The Malik Report
I'm going to allow you to guess who's speaking with the New York Post's Larry Brooks. There are times when intent is no excuse:
“I’ve always said the same thing: What happened on the ice, it happened on the ice,” he said. “If you attack my family verbally or physically, that’s personal. What happened during those games was not personal.
“Gord Kluzak broke my face in Boston. I never took it personally,” said Lemieux, an essential piece of two of the Devils’ Cup teams and with whom he won the 1995 Conn Smythe. “That’s how I am.
“Kris and I have talked a couple of times since then. We’ve run into each other (Author’s note: not literally) and have had nice chats. I’ve done a few autograph sessions with McCarty,” he said. “So really, it’s not an issue.
“You take the emotion out of it from back then, and at the end of the day, we were all just trying to do what we did best. Kris was a really good player. At the end, everybody is just a good guy.”
Brooks continues, and perhaps Claude is a better man than I, because I believe that certain things are not forgivable, and a LOT of what happened on the ice during those games was very, very personal.
Kris Draper, to Fox Sports Detroit: "It's funny, you're not supposed to use the word 'hate,' but I think any time you talk about Colorado-Detroit, the first thing you talk about is how much we hated that hockey team. Didn't like them at all. You kind of, you walk in, walk into their building and you kind of feel the hatred right away, and I'm sure that when they walked through Joe Louis Arena they felt it right away, and that goes to the fans, the gray coats, to the concessions, you name it, everyone was ready for the games no matter when Colorado and Detroit played in the late 90's and early 2000's."
The Red Wings were mired in a 4-game road losing streak heading into Saturday night's game against the Ottawa Senators, a team that they could either say goodbye to in terms of the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division standings or end up leading by only 5 points, depending on the outcome of the game.
Minus Dylan Larkin (illness), the Red Wings' lineup looked a little different...
Pulkkinen was, as per usual, a non-factor.
The Red Wings got a fine effort from Petr Mrazek, who stopped 25 of 27 shots, and Detroit capitalized on Ottawa's mistakes via 2 unassisted goals...
But Detroit made mistakes of their own, and weren't helped by the official (1; Tom Kowal got whatever was ailing Larkin after 1 period) as the Senators slashed, grabbed, hacked and hooked their way to a game-tying goal in which Tomas Tatar was blatantly tripped as he passed the puck inadvertently to Dion Phaneuf, who tied the game with 3:51 remaining...
But the Wings had their chances, the Wings got away with crap due to the wrestle-happy standard of officiating as well, and Detroit was unable to score on the power play, in overtime or during the shootout, giving Craig Anderson a relatively easy time over the game's final 25 + 3 shooters, losing 3-2 in a shootout.
Detroit is now 6 points ahead of Ottawa, tied with Tampa Bay and Boston for the 3rd Atlantic Division playoff spot, and Detroit faces the New York Rangers--minus a morning skate for either teams as MSG's ice surface will be booked for a basketball game at 1 PM--tomorrow at 7 on NBCSN.
From DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose and the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:
Brendan Shanahan is the latest former Detroit Red Wing who has committed to play in the NHL Stadium Series Alumni Game against the Colorado Avalanche at Coors Field on Friday, Kris Draper confirmed to M-Live.
from Bill Roose of the Wings' website,
Pulkkinen has been a healthy scratch for the past eight games. He has six goals and six assists in 29 games this season.
“I like him lots as a player,” Blashill said. “We’ve got different players in different roles. There’s certain guys you got to have as penalty killers, got to have guys that bring energy to your team, got to have physicality. I think Teemu is a real good player and I think ultimately he’ll score goals in the NHL. He scored to some degree so far. The more he scores the more he’ll play in that sense. But he’s got to do it in a complete game.
“I got lots of belief in Teemu. I got no problem putting him in here tonight and expecting him to be great tonight.”
Sitting and watching games from the press box has been frustrating, Pulkkinen said, but he’s remained positive.
“Everybody wants to play, so when you’re not playing, you’re not kind of happy,” he said. “This is pro hockey and there’s only a number of guys who can dress and some guys have to sit.
“Just work out hard. Be ready for every day. There’s not much you can do. You can just stay positive and work hard.”
more plus other Detroit notes...
The Red Wings face the Ottawa Senators this evening (7 PM EST on FSD/TVA Sports/City/97.1 FM) hoping to snap a 4-game road winless streak; in terms of the standings, the Wings need to push the Senators back as Detroit could either end tonight's game up 9 points or 5 points ahead of Ottawa.
