The Malik Report
The 25-17-and-8 Detroit Red Wings came out of the All-Star Break with a very disappointing 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and as their status in the Atlantic Division remains murky, the Wings almost have to win their match-up with the 30-15-and-5 Florida Panthers this evening (7:30 PM EST start on FSD/Fox Sports Florida/97.1 FM) if they aren't to tumble from the Atlantic to a Wild Card spot by the time the teams meet again next Monday.
I don't know how they'll do it based upon Wednesday night's sloppy, somewhat sluggish and fast-paced but slow-moving game. Detroit looked downright tired at times coming out of the All-Star Break, and while the Lightning have been more dominant at home than the Panthers, Florida's record's nothing to sneeze at, having won 4 straight, including a 4-2 victory over the Capitals on Tuesday.
In Tampa Bay, the Red Wings' special teams doomed them: Tampa Bay went 2-for-3 on the power play, and Detroit went 0-for-2 on theirs, and both teams felt that said special teams determined what was a defense-first affair.
The Lightning concurred while speaking with the Tampa Tribune's Erik Erlendsson...
Of prospect-related note:
In the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin won 52% of his faceoffs in 19:28 of ice time in SKA St. Petersburg's 3-2 OT loss to Avtomobilist;
In the Swedish J20 SuperElit league, Joren Van Pottelberghe served as the back-up in Linkopings HC's 4-1 win over AIK;
In the QMJHL, Adam Marsh didn't play in the Saint John Sea Dogs' 4-1 win over Moncton;
In the OHL, Vili Saarijarvi had an assist and took 5 shots in the Flint Firebirds' 4-3 win over Saginaw;
And in the WHL, Joe Hicketts had an assist and 5 shots in the Victoria Royals' 4-1 win over Calgary;
While Dominic Turgeon scored a goal in the Portland Winterhawks' 3-2 loss to Everett.
The Detroit Red Wings kicked off their post-All-Star-Break schedule with a heavyweight match-up against the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening.
Between tonight's game against Tampa Bay and tomorrow's game against the Panthers (7:30 PM on FSD), Detroit has/had the opportunity to climb over their Atlantic Division rivals, but they faced long odds in Tampa Bay where the Lightning had won 7 straight games at the Amalie Arena.
The Red Wings let Tampa Bay make it 8 straight via a 3-1 loss that made Detroit look as if they'd crawled out of the All-Star Break with the same lack of energy, intensity, effort and attention to detail that haunted the Wings' home games--except that this defensive error-defined and special-teams-defined game (when the opponent goes 2-for-3 on the power play, you're in trouble) took place on the road.
Wednesday's game was just a puzzler. You would think that Detroit and Tampa Bay had exited the break with exactly zero momentum, but Tampa's speed and lateral plays were almost impossible to contain, while the Red Wings' perimeter play and dreadful power play were predictable.
Now Detroit heads into Florida, where they never win, and they absolutely must defeat the Panthers to not find themselves at a serious disadvantage in the Atlantic Division standings.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
Here is the Wings' Game-Day Preview video:
The Lightning posted a game-day video as well, via Twitter:
NEW YORK (Feb. 3, 2016) – The National Hockey League (NHL®), the Colorado Avalanche® and the Detroit Red Wings® today jointly released additional Red Wings and Avalanche greats who will participate in the 2016 NHL Stadium Series™ Alumni Game that will take place at Coors Field on Friday, Feb. 26, at 5 p.m. MT, a day prior to the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™.
Detroit has added Steve Yzerman, Chris Chelios, Darren McCarty, Igor Larionov, Ty Conklin, Manny Legace, Mathieu Dandenault and Mike Knuble to their roster.
From the Flint Generals' MLive blog:
The Flint Generals Alumni will once again host the Detroit Red Wings Alumni for a star-studded contest at the newly renovated Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Michigan. Legendary Red Wings and Flint Generals players will face off in a special alumni game on Friday night, February 19th at 7:30 p.m. A portion of the event proceeds will benefit the Kris Perani Foundation.
"For the second consecutive year, it will be great to see the guys back on the ice and in the crowd, playing the Red Wings alumni team, one of the greatest franchises in the National Hockey League (NHL)," said longtime Generals defenseman Lorne Knauft. "Hockey fans and sports fans, Firebirds fans, Generals fans and Red Wings fans alike, won't want to miss it."
Red Wings fan favorites Mickey Redmond and Joe Kocur will headline the NHL squad and will be joined by several notable Wings alumni including left winger Petr Klima, right wing and 50 goal-scorer, John Ogrodnick, right wing Brent Fedyk, center and 50 goal scorer, Jimmy Carson, center, Kevin Miller, defenseman, Jason Woolley and goalie Eddie Mio. Red Wing legends Ted Lindsay and Alex Delvecchio will not participate on the ice but will meet and greet fans throughout the night on the Event Center concourse.
Continued, and tickets will cost $15 and $25 on Ticketmaster.
Updated 2x at 2:19 PM: The Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning held their morning skates ahead of tonight's NBCSN Rivalry Night game between the teams (8 PM EST on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), and while Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson skipped the Bolts' skate, they'll be playing this evening. The same is not true for Riley Sheahan, who's still recovering from an illness, so MLive's Ansar Khan reported that the Wings' lines will look like this:
#RedWings lines same as past 2 days:
Defense the same pairs:
Power play units:
Larkin-Zetterberg-Nyquist, Abdelkader (net front), DeKeyser
Tatar-Datsyuk-Helm (net front), Richards-Green
Petr Mrazek will oppose Ben Bishop in the nets this evening, and Helene St. James and Ted Kulfan reported that the Wings will recall Jakub Kindl to serve as the team's 7th defenseman starting tomorrow vs. Florida (7:30 PM EST start on FSD).
The first "article" to come out of the morning skate wasn't an article--it was Lightning coach Jon Cooper's game-day presser:
Updated 4x at 12:25 PM: The Red Wings face the Tampa Bay LIghtning in an NBCSN Rivalry Night Game this evening (8 PM EST start on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), and as the Red Wings recalled Jakub Kindl from Grand Rapids for "spare body" usage, TampaBayLightning.com's Bryan Burns reported some surprising personnel news on the Lightning's side of the ice:
No Steven Stamkos and J.T. Brown at #TBLightning morning skate.
#TBLightning lines (w/o Stamkos, Brown): Palat-Namestnikov-Marchessault Killorn-Johnson-Kuch Carle-Filppula-Callahan Paquette-Boyle-Condra
#TBLightning D-pairings remain the same: Hedman-Stralman Garrison-Sustr Nesterov-Coburn
Cooper said today's skate was optional, explaining why Stamkos and Brown weren't out there. #TBLightning
Ben Bishop was first goalie off the ice this morning, will start tonight vs. Red Wings in first game back from break for #TBLightning
Erik Erlendsson confirmed, mostly:
So this is where Niklas Kronwall's LTIR space is going:
The NHL Network's "NHL After Dark" series will premiere shortly on GoPro's YouTube channel and the NHL Network, and their first subject will be Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar:
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.