The Malik Report
As Paul noted, the NHL released a set of clinching scenarios for teams battling for a playoff spot, and this is Detroit's:
Detroit Red Wings Saturday Playoff Scenario
Opponent: at NY Rangers
DET Result Playoff Impact
Regulation/OT win: Will clinch playoff berth
Shootout win: Will clinch playoff berth if any of the following occurs:
(1) Bruins lose to the Senators in any fashion
(2) Bruins defeat Senators in a shootout
(3) Flyers lose to Penguins in any fashion
* Cannot be eliminated with shootout win
OT/Shootout loss: Will clinch playoff berth if any of the following occurs:
(1) Bruins lose to Senators in any fashion
(2) Flyers lose to Penguins in regulation
* Cannot be eliminated with OT/shootout loss
Regulation loss: Will clinch playoff berth if:
(1) Bruins lose to Senators in regulation
Will be eliminated if all of the following occur:
(1) Bruins get at least one point against Senators
(2) Flyers defeat Penguins in any fashion
The NHL's press release continues...
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
To truly appreciate the Red Wings' run, it helps to have some separation from it. "Looking back at the streak now, it's unbelievable in today's sports," said Red Wings legend Nicklas Lidstrom via e-mail. "A lot of teams have had a chance to rebuild and pick early in the draft and build the team from scratch while the Wings haven't had that chance. [They are] still able to put a competitive product on the ice and go deep into the playoffs."
In the spirit of not taking it for granted, here are 24 of the most moments from the Red Wings' playoff streak:
1. Bringing the Stanley Cup back to Detroit
Given that they've won four Stanley Cups during this playoff streak, it's easy to forget that there were times when people wondered if the Red Wings would ever win the big one again.
Then, in 1997, the Red Wings swept the Philadelphia Flyers to win their first Stanley Cup since 1955.
"I remember being anxious to get my hands on the Cup," Lidstrom said. "It'd been a long wait for the City of Detroit. There was a lot of talk about having not won it. That feeling of finally winning it ... it was great to win that first Cup at home in front of our home fans."
more including a video from Pierre LeBrun on the Wings' streak...
TSN's Darren Dreger spoke with Nicklas Lidstrom regarding this year's Norris Trophy race, and Lidstrom discussed his definition of the Norris trophy...
"You have to be a solid all-round defenceman. You have to be good with the puck and be able to make plays and be the, not necessarily the offensive threat, but you can be the guy that starts the play that ends up with the puck in the back of the opponent’s net."
"You have to be able to play against the top forwards or top players in the league defending as well, so I think, overall, you have to be good on the offensive side of the puck, but also on the defensive side of the puck."
Lidstrom also acknowledges that the ability to play big minutes should be considered.
"You have to be able to play a lot of minutes because some players, when they get over a certain amount of minutes they don't play as well,” he explained. “Some players might get over 22 or 23 minutes, but their play isn't as strong when they have to play 27 or 28 minutes on some nights. I think you have to be able to play a lot of minutes and play well when you do it, but play well on both sides of the puck."
Lidstrom continues with Dreger at significant length, discussing this year's candidates, and there's this:
From the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe:
Toledo (46-19-5) can clinch the conference title with a win over a desperate and streaking Kalamazoo team tonight in the regular-season home finale.
“I want us to go out and win the East, instead of backing in,” [coach Derek] Lalonde said. “We want to earn it.”
The Walleye host the [K-Wings], who are scratching and clawing to earn one of the final slots in the Eastern conference playoffs, at 8:15 at the Huntington Center.
Toledo controls its own fate. The Walleye have 97 points and are seeking a second straight conference championship, while the Stingrays (42-18-10) have 94. Both teams have two games remaining.
“I told the guys on Wednesday that I really hoped that South Carolina wins because I want us to go take the conference,” Lalonde said. “We can do that with winning one game this weekend. So I was excited when South Carolina won.”
Toledo closes the regular season with a home and home series against rival Kalamazoo. The Wings have won eight straight and are 9-1-0 in their last 10 games.
“Kalamazoo is playing as well as any team in the league,” Lalonde said.
Updated 8x at 3:13 PM: Raanta vs. Howard in the nets tomorrow.
There are 10 #RedWings skating in Jersey, including DeKeyser, Howard, Larkin, Athanasiou, Marchenko and Jurco, who all played last night.
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. Sportsnet's Damien Cox weighs in on the Wings' "Race to 25," and he does so with some smarm...
It’s pretty clear this Detroit team isn’t the same squad that nearly knocked off Tampa Bay in the first round last year.
Rumours surround the future of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg hasn’t scored in 10 games and only has 13 goals on the season, and head coach Jeff Blashill is having trouble deciding which of his young players he wants to play and which goalie gives his team the best chance to win.
Howard seems likely to get the start against the Rangers. But that’s not even clear.
Other than the “race” for 30th place, this is about the only dramatic playoff chase the NHL has going in the final days of the 2015-16 season.
On Thursday, the Bruins looked the most deserving, with the Wings outclassed and the Flyers beaten at home by the awful Toronto Maple Leafs.
Still, it’s Detroit that controls its own fate. One more strong effort, and the 25-year-old chain will not be broken.
2. The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa also weighs in with a little more sympathy for the Bipolar Wings:
This must be in case Justin Abdelkader can't go tomorrow:
From the Red Wings:
DETROIT RED WINGS EXPERIENCE ANNOUNCES WALMART TOUR
... DRW Experience – Featuring Interactive Games, Alumni Signings & Great Prizes – to Visit Eight Walmart Locations Throughout Metro Detroit in April …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings Experience, presented by Coke Zero, today announced its new Walmart Tour set to take place at eight Walmart locations throughout Metro Detroit in April. All stops on the Walmart Tour will run from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., inside the designated Walmart locations.
The DRW Experience features interactive games designed to give Red Wings fans an opportunity to test their hockey skills, take part in photo opportunities and have the chance to win a number of great prizes, including autographed memorabilia, giveaway items and tickets to future Red Wings games. A Grand Prize winner will be selected at each location and will walk away with an autographed jersey of a current Red Wings player.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
A poor start, defensive breakdowns, an ineffective power play and a goaltender getting pulled.
This could dominate the Detroit Red Wings' 2015-16 highlight film. But it wasn't something they needed to see given the chance to clinch a playoff spot on Thursday.
After doing so many things right during a three-game winning streak, the Red Wings reverted to some bad habits in a 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins Thursday at TD Center.
The Bruins scored twice in the first 2:44, forcing the Red Wings to fight an uphill battle, and struck for two goals in the first 45 seconds of the third period to break it open.
"It's tough anytime you're chasing a game, especially in a back-to-back situation," Detroit forward Luke Glendening said. "We fell behind and couldn't dig ourselves out of that hole.
"I think we were a little sloppy tonight in comparison to the past couple games. Just got to get back to that in this last game."
The Red Wings still "control their own fate" in terms of dictating their playoff fate, but they have to at least feel some wound to their pride after blowing their first and best chance to clinch a 25th consecutive playoff berth via their 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
The Wings weren't just poor, they were awful against the Bruins, a night after playing perhaps their best game of the year against the Flyers, and while there are multiple routes to clinching a playoff spot, "nervous persons" like myself are a wee worried about the concept of the Wings easily sauntering to a regulation-or-OT (not shootout) win over the Rangers on Saturday.
Detroit's players put on a brave face after the loss, suggesting that they could only give credit to their opposition and move on to the next game stil controling their fate; the Bruins spoke with swagger after delivering a decisive victory, as the Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa noted:
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