The Senators took to the ice at the Canadian Tire Centre at 10:15 AM, per the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch...
Tonight is the 1,800th game in franchise history. The club is 811-751-115-122 in 1,799 games. #Sens
Borowiecki on the ice this AM. #Sens
Daniel Alfredsson out here to work with the players this AM. #Sens
Hoffman-Turris-Stone; Dzingel-Zibanejad-Ryan; Smith-Pageau-Neil and Paul-Lazar-Chiasson. #Sens
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Henrik Zetterberg left Canadian Tire Centre making plans for lunch. So did several Detroit Red Wings teammates.
Some, including Pavel Datsyuk, spent the early afternoon partaking in an optional practice, others opted for off-ice workouts, then a good meal. But one thing was different: A meeting that lasted double the usual seven-to-eight minutes. The coaching staff spent much of it on video.
"It's just showing stuff we need to improve on," Justin Abdelkader said. "Giving up five goals is not the style and the type of play that is going to move us forward. We've got to be better, have better attention to detail. We've got 24 games left, so it's a sprint to the finish here."
Petr Mrazek will be back in net for Saturday's game against the Ottawa Senators. Mrazek has allowed 10 goals his last two starts, but no one lacks confidence in the young goaltender.
via Helene St. James tweets,
Red Wings held longer meeting than usual before today's practice, players and coaches.
Was an optional practice for Red Wings. Pavel Datsyuk still hit the ice
via Bill Roose tweet,
The #RedWings are skating in Ottawa. No sign of Zetterberg, Richards, Quincey and Helm. Likely a maintenance day. Kronwall is skating.
Helene St. James tweets, saying Blashill announces Mrazek in net tomorrow and also says hasn't decided on lineup, but all players who played yesterday are available.
Ansar Khan of Mlive answers questions from the fans...
Q: I was wondering about Teemu Pulkkinen. Is it just a numbers game as to why he isn't in the lineup or are there some other issues keeping him from playing more? I've heard that he may not have the best work ethic but with the team struggling to score goals (especially before the last few games) I would think they would want his big shot in the lineup.
A: There is no room for Pulkkinen in the top six, where his ability is best suited. Jeff Blashill believes he has better options for the top two lines. They tried Pulkkinen on the fourth line for a few games but that didn''t work. That leaves the third line. It basically comes down to Pulkkinen or Tomas Jurco and right now Blashill prefers Jurco. He said he wants to give Jurco an extended opportunity instead of alternating him with Pulkkinen, and Jurco had a decent game in Pittsburgh.
Also, despite Andreas Athanasiou's limited minutes, Blashill likes the speed element he brings and his ability to kill penalties.
Other than Jurco or Athanasiou, I don't see Pulkkinen replacing anyone else in the lineup. So he might need to wait for an injury to get back in there.
Q: Think the Wings get in on any of the marquee free agents in the summer? Some team is going to sign (Steven Stamkos) to the league max with money and term if he gets to free agency. Do the Wings have a chance?
A: I highly doubt it. I think Stamkos will either re-sign with Tampa Bay or bolt for Toronto. I don't think he's worth the league maximum (20 percent of the upper salary-cap limit). I'd rather have two quality players making $5 million each than Stamkos for $10-12 million.
I could see the Red Wings, depending on their cap space, exploring the possibility of adding a decent-sized forward in free agency. Andrew Ladd (Winnipeg), David Backes (St. Louis), Milan Lucic (Los Angeles) and Eric Staal (Carolina) are among those slated to hit the market, though a couple might re-sign with their current club.
continue for more Q & A...
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
"I didn't think we were good enough defensively," said coach Jeff Blashill. "I didn't think as a five-man unit we weren't even close. We cannot play that way and have long-term success.
"I thought we were way too loose, we gave up way too many chances. Certainly credit to them, they played really well but I focus on our team. I thought it was our weakest five-man unit defensively we've had in a while."
In Mrazek's last start, the Red Wings beat the Boston Bruins 6-5 to complete a homestand that saw them earn nine of a possible 10 points.
Blashill thought Mrazek was better against the Penguins than he was vs. the Bruins, when he faced just 22 shots.
"I thought he was fine tonight," Blashill said. "I thought the other night he was a bit off. He would tell you that as well. Tonight I didn't see that. The only thing is making sure his crease management is real good, where he doesn't get too far out of the cage, so he can continue to battle for all those rebound goals.
"But I just think – I don't care who's in the net – you can't play that way defensively and have long-term success."
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.