The Malik Report
Thursday was the first day of Olympic hockey competition, and Mike Babcock is already playing games with the media (and/or having his press conferences--NHL.com posted Thursday's 11-minute'r, so it's easier to find than highlights on NBCOlympics.com in the U.S. [TSN is geoblocked, as is the CBC]--deciphered like they were Brad Meltzer novels by an entire nation as opposed to just us crazy Red Wings fans), Pavel Datsyuk is playing word games in both English and Russian regarding whatever lower-body injury is ailing him...
And while the Olympic teams have their "morning skates" at 3 AM, I'm just guessing that I can sleep in till 6 or 7 because Henrik Zetterberg and his still-herniated disc in his back will be a "game-time decision" when the Swedes play against Switzerland on Friday at 7:30 AM EST (on TSN and NBCSN; Babcock's Canadians will play the Norwegians at noon on CBC and USA, and that's it for Friday), regardless of what Gary Lawless says.
For me, it was a predictably crazy first day back, and while I'm far from 100%, I would like to at least tell you this in terms of setting up some serious-ass Olympic context:
This just pisses me off. Drive-by Tweet and a half.
So Twitter freaks out, I go check all of the "Swedish Media" sources I know of, I go and try to find out who the hell "Bo Rylander" is (not a journalist), and I find that nothing has changed since this morning. According to the "Swedish Media," Zetterberg's herniated disc is bothering him and he had treatment on Thursday, and Zetterberg's care is being coordinated between Team Sweden and the Red Wings' medical staff. He's iffy for tomorrow's game against Switzerland but the technical term for his status is "day to day."
The world has not ended as far as I can tell. If that changes, I will let you know, and in the interim, Stuffy McStuffinpants told me I have a date with Sammy Braddy on Valentine's Day.
Update: Speaking of which...
This is raw Google-translated Ruslish (Russian to English), but I think that it speaks to what all Red Wings fans hope regarding Pavel Datsyuk's below-the-waist(?) injury, per Sovetsky Sport's Pavel Lysenkov...
- How is your health?
- All is well, thank God. Thank you. All I have is normal.
(Yes, please, God...)
And I thought that reading DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's take on Datsyuk's performance this morning was...Interesting:
Pavel Datsyuk, a stick-on-ice player if there ever was one, was grasping his stick with his bottom hand as if his balance depended on it and skating at 70% Pavel speed in 15:09 of ice time during Russia's 5-2 win over Slovenia (Russia's next game is against the U.S. on Saturday at 7:30 AM EST), and Henrik Zetterberg's back may or may not be acting up due to the same herniated disc he's been skating through with the Wings, or he may have a new injury (and Sweden plays Switzerland on Friday at 7:30 AM):
But there was some good news on the Red Wings' Olympic participation front. Tomas Tatar scored Slovakia's only goal in the team's 7-1 loss to the U.S., finishing at +1 in 18:03 of ice time, and Tatar and teammate Tomas Jurco (who finished at -1 with 2 of Slovakia's 23 shots in 13:34 of ice time) received absolutely gushy praise from Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire as the fleet-footed bright spots for during a rough Slovakian outing.
Updated 7x at 12:17 PM: Zetterberg is getting treatment for his chronically sore back, but it sounds like his herniated disc is acting up again:
Pavel Datsyuk looks like he's skating at 70% as the Russians battle the pesky Slovenians in Sochi this morning, and this news from Expressen's Mattias Nystrom and Mattias Ek is worse:
Translation(s): "Henrik Zetterberg isn't at Sweden's practice and he's not in attendance for the team photo. That's not good."
This rumor popped up a few days ago, and it still has me scratching my head, so while I start to get up to half-speed (more on that in a little bit), let's take a gander at the Fourth Period's source-less and author-less rumor about the Red Wings' potential pursuit of a top-four defenseman--amidst an article regarding possible Vancouver Canucks facelifts:
Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler has been dangled as trade bait since the off-season, when Gillis tried to move him around the NHL Draft. Edler, however, now has a no-trade clause and must approve any deal the team tries to make.
With a $5 million annual salary cap hit, Edler isn't a major financial burden and several teams have expressed an interest in acquiring him.
The Detroit Red Wings have been long linked to Edler, and whispers around the NHL suggest the two teams continue to discuss a deal that could also involved Wings veteran Johan Franzen.
Amongst this morning's Red Wings prospect-and-prospect-coaching-related news: Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill and defenseman Alexey Marchenko helped the AHL's All-Stars defeat SHL team Farjestads BK during both the AHL's skills competition (Marchenko skated a 14.823-second lap in the fastest skater competition and and his slap shot clocked in at 92.9 MPH) and the All-Star Game itself, which the AHL took by a 7-2 tally (no points for Marchenko during the game).
Former Red Wings player and Adirondack Red Wings coach Bill Dineen was inducted into the AHL's Hall of Fame as well, and prior to returning to Grand Rapids, the Griffins' current coach spoke with MLive's Peter J. Wallner about his All-Star experience (and Wallner notes that Fox Sports Detroit will rebroadcast the All-Star Game tonight at 10:30 PM EST):
I readily admit that I follow the men's Olympic hockey tournament from more of a "Red Wings fan's" perspective than a nationally-loyal one, so my experiencing of the jostling and pronounced gamesmanship between players, coaches and executives who are usually rooting for each other is...One of discomfort.
The CBC's Elliotte Friedman posited a set of 30 mostly Olympic-related "Thoughts" this morning, and his Red Wings-related ones noted both that one Pavel Datsyuk is taking his own approach to the unbelievably pressure-filled job that is captaining Team Russia...
12. Pavel Datsyuk on Russia’s 2010 Olympic crash: “How many years ago was that?” Answer: “Four.” Reply: “You remember that, not me.”
And he also notes that Datsyuk's status as "recovering from an injury" (Knee sprain? Groin issue? It depends on whose sources you're taking as factual, and "groin injury" could be Russian for "bruised fallopian tubes") seems to have generated some honest-to-goodness conflict--at least for the Olympics, and hopefully not for too long thereafter--between Datsyuk and his NHL employer's coach:
If you'll pardon the "thought experiment," I'm trying to shake off rust, and figured that this would be an interesting topic for discussion:
From my little corner of the world, aside from hoping to be able to exhaust myself following the Wings' ten Olympians ASAP, I find that a hockey fan's Olympic experience--at least when your team's sending representatives to multiple teams--tends to depend on the ways in which fans follow the game. What follows are examples of two ends of the hockey fan spectrum:
This is a few weeks old, but in case you weren't aware...
Red Wings Raise the stakes for charity
…Tickets Now on Sale for the Fifth Annual Detroit Red Wings Foundation Charity Poker Tournament at MotorCity Casino Hotel…
DETROIT -Only 108 fans will have the chance to go head-to-head with a Red Wings player in a game of Texas Hold’em on Monday, Feb. 24, at the Detroit Red Wings Foundation Charity Poker Tournament taking place at MotorCity Casino Hotel. Fans can reserve a seat in the tournament by making a $400 donation to the Foundation. Additional dinner seats are available to fans playing in the tournament for a $100 donation.
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.