The Malik Report
Maybe this is just me, but after the Wings went 0-2-and-2 against the Chicago Blackhawks this season (including last night's disappointing 3-2 shootout loss), and given that Chicago's absolutely owned Joe Louis Arena over the past three seasons, I'd be quite happy if the Wings somehow managed to both make the playoffs and avoid a first-round match-up with Chicago.
The players feel a little differently about the possibility of Chicago and Detroit concluding their status as Central/Norris Division rivals via a playoff meeting, as noted both in the overnight report and by MLive's Brendan Savage:
Spotted this on Twitter at 5 AM: Red Wings forward Jordin Tootoo and the Team Tootoo fund are holding a special night to raise funds for and awareness about suicide prevention and mental illness in at-risk youth and everyone else--on April 22nd (of course), when the Wings host the Phoenix Coyotes--and Tootoo and Fox 2 are partnering up to help get the word out.
Tootoo spoke to Fox 2's Dan Miller about joining the Wings and his charity's message...
Very quietly, Gordie Howe keeps on keepin' on. While he didn't speak at the event, Howe was in Calgary, Alberta to be feted for his 85th birthday before the first of three "Pro-Am" tournaments held in his name begins in Calgary today.
The Pro-Am kicks off a pair of pro-vs.-amateur events in Alberta, with the second slated to take place in Edmondon. Both will benefit the Alzheimer Society of Alberta & Northwest Territories, and in May, a Scotiabank-sponsored Pro-Am in Toronto will raise funds for the Baycrest Institute's The Gordie & Colleen Howe Fund for Alzheimer’s.
The Red Wings can't seem to get their positives to outnumber the negatives dogging them lately, and that has Detroit fighting for its playoff life as the scene shifts to Nashville on Sunday.
On Thursday night, the Red Wings were able to eke out a point of a 3-2 shootout loss to San Jose--in a game that they didn't play very well--and despite a much, much better effort in terms of intensity, attention to detail, actually playing puck possession hockey and not only taking shots, but chasing pucks, retrieving rebounds, going to the opposing team's net to cause havoc while generating secondary and tertiary scoring opportunities, and really bearing down defensively after a lackluster first period...
The Detroit Red Wings cannot score three goals, and they are dooming their own playoff chances because of it, having dropped 3 of 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks and following up last night's 3-2 shootout loss to San Jose with a 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago.
For the second night in a row, the Red Wings gave up the first goal, a bizarre back-door-tap-in by Viktor Stalberg.
For the second night in a row, the Wings tied things up, getting a power play tip-in by Johan Franzen off a Carlo Colaiacovo shot, and for the second night in a row, the Wings took a 2-1 lead quickly, with Cory Emmerton banging home a rebound for a top-shelf goal. But the Wings seemed to trip over themselves when the Hawks were given a too-many men penalty with 1:31 left in the 2nd. They stopped moving forward. They seemed content to guard a 2-goal lead.
Updated 8x at 3:26 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face a must-win situation tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks (8:30 PM EDT, FSD Plus/CSN Chicago/NHL Network, with the requisite Center Ice/GameCenter Live blackout/97.1 FM), and the Blackhawks' morning skate was a routine affair...
Updated 3x at 12 PM: Amongst this morning's Red Wings-related news:
If there's anyone who needed to hear that the Red Wings are officially committed to holding their summer prospect development camp, their prospect tournament and the big club's main camp in Traverse City, it was the venue that lost at least half of its operating income when the lockout canceled last year's prospect tournament and training camp. Centre Ice Arena's Anne Reaves spoke to the Traverse City Record-Eagle's James Cook about the news (and estimates suggested that Centre Ice lost somewhere between $1.5 and $2 million and that the Traverse City area may have lost out on $4 million in ancillary spending):
"It was one of the most frustrating situations to not know the outcome and then to watch everything fall to the wayside," Reeves said. "Our challenge is to kick the moss off the rock and get it rolling downhill again. We've got to build that momentum. It's a challenge, but I'm confident we'll be able to get our crowds back. There's no question."
The Detroit Red Wings couldn't take Red Bird III to Chicago as the plane just ferried the Tigers to San Jose, so it's my (and Jones36 on Twitter's) best guess that the Wings took a Delta charter to the Windy City facing a must-win situation against the Blackhawks this evening (8:30 PM EDT, FSD Plus/CSN Chicago/NHL Network U.S. w/ blackout of Center Ice/GameCenter Live included/97.1 FM) after dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.
The Wings gained a point--and a point is good--but the Wings' point gives them all of 2 points of breathing room over the Coyotes and three over the Stars and Blue Jackets--and regardless of whether you or I are thrilled with the lineup on a given night, it's the fact that the horses the Wings do have in their stable aren't getting the job done that worries me.
They just can't score. I don't know how else to put it. The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the San Jose Sharks, and with four straight road games coming up, starting with tomorrow night's tilt against Chicago (8:30 PM EDT, FSD Plus), the Wings...
Either couldn't or wouldn't score. Despite a sterling performance by Howard, shootout excluded, and the Wings rallying from a 1-0 deficit to take a 2-1 lead 2:29 into the 3rd period, the Wings couldn't hold onto their lead, and really, aside from a 14-to-8-shot leading second period, they continue to struggle so incredibly mightily to score goals that it's infuriating, never mind frustrating.
I don't know what to say. I really don't. This could be truly devastating. It's not that the coach isn't doing enough (see: line and defensive changes), it's not that the goalie isn't doing enough...It's that the horses aren't getting the job done, and going 2-4-and-1 over the last seven is simply unacceptable.
Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist hasn't been playing in the AHL for almost a month now, but he was still named to the AHL's First All-Star Team. From the Griffins' PR department, here comes the tip of an iceberg worth of Red Wings pre-game stories:
NYQUIST NAMED TO AHL FIRST ALL-STAR TEAM
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Griffins right wing Gustav Nyquist on Thursday was named to the 2012-13 American Hockey League First All-Star Team.
Nyquist, 23, leads the Griffins with 60 points (23-37—60) in 58 games and ranks among the team’s leaders with 37 assists (1st), nine power play goals (1st), 25 power play points (1st), a plus-10 rating (7th), two game-winning goals (T5th), three shootout goals (2nd) and 169 shots (2nd). Despite missing 12 of Grand Rapids’ last 13 games while with the parent Detroit Red Wings, Nyquist still sits eighth in the AHL in scoring, as he was leading the league in scoring at the time of his recall. He also has 18 multipoint games, the most of any Griffins player, and had four three-point games over his last nine contests with the club (Feb. 23-March 19).
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.