The Malik Report
Of prospect-related note:
In the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin scored the game's first goal and played 10:43 in SKA St. Petersburg's 3-2 OT win over Lada Togliatti;
In the SHL, Christoffer Ehn had a shot and played 5:44 in the Frolunda Indians' 3-2 OT win over Linkopings HC;
In the QMJHL, Adam Marsh scored the game-tying goal for the Saint John Sea Dogs in what was ultimately a 4-3 OT loss to Quebec;
And in the BCHL, Chase Perry stopped 33 of 37 shots in the Wenatchee Wild's 4-3 loss to the West Kelowna Warriors;
Also: Thanks to a tip from TMR reader Martin Pohanic, I can tell you that Marek Tvrdon, who's currently lighting it up for the Toledo Walleye, is very unhappy to be there, or so he told SlovakProspects.com's Kristian Kvasnica. Tvrdon feels that he didn't get a fair shake to stick with the Griffins, and while he's not threatening to leave for an overseas league right now, he's definitely tired of the ECHL.
This is all rather ironic given that Tvrdon's leading the Toledo Walleye with 14 points (6 goals and 8 assists) in 13 games.
The 11-8-and-3 Detroit Red Wings take on the 7-14-and-1 Edmonton Oilers Friday (7:30 PM on FSD Plus/Sportsnet West/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), and in theory, this game should yield a near-perfect opportunity to take two points from the Oilers.
The injury to Yakupov and the 2-game losing streak yielded line changes from NHL.com's Kurt Dusterberg's listed Oilers lineup from Wednesday...
Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon (and a happy Thanksgiving to everyone--I am thankful for you, my readers, because you give me a purpose and a big reason to battle through the day):
From Pavel Datsyuk:
The Free Press's Helene St. James penned an article about Datsyuk's return as it applied to the Red Wings' strong game against the Boston Bruins:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
It's not like the Red Wings took their foot off the gas in the third. They had ample opportunity to take a two-goal lead, but Boston hung around thanks to Gustavsson.
The Red Wings have blown third-period leads in five games. They bounced back to win three of them in OT.
"Before when we had leads, we kind of been on our heels a little bit," Zetterberg said. "But this time I thought we kept playing and kept having pressure on their D, but unfortunately that one was a tough goal."
Said Darren Helm: "It's tough losing games that you got to hold onto and find ways to win. I thought we played great, so that's something to build off of. Obviously, we got to find ways to hold onto that lead and find ways to win in overtime, but I think we keep moving, build off the positives that we did today and come back for next game."
The currently wild-card-spot-occupying Wings find themselves in the Eastern Conference's playoff picture, if only barely, at American Thanksgiving, but the Red Wings backed into their spot via a 3-2 OT loss to the Boston Bruins that was staggeringly disappointing in its predictability.
The Red Wings have now lost 6 straight to Boston and 11 of their past 13 games to the Bruins--including 2 games this season--and you'd think that somewhere along the way, the Wings would focus a little extra time on breaking down Boston's systems or a little extra emphasis on sealing the deal.
Instead, Detroit surrendered a 1-goal lead with 1:44 remaining in regulation and dropped an OT decision to a Bruins team that Detroit thoroughly, thoroughly out-played for the vast, vast majority of Wednesday's game, mostly because Detroit's killer instinct remains--so far, anyway--absent in the post-Babcock era.
Had the Wings made the game 3-1 at any point during their 2nd or 3rd period dominance, they would have had the margin for error necessary to beat a Bruins team that seems to know how to hang around and hang around against them, surrendering a second goal against without fatal consequences.
But this team still believes that playing strong defense when up by all of a goal will carry the day, and as we've learned over Mike Babcock's final two or three years with the team, that's just not the case yet (and the fact that Jack Edwards had to change his pants after the win is just the icing on a shitty cake).
Of prospect-related note:
In the AHL, both Tomas Jurco and Mitch Callahan registered 2-goal games, Andy Miele and Mark Zengerle had 3-assist games and Tom McCollum stopped 28 shots as the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Iowa Wild 5-1. The Griffins' website posted a recap...
The Red Wings faced a team they hadn't defeated in 5 tries in the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, and the teams were fighting for an Altantic Division playoff spot on the American Thanksgiving playoff cut-off.
In theory, this was going to be a near-guaranteed win for a team that had taken 10 of 12 from the Wings based upon history and the plain old fact that the Wings don't line up very well against the heavy, acerbic Bruins.
In practice, the Red Wings tempted fate, and it bit them in the ass. Detroit had to rally from a 1-0 deficit to slowly and persistently generate a 2-1 lead over the Bruins, but despite out-shooting the Bruins by a massive margin and out-chancing Boston by far more than the 34-22 shot advantage or 53-33 attempt advantage, the Wings couldn't close the deal--not scoring on a late power play that could've salted the game away at 3-1--and instead, it was the Bruins who tied the game with under 2 minutes remaining, on a shot Petr Mrazek should have stopped, and scored in OT to take a 3-2 victory.
Detroit is tied with Boston in points at 25, but Boston's 12-8-and-1 record is better than Detroit's 11-8-and-3, so Detroit is in a playoff spot--a wild card spot--because they couldn't or wouldn't put the Bruins away.
If I may be frank, the Red Wings' finishing skills remain Babcockian--far too worried about playing decent defense to truly possess an offensive killer instinct--and this team has, has, has to rid itself of the, "Oh well, we'll play good defense and good things will happen" mentality in the 3rd period if it is to truly become a playoff team.
Pavel Datsyuk's 300th goal is perfectly Datsyukian:
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The Free Press's Helene St. James asked the Red Wings' North American and non-North American players about their Thanksgiving traditions:
Sports Illustrated's Sarah Barshop spoke with Mark and Marty Howe regarding their father's health, their memories of the holidays growing up and their takes on the modern game, and it's the latter part of the interview that I found most interesting:
SB: As former players, what do you think of the changes in the NHL today?
Marty: I used to be upset about all the changes in the rules and everything. I was one of the ones who, you used to control the game as players. The referees were there when things get totally out of hand, and they would call penalties. [The league tried] to go to a more finesse game and to me, it’s coming around now to where I enjoy it again. I kind of finally let it go.
I like the changes. I like the open ice. I like the guys being able to show their skill. The game is so fast now, it just happens so quick. With the five-on-five hockey, there’s not a whole lot of room out there. So being able to have the four-on-four play, and a lot of the three-on-three in overtime, I think it’s a great idea. I know from our practices, when we play 3-on-3, it just opens it up. One little mistake, it’s a breakaway, or two-on-one the other way. And if they miss, it’s two-on-one the other way.
I doubt the goalies really like the shootout part of it. It kinds of exposes them. It puts a lot of pressure on the goalies. The guy, if he misses, well, you miss. If the goalie lets it in, it’s heartbreaking for him. But I like how things have turned around, and how the game is progressing. It does let the talent show more.
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.