The Malik Report
Red Wings executive Chris Chelios spoke with The Fan 590's Jeff Marek and Doug MacLean earlier this afternoon, and he offered an intriguing take as to why the Red Wings and their defense continue to struggle, he offered a bit of a Winter Classic Alumni Showdown preview, and he offered a few 24/7 antagonist tidbits (it appears that the Red Wings' coach and goalie coach both dislike the cameras), he talked about the spate of suspension-worthy offenses, the fighting-non-fighting debate given that his sons play NCAA hockey (and he played NCAA hockey as well) and he offered a unique take on what happens when you play "on the edge": as far as Chelios is concerned, you have to expect some retaliation. Chelios has always believed in the whole, "Sometimes you have to take the hit, take the number of the bus that hit you and skate away" part of the equation, too:
Red Wings Wednesday news: Weiss’s groin’s acting up; Wings-Panthers tailings, on Franzen and Yzerman
Updated 8x at 2:31 PM: The Detroit Red Wings took to the ice in Tampa Bay for a relatively early (and brief) practice on Wednesday morning, and MLive's Ansar Khan, the Free Press's Helene St. James and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan delivered surprising news regarding one of the protagonists in the Wings' 3-2 shootout loss to Florida.
Wings on ice for early practice in Tampa. Weiss is not skating.
And after practice, well:
Babcock said Weiss is out with some type of groin issue or stomach strain. Will have tests to determine extent.
The Grand Rapids Griffins have posited a quintet of promotional and/or creative videos of late, and while they're promoting a "6 Game Flex Pack" in the first two videos, I can't deny that I'm surprised at how well Wings prospects Luke Glendening, Riley Sheahan, Mitch Callahan and Ryan Sproul (quite the set of roommates) can carry a Christmas tune...
Their "Christmas Q and A" is amusing...
NHL.com's Dan Rosen's "Over the Boards" column mostly focuses on the Tampa Bay Lightning's injury issues, the Minnesota Wild and a pair of New Jersey Devils rookies, but Rosen also offers stand-alone-entry-worthy quips from someone who turns 41 today in Daniel Alfredsson. Alfredsson's been wearing an alternate captain's "A" in Henrik Zetterberg's absence, and Alfredsson told Rosen that he's become accustomed to reprising a familiar role on what may still remain a somewhat unfamiliar team:
Captain Henrik Zetterberg's absence from the Detroit Red Wings lineup because of injury has opened the door for Daniel Alfredsson to adopt a bigger leadership role with the team. Alfredsson, who was the Ottawa Senators' captain for 13 years, told NHL.com he feels far more comfortable exerting his brand of leadership now than when he first arrived in Detroit.
"It was a bigger adjustment period than I thought it would be, both on and off the ice, with changing everything," Alfredsson said. "Looking back on it, it has been a great learning experience for me to see what players go through when they change things in a way that I didn't really appreciate before. It's natural, too. You don't just come in and in my case being a captain for so long, just try to take over. I try to see where I can fit in, where I can help out. I think I've got a pretty good feel for that now. I definitely feel comfortable enough with this team now where I'm able to act as normal."
Alfredsson is on a hot streak, with 10 points (four goals) in his past nine games.
Alfresson also had this to say about Pavel Datsyuk's work ethic...
My overriding thought regarding the Red Wings' 3-2 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers, at least when I was trying to curl up in bed until my, "Be a responsible adult with a bad virus and write up a wrap-up, dammit" voice in my head won out, had little to do with the Wings' litany of 3rd-period collapses, their 10 straight shootout defeats, Jimmy Howard's up-and-down performances or my crazy theory about the Wings adding a #3 defenseman (and I like Alex Edler of Vancouver, who may only be tradeable because his $5 million cap hit belies $6 million in total compensation this season and then
$8.5, $12, $12, $12 and $8.5 million $4.25 million, $6.25 million, $9 million, $9 million, $6 million and $4.25 million in total-compensation investments over the balance of his deal).
It was this: Holy shit, we're 2 months and 11 days into the season, and 15-9-and-8 equals the Red Wings having played 32 games already, and when the Winter Classic takes place three weeks from today, the Wings will be playing in game 42.
