The Malik Report
Various luminaries and political types from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, the State of Michigan, City of Detroit, the State and U.S. legislature, the province of Ontario and City of Toronto will be making their presence known at the Winter Classic on New Year's Day, but I can only shake my head at this report from the Toronto Sun's Joe Warmington, who reports that the worst mayor since Kwame Kilpatrick is sure to do his best to steal the spotlight:
There are 107,000 hockey fans expected at the New Year’s Day outdoor NHL Winter Classic in Michigan and Mayor Rob Ford says he plans to be one of them.
“Definitely,” the mayor said of the much anticipated Jan. 1 game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings. “I don’t have the plans worked out yet but I want to go.”
The Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins' players took to Twitter to wish all their fans a happy "American Thanksgiving" On Thursday:
Bertuzzi did skate today, Datsyuk did not.
Also, the lines this morning where the same from last night's game.
added 1:58pm, from Ansar Khan of Mlive (on Datsyuk)
According to Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels, the Red Wings will be practicing at Joe Louis Arena sometime today despite having defeated the Boston Bruins 6-1 on Wednesday--with the team slated to fly out to Long Island for its mid-afternoon games against the Islanders on Friday and Daniel Alfredsson's former employers on Sunday--so the Wings won't have much of a Thanksgiving.
TMR is going into "low and slow-cook" mode today, however, so I'm going to leave you with a superb quote from Jonas Gustavsson, snagged by MLive's Brendan Savage, which I certainly hope is true for the Wings going forward...
NESN posted quite the pre-game video of one Red Wings executive and Hockey Hall of Famer informing Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley that, at least in one respect, Wednesday night's 6-1 win over the Boston Bruins was worthy of the NBCSN "Rivalry Night" tag even prior to puck drop--because one does not get in the way of a former hard-charging defenseman and his perch in Joe Louis Arena's cramped, one-row press box:
I adore Chris Chelios as a former Red Wings player, as an executive and as a salt-of-the-earth person, but I can certainly tell you that if you have been identified as a member of the media, and he doesn't know you, he doesn't trust you, or he simply has somewhere to go, he'll do just what he did to Edwards and Brickley--walk right past you and look right through you.
Or sometimes it's the other way around, and I've come pretty close to taking a Chelios check more than once because the man all but literally runs the gauntlet of digital sound recorders when he spots them and those that hold them looking for a "quote."
The Detroit Red Wings have won two of their past three games--and their second of three meetings with the Boston Bruins, taking Wednesday's game by a 6-1 tally (the Wings lost 4-1 on October 5th, but won 3-1 on October 13th, with both games taking place in Boston; the teams won't meet again until April)--but the team won't be able to enjoy the fruits of their labors for long.
According to Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels, the Wings will be practicing later today at Joe Louis Arena, despite today's status as "American Thanksgiving" and they'll fly to Long Island this evening ahead of Friday's 4 PM game against the Islanders and Sunday's Alfredsson-Senators reunion.
The Wings don't exactly have a Toledo Walleye-style bag skate on tap, but they're definitely not going to be enjoying their holiday or the lack thereof.
The Free Press's Helene St. James also reported that Wings coach Mike Babcock had revealed his goaltending rotation for this upcoming weekend...
One of the biggest reasons that Darren McCarty's "book tour" through Southeastern Michigan's noteworthy is because he doesn't live here any more. McCarty moved to Florida after his last bout of legal issues about a year-and-a-half ago.
In a Metropolitan area where every hockey fan wants to buy one of the Red Wings' greatest folk heroes a drink--and that folk hero happens to be an alcoholic--it was hard for McCarty to stay sober both during his first and second stints with the Red Wings, as well as his post-hockey stay here, and the smartest thing I would argue Mrs. McCarty #3 has ever done was to decide to relocate to Florida for safety, sobriety and sanity's sake.
McCarty's memoir, My Last Fight: The True Story of a Hockey Rock Star, which was co-written by USA Today's Kevin Allen, will come out on December 1st, and ahead of the publishing date, McCarty spoke with the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa about his memoir...
“There were some messages I wanted to get out that were important to me,” McCarty said Wednesday. “You’re going to cry. You’re going to laugh. There are some great stories. But, I want you to understand, it’s for a young kid to be prepared for what he may face, if he makes it in anything. When there’s fame in anything, this is what you are going to come up against. If I can prevent some kid from going through this — like one kid — than my story was worth it. And for addicts? We have something in common. I hope people can relate.”
And Krupa's review of McCarty's memoir is bluntly honest, too:
Despite Daniel Alfredsson's 2 shots and 5 total shot attempts, I'll readily admit that #11 in red and white looked like he was already preparing for Sunday's reunion affair in Ottawa.
Perhaps his distraction involved the facts that a) his wife and four sons are going to Ottawa for the weekend, and b) Alfredsson and his teammates aren't having much of an "American Thanksgiving" as Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels reported that the team's going to practice on Thursday and take a late afternoon flight to Long Island ahead of Friday's 4 PM tilt against the Isles.
We already know that Sunday's game is going to give Alfredsson and Senators fans some closure, but he and his Red Wings teammates will be skating into a media maelstrom on Saturday and Sunday (the game starts at 5 PM on Sunday afternoon), the Ottawa media machine's already cranked up the hype machine, and the Ottawa Citizen's Ken Warren reports that Senators owner Eugene Melnyk helped spin the wheel by stating the following on Ottawa's Team 1200 radio station:
Updated 3x at 2:48 AM on Thursday: In Detroit, all went well for the Red Wings, who defeated Boston 61, but the Wings' ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye, were absolutely routed as well, dropping a 7-0 decision to the South Carolina Stingrays..
In which Jared Coreau gave up 4 goals on 21 shots and Hannu Toivonen gave up 3 on 10, Martin Frk finished at -3, Trevor Parkes finished at -2 despite taking 5 of the Walleye's 30 shots, Louis-Marc Aubry finished at -2 with 4 shots, Nick Jensen finished at -2 with 2 shots, and Max Nicastro and Marek Tvrdon finished at -1 with 1 shot apiece...
And the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe reports that Walleye coach Nick Vitucci chose to send one hell of a message after the game (and the Walleye host South Carolina on Friday as well). Please note the timestamp on Monroe's Tweets:
The end wasn't pretty--Torey Krug's skate put in a Gustav Nyquist goal and Jarome Iginla may or may not have kicked in a goal that spoiled Jonas Gustavsson's shutout, but the first 57 minutes of the Red Wings' 6-1 win over the Boston Bruins was...
Masterful. As if the Wings had chosen to finally give their fans a little bit of deferred compensation for their awful home record, and as if the Wings had finally chosen to wake from their November slumber to prove that winning three out of four can make up for winning one of nine.
Because the East is such a mess, the Wings are now only 3 points behind Boston despite a vastly inferior record, and astonishing attention to detail, poise and composure, incredibly strong skating and winger support, a dash of superb goaltending, absolute adherance to puck possession hockey "structure" and execution of all the opportunities the Wings had been failing to execute upon over the past three-and-a-half weeks yielded a dominant victory against a still-superb Bruins team.
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.