The Malik Report
Updated 13x at 2:57 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face a near-must-win situation as they hope to eliminate the Chicago Blackhawks tonight (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/CBC/97.1 FM, post-game on FSD) and avoid a winner-take-all Game 7 situation on Wednesday evening.
If we are to believe what the Blackhawks' players and coach claimed on Sunday afternoon, the Blackhawks may have "their backs against the wall," but they are in fact the underdogs that no one believes in, and as such, it's the Red Wings with everything to lose tonight.
I don't buy that bullshit for a minute, nor do I buy the concept that the Hawks have "all the momentum" going into tonight's game, but I'm also the one suggesting that the Wings bring their knives to a gunfight.
In any case, Sportsline's Brian Stubits offered an outside take on what's at stake this evening...
FYI for those of you enrolled in middle school, high school or college who are looking to spend Monday night at the Joe:
The Detroit Red Wings don't necessarily have to win Game 6 tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks (8 PM EDT, NBCSN/CBC/97.1 FM, post-game on Fox Sports Detroit), but between dropping Game 5 in rather dreadful fashion and the fact that the Wings taught the Anaheim Ducks a stiff lesson about the fact that a "winner-take-all Game 7" situation is dangerous (never mind the fact that it would take place on Wednesday, a day after the Sharks and Kings settle their series), this game is as close to a must-win for a team still in command of its series as a Game 6 can get...
In no small part because the Chicago Blackhawks insist that they've got all the momentum and none of the pressure on their shoulders going into tonight's game, and because I believe that the Hawks believe a statement issued by CBS Chicago's Adam Hoge after Game 5:
Take this for what you will, from the NHL:
NHL ANNOUNCES STARTING TIMES FOR POTENTIAL GAME 7s IN BOTH 2013 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
NEW YORK (May 26, 2013) – The National Hockey League announced today the starting times and broadcast information for the two potential Game 7s in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals.
The starting time for a potential Game 7 of the series between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks, if necessary, has been set for 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Tuesday, May 28, in Los Angeles. In the U.S., the game would be televised by NBC Sports Network. In Canada, the game would be televised by TSN and RDS.
The starting time for a potential Game 7 of the series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, if necessary, has been set for 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on Wednesday, May 29, in Chicago. In the U.S., the game would be televised by NBC Sports Network. In Canada, the game would be televised by CBC and RDS.
Updated 2x with video, and Frk was named to the tournament's All-Star team: News is still rolling in on this one so highlights will eventually be added, but Red Wings prospect Martin Frk registered a goal and an assist as the Halifax Mooseheads defeated the Portland Winterhawks 6-4 in the Memorial Cup Final, allowing the QMJHL-champion Mooseheads to capture Major Junior Hockey's most prestigious trophy.
The Canadian Press, NHL.com's Adam Kimelman, Yahoo Sports' Cam Charron, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald's Wily Pavlov, the Halifax Metro News's Andrew Rankin, the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix's Daniel Nugent-Bowman and the London Free Press's Ryan Pyette (with a story-embedded 36-image photo gallery) all provide early recaps, and Sportsnet has posted an auto-play clip in which R.J. Broadhead and Sam Cosentino praise the play of Nathan McKinnon, one of Frk's linemates, and Nathan Drouin praised Frk in his one-on-one interview.
Updated 16x at 5:14 PM: The day after the Detroit Red Wings dropped a 4-1 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Wings doubtlessly gathered at Joe Louis Arena with more "even-keel" comments in mind as they prepare for Game 6 on Monday (8 PM, NBCSN/CBC/97.1, with a post-game show on Fox Sports Detroit), but the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa reports that the coaching staff rather wisely decided to maximize its players' recovery time instead of skating the players into the ground in the middle of playing what will be three games over the course of five nights as of Memorial Day:
While we await the Red Wings' Sunday practice (turns out that it's an "optional," per the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa: more on it soon) subsequent to the Wings' 4-1 loss to Chicago in Game 5 of the teams' second-round series, some intriguing Tweets regarding playoff scheduling and TV ratings popped up...
The Detroit Red Wings played a poor game in losing Game 5 of their second-round series to the Chicago Blackhawks by a 4-1 tally, and, as noted in the multimedia post, the Wings and their coach made no excuses for what was unacceptable play.
The Wings have gotten worse in games 4 and 5 while the Blackhawks have gotten better, having registered 73 shots on Jimmy Howard, including 45 on Saturday; the Hawks were 2-for-3 on the power play, the Wings haven't answered Chicago's lineup changes both up front and on defense, and the Hawks' physical play, regardless of whether it is "clean" or dirty, has backed the Wings off the puck against a team that thrives on puck possession hockey, it's completely disrupted the Wings' transition game and forecheck, and it's given the Hawks the "time and space" to deke, dangle, cycle and score on the otherwise heroic Howard.
As I said in the multimedia post, the Wings go into Game 6 needing to play a smarter, more poised game against a nut that is cracked, but has yet to shatter, and the Wings' captain, the Wings' coach and their players must answer Chicago's desperation and determination stride-for-stride on Monday (Game 6 starts at 8 PM and will air on NBCSN and the CBC, with Fox Sports Detroit airing a post-game show), lest this series boil down to a winner-take-all Game 7 on Wednesday.
Just as the Free Press's Helene St. James' excellent profile of Joakim Andersson nearly got lost in the shuffle of the Wings and Hawks' Game 4 stories, St. James got one helluva scoop prior to the Red Wings' 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the form of an interview with Wings GM Ken Holland, regarding his decision to stand pat with the team's current roster at the trade deadline.
Holland also addressed the issue to some extent in an interview with Hockey Night in Canada's Cassie Campbell, also addressing Pavel Datsyuk's situation and stating that he did indeed meet with Pavel Datsyuk's agent, Gary Greenstin (albeit briefly), in Chicago on Saturday night...And addressing Jimmy Howard's contract extension...
But St. James both drops some, "The Wings were interested in" trade deadline-in-retrospect bombshells and asks Holland why he chose to put his faith on a roster that is "rebuilding on the fly":
I've got KK to myself tonight, and as such, while I've already posted a multimedia post in addition to a quick take on the Red Wings' 4-1 loss to Chicago, Hockey Night in Canada's Cassie Campbell posited a profile of Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg, and for Wings fans, it's wonderful, must-watch video in which a man who's had to live up to the legacies of Nicklas Lidstrom and Steve Yzerman does just that...
Through the same quiet determination and lead-by-example style that his predecessors taught to him. Zetterberg learned from the best, and that's why he's one of the best today.
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.