The Malik Report
from Arpon Basu of NHL.com,
"They've had a good team for a while," Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty said. "I think they're very similar to what we're trying to do here, keep the same structure in place and same core group of guys. That's why they've had success making the playoffs for so many years; they believe in that group and that's what we're trying to accomplish here.
"It's a good role model for what we're trying to do, and they're playing some of their best hockey right now."...
"Their foundation is pretty similar [to ours]," Therrien said. "[They're] a good team with a lot of speed and a lot of skill. They're not easy to play against, they can be creative offensively, and you can't forget that their bread and butter is to play well defensively."
The Red Wings have been able to withstand the absence of Datsyuk thanks to rookie Dylan Larkin, who extended his season-opening point streak to four games Friday. The Waterford, Mich., native played one season at the University of Michigan. Pacioretty also played his college hockey there and said he is eager to see Larkin play as a pro for the first time.
"I've heard about him second hand," Pacioretty said, "and I've heard he's unbelievable."
Out of the frying pan and into the fire? The season is early and the Detroit Red Wings have had a helluva time against the Carolina Hurricanes, so:
Detroit hopes to rebound from a 5-3 loss to Carolina against the 5-and-0 Montreal Canadiens this evening (7:30 PM EDT on FSD/CBC/NHL Network U.S./TVA Sports/97.1 FM), hoping to somehow defeat a Canadiens team that swept last season's 4-game series against the Wings.
The Canadiens were a little busy on Friday--discussing Tomas Plekanec's 2-year contract extension, the Blue Jays' playoff run, and reflecting upon the Canadiens' 3-0 win over the New York Rangers on Thursday, as the Montreal Gazette's Stu Cowan noted:
Of prospect-related note:
The Red Wings hopped a flight to Montreal hoping to earn a little redemption against the Canadiens on Saturday given that Detroit dropped an ugly, ugly 5-3 decision to the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night, going into the 5-and-0 Canadiens' home rink (7 PM EDT start on FSD/CBC/TVA Sports/97.1 FM) might be a little less daunting for a team so...
Thoroughly embarrassed and out-performed over the course of two moribund performances against the Hurricanes?
The Hurricanes were of course absolutely delighted with their victory, as they told CarolinaHurricanes.com's Michael Smith:
The rematch! The time for revenge! Okay, maybe not so much, but the Carolina Hurricanes came into tonight's game at 0-and-3 partially because of the Red Wings' rope-a-dope 4-3 win this past weekend, and Detroit seemed to have learned absolutely nothing from that game, because the Wings were out-Winged--as in out-skated, out-puck-possessed, out-executed and out-played in general--en route to a 5-3 loss to the Hurricanes that wasn't even as close as the score indicated.
The Wings' defense and goaltending weren't great, the Wings' forwards kept getting bottled up by running into themselves, if not Hurricanes players at the Canes' blueline, and nobody managed the puck or managed their player personnel assignments decently all night long.
Here are three Grand Rapids Griffins game previews ahead of tonight's home opener vs. San Antonio. The First comes from the Griffins...
WZZM also posted a Griffins preview video...
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The Red Wings posted a game-day preview video:
2. WXYZ posted a video about the "trash talk" between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University alumni in the locker room...
So I take my pre-game nap and this happens:
Here's what Cleary told the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...
"I just needed some time to think about things," said Cleary, 36, who was waived at the end of the exhibition season and didn't immediately report to the Griffins. "Once I thought about it, had some time, I want to keep playing. I love the game, you don't love the game if you don't play this long, and I want to keep playing. We'll see where it goes from here."
Cleary believes he can make a difference on the Griffins, where a long list of the Red Wings' top prospects are playing.
"I want to go down there, be a good pro and be a mentor," Cleary said. "There are a lot of good, young players down there. I want to help them become good pros."
And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness spoke with Ken Holland about the situation...
From the Red Wings:
MARCHENKO ASSIGNED TO GRIFFINS
… Detroit Places Johan Franzen on Injured Reserve …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned defenseman Alexey Marchenko to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and placed right wing Johan Franzen on seven-day injured reserve.
Marchenko, 23, is in his third season in North America and seventh season of professional hockey. In 2014-15, he skated in 13 games for the Red Wings and tallied two points (1-1-2) and two penalty minutes, while appearing in three postseason games during the team’s first-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Marchenko also played 51 regular-season games for the Griffins, notching 20 points (3-17-20) and a plus-22 rating. He also logged four assists in 11 postseason games for Grand Rapids. In 100 career AHL games since 2013-14, the former 2011 seventh-round pick (205th overall) of the Red Wings has recorded 38 points (6-32-38), 40 penalty minutes and a plus-33 rating. Marchenko also represented the Griffins at the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic.
Originally from Moscow, Russia, Marchenko spent several seasons with CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) prior to arriving in North America. From 2009-13, he appeared in 82 KHL games for the club and registered 11 points (4-7-11). He also tallied 78 points (18-60-78) in 84 games for the team at the junior level, winning a league championship in 2011 and leading all defensemen in scoring.
From MLive's Brendan Savage's game-day article, this is pretty darn impressive:
• Jeff Blashill will be trying to do something tonight no Red Wings coach has been able to accomplish in 43 years – win four straight games at the beginning of his first full season behind the Detroit bench. The last Red Wings coach to win at least four straight to begin his first full season as the club's head coach was Johnny Wilson, who started 6-0 in 1972-73 after replacing Doug Barkley 11 games into the previous season. The Red Wings finished 37-29-12 in '72-73 and missed the playoffs. Mike Babcock won his first three games with the Red Wings in 2005-06 before losing 4-2 to Vancouver. But the Red Wings followed that loss with nine straight victories for a 12-1 start en route to a 58-16-8 record and a club-record 124 points before losing in the first round of the playoffs to Edmonton. In case you were wondering, Scotty Bowman lost his first game with the Red Wings during a 1-5 start in 1993-94.
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