The Malik Report
The Grand Rapids Griffins' practice preceded that of the Red Wings, and, well...
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. ESPN's Pierre LeBrun took part in a "Morning 3-on-3" discussion regarding the best goaltending tandem in the NHL, and he offered a surprising suggestion:
But to answer your question, I think it's hard to beat the 1-2 punch for the Detroit Red Wings, no? For my money, Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek are both No. 1 goalies. Their battle will be a key one to watch, but I also think it's a healthy one for the Red Wings.
2. MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with the Red Wings about their desire to improve their puck possession...
From the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:
Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist may not be a horse-racing aficionado but he understands enough to realize that his namesake is a stud.
“I saw it a few weeks ago when he won some big tournament,” Nyquist said of Nyquist, the undefeated two-year-colt owned by Windsor’s Paul Reddam.
That “tournament,” as Nyquist called it, was actually the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity, which Nyquist won going away by 3 ¼ lengths.
Nyquist has won all four of his rookie starts, banking $513,600, also showing victories in the Front Runner and Best Pal Stakes, leaving both his owner and his namesake bubbling with excitement and optimism.
“Hopefully the horse keeps running fast,” said Nyquist, a hope he shares with Reddam.
“He has run four times and won every start,” Reddam said. “The real test will come in the (Oct. 31 $2 million) Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but we’re expecting big things so hopefully we’re not wrong.”
Brad Richards and Tomas Tatar, who had good chemistry in the preseason, have yet to score a goal (each has two assists). So now, Tatar will play with Riley Sheahan and Gustav Nyquist, a combination that worked well two years ago. Richards will center Darren Helm and Teemu Pulkkinen. There is no need to tinker with the top line of Henrik Zetterberg, Justin Abdelkader and Dylan Larkin, who have eight goals and 20 points.
"I think we need to play better as a group a little bit," Blashill said. "Z's like has been productive ... but we need more out of more lines. We're just trying to find the right combination, the right chemistry, so we'll go with this and see how it goes."
The Red Wings start a three-game trip to Western Canada Wednesday in Edmonton (9:30, Fox Sports Detroit).
Tatar, who led the team with 29 goals in 2014-15, has managed only five shots.
"Our whole line, we didn't produce much," Tatar said. "The first line, they're playing really good, they're carrying us. The other lines got to get a little more involved. Just play more simple. If things don't go good for you, you have to shoot the puck more, try shooting it from the net-best position just to try to get it going."
But Tatar, who had just one point (a goal) in his first nine games last season, added: "It's a long season; it's just the start so I'm not really worried about it."
The Red Wings didn't practice until after 3 PM today, but there was a good sign before practice, per DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:
From the Grand Rapids Griffins:
TIP-A-GRIFFIN RETURNS ON OCT. 27
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins usually look for tips near the net, but on Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 6-8 p.m., they’ll exchange their jerseys for aprons in an evening of serving appetizers, entrees and beverages to patrons at Uccello’s Ristorante, in the return of the team’s popular Tip-A-Griffin fundraiser.
Griffins players, coaches and hockey staff will visit all five Uccello’s locations in West Michigan to serve and wait tables, with donations and raffle proceeds benefiting the Griffins Youth Foundation. In its previous eight editions, Tip-A-Griffin raised nearly $77,000 for various local charities..
You and I already know this, but Sportsnet's Damien Cox has weighed in on Johan Franzen's future, and it's a murky one:
The Red Wings were leery, but hopeful, about Johan Franzen’s comeback attempt from concussion problems this season, and now there’s great concern the The Mule’s career may be over.
GM Ken Holland will only say Franzen is out “indefinitely” after feeling concussion symptoms after practice last week, and that he is primarily concerned with Franzen’s long-term health and his family moving forward.
The Wings, with a growing group of young forward prospects in the system, weren’t exactly counting on Franzen, but he would have provided a nice bridge as those young players mature.
