The Malik Report
I readily admit that I follow the men's Olympic hockey tournament from more of a "Red Wings fan's" perspective than a nationally-loyal one, so my experiencing of the jostling and pronounced gamesmanship between players, coaches and executives who are usually rooting for each other is...One of discomfort.
The CBC's Elliotte Friedman posited a set of 30 mostly Olympic-related "Thoughts" this morning, and his Red Wings-related ones noted both that one Pavel Datsyuk is taking his own approach to the unbelievably pressure-filled job that is captaining Team Russia...
12. Pavel Datsyuk on Russia’s 2010 Olympic crash: “How many years ago was that?” Answer: “Four.” Reply: “You remember that, not me.”
And he also notes that Datsyuk's status as "recovering from an injury" (Knee sprain? Groin issue? It depends on whose sources you're taking as factual, and "groin injury" could be Russian for "bruised fallopian tubes") seems to have generated some honest-to-goodness conflict--at least for the Olympics, and hopefully not for too long thereafter--between Datsyuk and his NHL employer's coach:
If you'll pardon the "thought experiment," I'm trying to shake off rust, and figured that this would be an interesting topic for discussion:
From my little corner of the world, aside from hoping to be able to exhaust myself following the Wings' ten Olympians ASAP, I find that a hockey fan's Olympic experience--at least when your team's sending representatives to multiple teams--tends to depend on the ways in which fans follow the game. What follows are examples of two ends of the hockey fan spectrum:
This is a few weeks old, but in case you weren't aware...
Red Wings Raise the stakes for charity
…Tickets Now on Sale for the Fifth Annual Detroit Red Wings Foundation Charity Poker Tournament at MotorCity Casino Hotel…
DETROIT -Only 108 fans will have the chance to go head-to-head with a Red Wings player in a game of Texas Hold’em on Monday, Feb. 24, at the Detroit Red Wings Foundation Charity Poker Tournament taking place at MotorCity Casino Hotel. Fans can reserve a seat in the tournament by making a $400 donation to the Foundation. Additional dinner seats are available to fans playing in the tournament for a $100 donation.
The AHL's All-Star Skills Competition took place on Tuesday evening (the AHL won 18-17 over Swedish SHL team Farjestads BK) and the All-Star Game itself takes place on Wednesday at 6:30 PM--and the AHL will stream Red Wings prospect Alexei Marchenko and Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill's appearance in an AHL-vs-Swedish team affair on Wednesday at 6:30 PM--but I figured "better late than never" regarding posting the Grand Rapids Griffins' weekly press release:
GRIFFINS HOST RAMPAGE FOR PAIR AFTER ALL-STAR BREAK
This Week’s Games
Tue., Feb. 11 2014 AHL All-Star Skills Competition 6:30 p.m. Fox Sports Detroit / AHLLive.com
Wed., Feb. 12 2014 AHL All-Star Classic All-Star Game 6:30 p.m. Fox Sports Detroit on Feb. 13 @ 1 p.m. (delay) / AHLLive.com
Fri., Feb. 14 San Antonio Rampage at GRIFFINS 7 p.m. WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sat., Feb. 15 San Antonio Rampage at GRIFFINS 7 p.m. WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Ansar Khan of Mlive with a report on Stephen Weiss,
“It’s easier to get around the ice and it doesn’t feel like it’s as much work as it was before,” Weiss said. “So hopefully that’s a good sign and it stays that way.”
The Red Wings have 24 games remaining and Weiss is determined to have a positive impact after a disastrous start. The club’s big free-agent acquisition (he signed for five years at $24.5 million on July 5) has just two goals and two assists in 26 games.
“I’ve been out for a while, so I got to claw my way back into the lineup and whatever role I’m given just try to do that the best I can and help the team in whatever way they want me to,” Weiss said....
“I don’t care what sport you are, when you look at an athlete, you look at what they’ve accomplished over a period of time,” Holland said. “Every athlete probably has one year that’s way better than the norm and one year worse than the norm. But there’s a lot of statistics that are somewhat similar.
“When you look at the book on Weiss, it says 48 points five of the last seven years. He’s 30, not 36. Do I think he can be that guy? Yeah. I don’t have any reason to think why he can’t be that guy. Got to get healthy and confidence is a factor.”
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings recalled forward Mikael Samuelsson from the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday and assigned right wing Tomas Jurco and center Riley Sheahan to their AHL affiliate on Saturday.
Samuelsson, 37, has skated in two games with the Griffins this season, his first AHL stint since eight appearances in the 2001-02 season with the Hartford Wolf Pack. Drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft (145th overall), Samuelsson has notched three points (1-2—3) and six penalty minutes in 26 appearances with the Wings this season. In six total seasons with Detroit, Samuelsson has produced 163 points (68-95—163) and 152 PIM from 2005-09 and 2012-14. With an NHL career spanning 12 years, Samuelsson has tallied 346 points (149-197—346) and 370 PIM in 699 games.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
“I think we’ve done a lot of good things,” coach Mike Babcock said. “I think we’re a way better team than we were. We’re way quicker. We skate, our young kids are good players. We need a few more of our veterans to be better than they’ve been and we’ll be fine.”
They have gotten a tremendous boost from young forwards Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar, each of whom has 24 points. Nyquist has nine goals in his past 10 games and 14 for the season. Tatar has 13 goals....
“It’s encouraging to see these young guys that really have taken steps in their development,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “That’s made us a faster team and a better team.”
They need more consistent play from goaltender Jimmy Howard and better defense.
If they make a move before the March 5 trade deadline, they’re more apt to pursue a top-four defenseman than a forward. But the pickings are slim, and to acquire any player the soon-to-be capped out Red Wings would need to shed an equal amount of salary. That will make it tough to deal.
If they have to make do with what they have, that’s fine by them.
“I think we’ve been playing a lot better the last 10 games, going the right way,” Zetterberg said. “Hopefully we get some guys back after the break. We’re going to have a fun run all the way into the postseason.”
What looked like a promising effort turned out to be an utter bullshit game. The Red Wings go into the Olympic break still far behind the Bolts and still in "Wild Card" instead of division playoff spots thanks to a combination of poor play during key points of the game and dreadful refereeing or the lack thereof on the game-winner--despite Jonathan Ericsson and Niklas Kronwall looking and playing inept on the Killorn goal, Ericsson's stick was held 2 separate times and Kronwall's stick was held on the goal itself (Glendening's stick being grabbed, held and tugged out of his hands by Tampa was fine though)--and as such, the Red Wings blew a pair of one-goal leads end ended up losing 4-2 to Tampa Bay on Saturday night.
Stephen Weiss will start skating with Whalers on Tues. and if all goes well will play couple games in Grand Rapids weekend of Feb. 21-23.
Riley Sheahan will be reassigned to Grand Rapids during Olympic break (next game is Friday). To be determined if he'll be back after break.
Luke Glendening said he's not eligible to play in Grand Rapids until NHL players resume skating on 2-19. He'll go to GR then and play.
added 1:31pm, Mark Masters of TSN tweets...
Babcock on staying focused before OLY break: "It takes the same amount of time to do it right as to do it wrong. We’re here anyway …"
Babcock: "We’re not going anywhere until the game’s over so why wouldn’t we play well?"
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.