The Malik Report
Updated 5x at 2:51 PM: The Kyle Quincey-less Red Wings hope to rebound from last night's loss to Calgary when they face the Vancouver Canucks this evening (10 PM EDT on FSD/CBC/97.1 FM), and as MLive's Brendan Savage notes, the Wings are attempting to avoid an inauspicious start...
• The Red Wings' four-game skid is their longest this early in the season since 1993-94, when they dropped four in a row and had a 1-5 record after six games during Scotty Bowman's first year behind the bench. They finished 46-30-8 that season. The Red Wings have had other similar early slumps during the last two decades but finished with at least 100 points each time. In 2011-12, they won their first five before dropping six in a row for a 5-5-1 mark after 11 games. They finished 48-28-6 that season. They went 0-4-1 during a five-game stretch in 2003-04 that left them with a 5-6-1 mark after 12 games before they finished 48-21-11. The Red Wings have been outscored 7-2 after the second period during their current skid.
As are tthe Canucks:
• Vancouver is still searching for its first home victory of the season after posting a 0-2-2 record in its first four at Rogers Arena. Calgary was 0-4 at home before beating the Red Wings 3-2 in overtime Friday at Scotiabank Saddledome. Vancouver's home start is its worst since 1994-95, when the Canucks started 0-2-3 on home ice. ... The Red Wings are 1-2-1 on the road. ... Detroit and Vancouver split two games last season, when each team won at home.
Also of note from DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
Well this sucks, per the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness, and it explains why Brad Richards is on the IR:
Update: Khan confirms in text form:
The Red Wings have placed Brad Richards on IR, according to the roster on their site.— DetroitHockey.Net (@detroithockey96) October 24, 2015
Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
The Wings and Canucks have yet to take part in their morning skate, but the Canucks website's Daniel Fung has penned a preview of tonight's game (10 PM EDT on FSD/CBC/97.1 FM):
Keys to the Game
Canucks: The bottom-9 has to produce. Coach Desjardins has admitted his reluctance to reunite the Sedins and Vrbata was because he didn't want to be a one-line team. Vrbata and the twins delivered on Thursday night but the onus is on the rest of the forwards to produce as well so opponents have to worry about something other than shutting down the Sedin line.
Canucks: Build on Thursday's PP success. After bumping their long man-advantage slump against the Capitals, Vancouver's power play figures to get another boost with the return of Weber to the line-up. Weber was tied for second on the team with five power play goals last season and provides a right-shot, one-timer option that has sorely been missing for most of this season.
Red Wings: Get the early jump. Visiting teams have gotten off to strong starts in every game so far this season at Rogers Arena and the Red Wings will want to follow that same formula to success. Considering all three of Detroit's wins this season have come when they've opened the scoring, the opening goal tonight will be a critical one.
VanCityBuzz's Ian Lusher also notes that the Canucks are 0-2-and-2 at home this season...
from Lucas Aykroyd of IIHF.com,
Teemu Pulkkinen was born in Vantaa, where Helsinki’s airport is located. That’s fitting, as the Finnish winger’s career is taking off with Detroit this year.
The 23-year-old played two NHL games with the Red Wings in 2013-14, going pointless, and 31 last season (5-3-8). But it looks the former World Junior ace is ready to become a fixture in Motown, and he’s getting opportunities on the second power play unit under new head coach Jeff Blashill. He’s also enjoying the chance to play alongside high-octane linemates like Gustav Nyqvist and Riley Sheahan.
“He’s a good player,” said Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg. “He’s done everything right so far, and he’s the kind of player who puts the puck away when he gets a chance.”
With the AHL’s Grand Rapid Griffins, Pulkkinen accomplished just about everything he could. He captured a Calder Cup title in 2013, made the league’s all-rookie team in 2014, and earned first-team all-star honours with his AHL-leading 34 goals – which he scored, amazingly, in just 46 games.
“It’s getting better,” Pulkkinen said of his early-season performance with Detroit, following a 4-1 road loss to the Montreal Canadiens on October 17. “I feel good about myself, but it’s early. You just have to get going and work hard.”
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"I think we still got better in us, individually," Blashill said. "We had some guys really going and some guys were just OK and some guys didn't have great games.
"We need 20 guys having great games in order to win in this league. You're not going to be your best every night, but we got to have more guys with 'A' games every night and we're going to need that (Saturday in Vancouver), we're going to have to grind one out."...
Said Blashill: "I don't know if we stopped skating but we probably didn't get on our toes enough. When we did have time in their end, we didn't do a good enough job of getting pucks to the net, not that we weren't attempting them, but we got to do a better job getting them through."
The Red Wings boarded a very late flight to Vancouver for tonight's game against the Canucks (10 PM EDT on FSD/CBC/97.1 FM) stinging from a 3-2 OT loss to the Calgary Flames and the loss of Mike Green thanks to a charge from Josh Jooris.
To the latter item, the Free Press's Helene St. James reported that no news was bad news...
Coach Jeff Blashill did not have an update on Green immediately after the game, including whether Green would be available Saturday when the Wings play at Vancouver. Given that Green never returned to Friday's game, it would seem doubtful he would be available so soon.
To the former, the now 2-and-6 Flames were absolutely delighted having delivered the Red Wings their 4th straight loss in comeback fashion, as they told the Canadian Press:
Of prospect-related note:
Wings fans have had an ideal start's worth of expectations for the team that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the team hasn't lived up to thanks to a strange schedule, new personnel, young players thrust into promiment roles and a new coach whose system wasn't as much a copy of as a strong resemblance to Mike Babcock's, so the Wings headed into the second of three Western Canadian games on a long losing streak.
On Friday night, the Red Wings lost Mike Green to an injury and lost 1-0 and 2-1 leads en route to a 3-2 overtime loss to Calgary that was predicated upon Detroit barely losing out in a goaltending battle. Jimmy Howard was far superior to Jonas Hiller, stopping 37 of 40 shots, but Howard didn't get the run support as the Wings were worn down in the 2nd and 3rd periods by short-term injuries to Kyle Quincey and Niklas Kronwall, and the Wings just never got their flow back, literally or figuratively.
This one wasn't pretty, but "doubtful to return" is a lot better than "out," and Josh Jooris should have been called for charging:
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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.