Per the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:
“Right now the number one thing from my perspective is that Johan has a wife and a family,” the Wings general manager said in a phone interview. “If he gets to a place in his life where he wakes up every day and feels good about himself and feels good about facing the day … but right now he’s not there. I think that’s the most important thing before there’s even any contemplation of returning to play hockey.”
The NHL argued that this goal was legal...
But TSN's Kerry Fraser says that the goal shouldn't have counted, and Fraser uses frame-by-frame analysis to drive home his point:
While this play was not a violation of Rule 49.2 - kicking/goals - it is a violation of Rule 69 - goalkeeper interference - (incidental contact with goalkeeper inside his crease resulting in a goal is to be disallowed.)
Gallagher's potential goal should have been disallowed by the referee or through a conference of the officials that followed for goalkeeper interference. Once that definitive call was not made on the ice, the video review process took over and was only able to render a decision with regard to a potential kicked puck. The official announcement made by the referee did not bring clarity to the ultimate video review decision but instead created confusion.
You might recall that I made reference to the inability for the referee(s) to initiate a review in my first column of the season. I felt there would be times when the officials might require a second look at a play of this nature through a replay, especially when a team had lost or used their timeout and couldn't initiate a challenge. This play is a perfect example of when a referee should be able to initiate a review of his own instead of conferencing at the time keeper's bench prior to throwing the play upstairs.
Had the referees been afforded the benefit of looking at the replay, I'm quite certain they would rightly determine (as I demonstrated above) that the puck did not enter the net in a legal fashion before contact and the goal would most likely have been disallowed.
Here are your noontime news items of Red Wings-related note:
OCTOBER 19 – DYLAN LARKIN
Despite the Red Wings’ pair of losses since over the weekend, there have been two Detroit players that have recorded at least one point in each of the team’s five games so far to open the 2015-16 campaign: Henrik Zetterberg and the captain’s rookie linemate Dylan Larkin. On Friday, just 46 seconds after Carolina extended its lead to 5-2, Larkin took a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that Teemu Pulkkinen tipped home to make it a 5-3 game, which would end up being the final score. That marked Larkin’s fourth helper of the young season. In Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of Montreal, Larkin scored the Red Wings’ only goal, albeit an odd one. From the Montreal corner, Zetterberg tried to find Justin Abdelkader in the slot, but the puck was tipped away to Larkin instead. He cut down the right side and took a low backhand shot that banked off the inside of Carey Price’s pad and in for Larkin’s second of the season.
In the FYI department, the Henrik Zetterberg foundation's trying to raise funds to improve the Clark Park hockey rink:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Here are five things to watch this week:
1. First look at McDavid
The Red Wings will face Connor McDavid, the NHL's top overall pick in this year's draft, Wednesday in Edmonton. He had a three-point game (two goals, assist) in the Oilers' first win (5-2 over Calgary on Saturday) after four losses to open the season under Todd McLellan, the former Red Wings assistant coach and San Jose Sharks head coach.
McDavid, in six games, leads the team with three goals and five points, one point less than Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin.
The Red Wings have dominated the Oilers over the past decade. Detroit has won eight in a row since Feb. 4, 2012, and is 15-0-2 vs. Edmonton dating back to Dec. 3, 2009, the Oilers' most recent regulation win in the series (4-1). The Red Wings are 22-1-7 in their past 30 against the Oilers and 30-2-11-4 (W-L-OTL-T) in their past 47 vs. Edmonton.
On the road, Detroit is 9-0-5 in its past 14 vs. Edmonton. Petr Mrazek will start in goal.
2. Tatar looks to get untracked
Tomas Tatar, who led the team with 29 goals in 2014-15, has no goals and two assists in five games. He has recorded only five shots and hasn't meshed yet with center Brad Richards (no goals, two assists).
Tatar got off to a slow start last season as well, with just one point (a goal) in his first nine games.
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.