The Malik Report
The Red Wings flew to Vancouver for tonight's game against the Canucks (10 PM EDT, FSD Plus/CBC/NHL Network U.S./1270 AM) somewhat remarkably sitting in fifth place in the Western Conference standings and 5 points instead of 1 point up on the Edmonton thanks to a third-period comeback and some Datsyukian thievery en route to a 3-2 OT win over the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers, who hadn't won a home game after a road trip in...A long time...Were understandably both frustrated with and a little flummoxed about the ways that the Wings unraveled their opponent, as they told the Edmonton Sun's Robert Tychkowski...
The Red Wings suffered a significant personnel loss in their 3-2 OT win over Edmonton. Kyle Quincey accidentally deflected a shot into his own face, and the team believes that his cheek might be broken, as noted by the Free Press's Helene St. James...
Quincey was hit by a puck that ramped up Quincey's stick and hit him in the face during the third period of Friday's 3-2 overtime victory over the Oilers at Rexall Place. He was well enough to walk out of the arena, but team doctors wanted him to get an X-Ray - which wasn't available at Rexall - and fear the pressure of flying would be too much for Quincey. He stayed behind in Edmonton with assistant trainer Russ Baumann,
"We don't want him to fly in case he's got something broken," general manager Ken Holland said. "We'll find out in the morning."
Updated at 12:28 AM: The news on Kyle Quincey's cheek is not good. The Detroit Red Wings looked down, out and plain old lost afer giving up first and second goals against the Edmonton Oilers (see: Taylor Hall splits everyone, and Jonathan Ericsson's stick getting grabbed yields an easy rebound tap-in for Sam Gagner). The team seemed out of sorts, skating on the wrong side of the puck and puck battles in every zone, back-passing and deking and dangling themselves into oblivion for the first 40 minutes of the game.
But something must have been said by someone during the second intermission, because the Wings woke up, and all of a sudden, the winless-after-a-road-trip Oilers were in a world of hurt. After giving up 26 shots over the first 40 minutes, the Wings out-shot Edmonton 12-6 in the 3rd period and got a gorgeous 2-1 goal from Valtteri Filppula, and kept pressing until a second power play's worth of chances resulted in a circle and drag by Henrik Zetterberg, a drop pass to Niklas Kronwall and perhaps the most beautiful goal Jeff Petry will ever score for the Red Wings. All of a sudden, with 5:53 left in the 3rd period, things were tied.
Pretty spiffy stuff: the Red Wings never had a strength and conditioning coach during their Cup-winning heydays of the late 90's and early 00's, but toward the end of Chris Chelios and Kris Draper's tenures with the team, the training staff realized that they could use a non-player's brain to pick in their attempts to keep the Wings ahead of the NHL's fitness curve.
Pete Renzetti now takes care of both the Wings' prospects and prime time players' fitness needs, and Fox Sports Detroit's Justin White took part in a workoud that's specifically designed to address players' needs to efficiently work out without pushing themselves to the point of fatigue given this year's condensed schedule:
Updated 7x with something of a Wings-Canucks preview at 8:04 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to rebound from an ugly loss to Calgary as they prepare for a 2-games-in-2-nights slate starting tonight against the Edmonton Oilers (9:30 PM EDT, FSD/Sportsnet West/97.1 FM), while the Oilers are hoping to end an 0-for-coming-home-from-a-road-trip winless jinx.
Edmonton comes into tonight's game having completed a 9-game road trip with wins over Chicago and Colorado, and while they sit in 13th place in the Western Conference, their 25 points are only 5 behind the now-9th-place Wings.
Not much happened during the Oilers' morning skate, at least initially...
Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea states the obvious to some extent in reporting that the Red Wings' move to an Eastern time zone-centered conference next season will significantly bolster Fox Sports Detroit's bottom line. Fewer 9:30 and 10:30 PM starts yield bigger ratings and better rates for commercials, and Fox Sports Detroit's vice-president confirms as much:
"We anticipate more games against some great Original Six opponents in some great time slots leading to even stronger Red Wings viewership all across Michigan. Higher viewership leads to more valuable advertising opportunities for our sponsors," said Greg Hammaren, Fox Sports Detroit's vice president and general manager, via email earlier this week, before the NHL approved the realignment.
Detroit's move will mean more games played at 7 or 8 p.m. Thirteen of the team's 82 games last season began at 9 p.m. EST or later, including seven after 10 p.m. The current lockout-shortened schedule has Detroit playing 12 games that begin at 9 p.m. or later. Eight begin at 10 or 10:30 p.m.
When the ratings go up, FSD can charge more for advertising...
If you weren't already aware that the Red Wings are holding their annual Toast of Hockeytown on Monday, here's an "FYI" of sorts from the Wings' PR department:
13TH ANNUAL TOAST OF HOCKEYTOWN TO TAKE PLACE MONDAY … Limited Tickets are Still Available for the March 18 On-Ice Event at JLA …
Detroit, Mich. - The 13th Annual Toast of Hockeytown presented by ITC Holdings, Corp. will be held on Monday, March 18, from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. The event benefits the Detroit Red Wings Foundation and will take place on the covered ice of Joe Louis Arena. A limited number of tickets remain and are available by calling 313-396-7579.
Fans can look forward to mingling with the entire Red Wings team, alumni and other local celebrities, while listening to the sounds of nine-piece band Persuasion and enjoying delectable foods and desserts. The event will feature over 70 different wines from Italy, Spain, France, California and Michigan.
The popular live and silent auction will offer guests the opportunity to bid on once-in-a-lifetime sports experiences including a trip with the Wings on Red Bird III, a two-day Porsche driving school experience, exclusive autographed Wings memorabilia and other unique items. The Detroit Red Wings Foundation would like to thank all the local companies that have supported this event, including associate sponsors PNC Bank and Porsche of The Motor City.
The Detroit Red Wings face a literal and figurative uphill battle as they hope to salvage their Western Canadian swing starting tonight against the Edmonton Oilers (9:30 PM EDT, FSD/Sportsnet West/97.1 FM) and continuing tomorrow against the Vancouver Canucks (10 PM EDT, FSD Plus/CBC/NHL Network U.S./1270 AM).
Thanks to their 5-2 loss to Calgary, the Wings now sit in 9th place in the West with 29 points, only 4 ahead of the 13th-place Oilers--but they're also only 3 points behind the 3rd-place Canucks--and the 12-10-and-5 Wings really are at a point where the vast majority of their remaining 21 games are must-wins, lest they have to start relying on "help" from other teams to make the playoff cut.
The Oilers might already be in that situation, but they're returning from a massive 9-game road trip which concluded with a 6-5 win over Chicago on Sunday and a 4-0 win over Colorado on Tuesda. The Oilers addressed their desire to get back to taking care of business at home with the Edmonton Journal's Joanne Ireland...
The Oilers netted eight out of a possible 18 points in the club’s longest road trip in franchise history, which was one win off the goal. The team also hit rock bottom after they were thumped 6-0 by the Nashville Predators, but did respond with a 6-5 win over the Blackhawks and a 4-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
I didn't expect MLive's Ansar Khan's report about the Red Wings and Jimmy Howard talking contract turkey to yield an immediate result, and TSN's Aaron Ward reports that the Wings and Howard's agent are still taking part in a slow contractual dance...And an intermittent one at that:
No surprise here.
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.