to go on sale to the general public on Tuesday at 10 AM on Ticketmaster.
The Globe and Mail's James Mirtle is confirming that news from the Canadian/Maple Leafs side of the border:
So if you plan on attending the Winter Classic and are not a season ticket-holder or don't want to purchase tickets on the secondary market, get ready to head to Ticketmaster or call the Joe Louis Arena box office at 313-471-6611 on Tuesday morning. It's going to take a lot of luck for you to get your hands on tickets as at least 80,000 and probably much closer to 100,000 of the 110,000+ seats are spoken for.
via the CP at NHL.com,
Anthony Mantha scored two goals and added two assists as the Val'd-Or Foreurs crushed the host Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 7-3 on Sunday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play.
Mantha, a prospect of the Detroit Red Wings, leads the QMJHL in scoring with 18 goals and 33 points in 12 contests.
Plus, an interview Mantha did yesterday after being named player of the week in the CHL. Best quote of the interview was Mantha saying he learned some of the little things when he played one pre-season game with the Wings. He picked up "how they use their ass to protect the puck".
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
"Detroit has 29 rivals and they have a very deep, loyal following around the country," said Sharks Coach Todd McLellan, who was an assistant for the Red Wings before coming to San Jose in June 2008. "I don't know if they get too wound up against any individual team."
McLellan's hiring definitely improved San Jose's fortunes against the Red Wings.
Before his arrival, the Sharks were 16-40-3 against Detroit with four ties; since the 2008-09 season, San Jose has held an 11-6-2 edge. In the playoffs, the Sharks have won both series between the teams since McLellan switched benches.
"San Jose has done a pretty good job since Todd got here of neutralizing Detroit's strengths," said defenseman Brad Stuart, who also knows the rivalry from both sides.
Stuart, 33, started his career with the Sharks and later spent four-plus seasons in Detroit before returning to San Jose in June 2012. Looking back, he said, Red Wing players did get up for games against the Sharks.
"And," he added, "you knew that San Jose ramped it up a level as well playing against Detroit."
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Start the countdown clock on Darren Helm’s return to the Detroit Red Wings lineup —and the likelihood Jordin Tootoo won’t be a Wing much longer.
General manager Ken Holland received as uplifting a text as possible today from Helm, reporting that all was well after two games in the minors and a nine-hour bus journey.
That’s putting Helm on a brick-paved path to playing Saturday, when the Wings host the New York Rangers. The Wings host the San Jose Sharks
tonight(Monday) at Joe Louis Arena, but since Helm was put on Long-Term Injured Reserve to start the season, he has to miss a minimum of 10 games and 24 days. Helm will return from the minors to rejoin practices as he prepares for what will be only his second NHL game in 2013.
“He told me he’s looking forward to being in the lineup next weekend,” Holland said. “This is a major step, it’s great news.”
added 6:07pm, Ansar Khan of Mlive on Helm returning
The Detroit Red Wings' team plane took a little looping flight from Phoenix's main airport, Sky Harbor, to a facility a little closer to Glendale and the Coyotes' rink on Saturday night, preparing to pick the Red Wings up as the team stayed in its hotel beds on Saturday evening (to eliminate the "heavy road trip legs" excuse).
The Red Wings team's trajectory was similar, racing out to a 2-0 lead before giving up 5 straight goals, including a goal scored by Coyotes goalie Mike Smith, in a 5-2 loss to Phoenix on Saturday evening--in a scenario reminiscent of the Wings' dropped leads en route to a 4-2 loss to Phoenix 11 days ago.
In between the losses, Detroit won 4 games, but Phoenix seems to have Detroit's number, and it must be said that this penalty shot save by Jimmy Howard could have been the game's defining moment...
Red Wings Saturday prospect news: Griffins lose, Walleye win, Athanasiou, Nastasiuk have good nights
The Red Wings' prospects didn't have the same difficulties that the parent club displayed on Saturday, but Darren Helm's 2-game stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins (who dropped a 3-2 decision to Milwaukee on Friday night) didn't go that well, either.
Ten days after the Detroit Red Wings dropped a 2-1 lead to the Phoenix Coyotes, the Detroit Red Wings dropped a 2-1 lead to the Phoenix Coyotes and lost 5-2 to a predatory, hungry team receiving significant help from Smith.
Which Smith? Both of them. Mike Smith flopped to the ice as Brian Lashoff slid what should have been a 3-0 goal past him early in the second period, seemingly suffering a bad groin injury, but he popped back up after a commercial break, and after Smith flopped, the Wings never seemed to recover their killer instinct--and Smith of course scored an empty-netter..
And Brendan Smith's play yielded a Shane Doan penalty shot which Jimmy Howard stopped and poor coverage yielding three of the four goals Howard did not stop--though Howard had NO chance on ANY of the goals that were scored against him by the predatory Coyotes--as well as Mike Smith's historic empty-netter.
I've tried to keep the news regarding Niklas Kronwall's recovery from the concussion induced by Cody McLeod in the Red Wings-Coyotes game-day entry, but this video from the Free Press's Helene St. James merits its own entry as it encompasses Kronwall's media availability this "morning":
The Detroit Red Wings are very proud of the fact that they were the last team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions back in 1998, but the Chicago Blackhawks' status as having won 2 Cups in 3 years may be as close as one gets to a repeat in this day and age.
Former Wings coach and current Blackhawks advisor Scotty Bowman discussed difficulties of winning repeat Cups with the CBC's Tim Wharnsby, and Bowman believes that there are more than salary cap-related reasons as to why no team has been able to replicate the Wings' successes:
"You can't keep your team together," Bowman said. "The Los Angeles Kings managed to do it. But they still didn't win. When you win, you have players you have to re-sign. Most of those players deserve a raise. You can't keep everybody. If you lose a couple key players the cupboard gets bare."
But, Bowman says, it doesn't stop there.
"Teams are stronger," he said. "At least, there are more teams capable of winning. It just seems that teams have more younger players who make an immediate impact. There is more emphasis than ever on developing players and they make a bigger impact quicker than ever."
One could very well argue that the NHL took a full decade to recover from nine seasons and 9 teams' worth of 1990's expansion. I certainly believe that it took until 2008 or 2009 for the NHL to be able to boast that more of its 16 playoff-qualifying teams than not were capable of making a long playoff push.
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.