Amongst this morning's Red Wings prospect-related news:
The Grand Rapids Griffins possess a remarkable 17-4-1-1 record, and that record stands despite having dealt with both a revolving personnel door due to the Red Wings' injury situation and an influx of AHL demotions which have pushed the Griffins to involuntarily sit 2 and sometimes 3 of their 7 "veteran" players (they're down to six due to the Wings' recall of Cory Emmerton) because the AHL prohibits teams from playing more than 4 players who've played in 320 or more pro games and 1 player who's played in 260 or fewer pro games.
As the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner notes, even the Griffins' captain, Jeff Hoggan, has sat out pretty regularly of late, but the Griffins' veterans are both making the best of a difficult situation and they're keeping the winning machine humming despite the fact that the four vets who are sitting out in Patrick Eaves, Jordin Tootoo and Emmerton's stead--Hoggan, Brennan Evans, Nathan Paetsch and Triston Grant--were very specifically brought back to the AHL's defending champions to lead on an every-night basis:
So I have a theory, and if it sounds too preposterous even for TMR, so be it.
Instead of pondering what would have happened had Tim Thomas not conveniently negated 2 Red Wings goals over the course of Saturday night's loss and Tuesday's disappointing 3-2 shootout loss to the Panthers (who will head to Tampa Bay to face the Lightning, who dropped a 6-5 shootout decision to Washington on Tuesday evening, when the teams tangle on Thursday) I'm going with this:
I believe that the Red Wings desperately miss having a veteran #3 defenseman who could be thrown over the boards to right a listing ship the way they could toss Kris Draper over the boards when the forwards were struggling, and even given that Danny DeKeyser's injured, I would suggest that the team needs to do what's necessary to find an established second-pair defenseman to both help the team's puck movement and especially to steady the Wings defensively.
That was awful. Just as the Panthers lulled the Red Wings to sleep on Saturday, they pulled the sleeper hold on Detroit on Tuesday night, and a Red Wings team that built a 2-0 lead and had the advantage for 35:26 of the game...
Blew their 2-goal lead and lost 3-2 to the Plywood Panthers in the shootout.
Was Howard sub-par? In the shootout, sure. But the Red Wings seemed to all but quit playing after the Panthers allowed Detroit to rope itself out cycling, dekeing and dangling their way through the latter half of the second period, and the 3rd was all Florida.
I don't know what to say about this. It is...remarkable. With 14:11 left in the 3rd period, the Florida Panthers lost a pane of glass behind Jimmy Howard, and they replaced it with...Plywood?
EDIT: It's glass, but the rink crew left the backing on it. Charming. Stopped the game to put it up but didn't stop the game to give the fans a view.
Update #2: Here's the Panthers' official explanation, per the Miami Herald's George Richards:
The 'plywood' was actually a piece of plexiglass with its protective backing still affixed.
According to a Panthers spokesman, the original piece of replacement glass broke on its way to the ice and the 'third string' piece wasn't fully ready to go.
Another piece - minus the paper backing - was put up before the overtime.
The Russian press has been very busy lately in terms of engaging in pre-holiday interviews with potential Olympian NHL'ers, with Sport-Express's Slava Malamud spending a couple of days in Detroit recently--and Sport-Express just posted the 2-part result of Malamud's efforts which could use some serious Russian-native-speaker's aid...
According to Yahoo Sports' Dmitry Chesnokov, Sovetsky Sport's Pavel Lysenkov also spoke at length with Datsyuk. The Magic Man addressed the "24/7" phenomenon with tongue planted firmly in cheek...
But you also have to participate in the filming of HBO’s 24/7.
“I am very doubtful that a person with a camera will follow me around for 24 hours. But of course HBO will take a peek into the Detroit locker room. I watched some episodes when other guys were filmed… It is always interesting how other teams live.”
Ilya Bryzgalov was the main star [last series]. Who will be Detroit’s showman?
“Everyone on our team can realize himself on TV. The team is very open, friendly… I bet Dan Cleary will show himself better than others.”
Datsyuk also talked about the recent filming of Russian cell phone commercials in Metro Detroit, as Datsyuk's about to launch a partnership with a large cell phone company to help beenfit his hockey school...
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.