The Malik Report
The Grand Rapids Griffins had to rally for a comeback win against the Texas Stars last night, but there was no need to do so en route to the team's 14th straight win.
On Saturday night, Antony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou (who potted a Gordie Howe hat trick), Tomas Nosek and Andy Miele had a goal and an assist apiece, Martin Frk had a goal and 2 assists, Daniel Cleary had 2 assists and Jared Coreau stopped 28 of 29 shots as the Griffins defeated the Texas Stars 6-1. The Griffins' website posted a recap:
The 16-9-and-7 Red Wings face a particularly stiff task in snapping their 3-game winless streak against the 15-15-and-2 Calgary Flames this evening (7 PM EST on FSD/Sportsnet/97.1 FM).
The Flames ended a 7-game winning streak in the form of a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, and while they started slowly, they nearly rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the 3rd period, scoring 2 goals.
Ater the game, Flames captain Mark Giordano was blunt while speaking with the Associated Press:
The loss snapped a seven-game win streak for the Flames (15-15-2), who were 7-0 in December after going 3-8-1 in October and 5-6-1 in November. Calgary, which fell to 5-10-2 on the road, finishes off a four-game road trip on Sunday in Detroit.
"The positive is we've won seven in a row before tonight and lost one game," Giordano said. "Now we have an opportunity tomorrow to finish three-and-one on this road trip which is a big road trip for us. We've got to come out tomorrow ready to play, better off the hop. It starts with me."
NHL.com's Louie Korac will pick up the game narrative from there:
From the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:
MLive's Ansar Khan confirms:
The Grand Rapids Griffins did something very clever for "Lego Night" at Van Andel Arena, showing four stop-motion videos of Lego and OYO figures (Anthony Mantha was the figure given away on Saturday night) on a hockey rink. The Griffins happened to defeat the Texas Stars 6-1 to win their 14th game, too, and Mantha had a goal and an assist.
The Griffins started with their game preview...
And continued with their game intro...
Updated 2x at 6 PM: As noted in the practice Tweet post, the Red Wings may be without the services of Jonathan Ericsson (upper-body) and Henrik Zetterberg (lower-body) against the Calgary Flames tomorrow night (7 PM EDT on FSD/Sportsnet). Either way, the Red Wings will be recalling a forward and a defenseman from Grand Rapids after the Griffins' game against Texas tonight as the NHL's Christmas roster freeze hits at midnight.
MLive's Ansar Khan confirms in text form:
"(Ericsson) might be out tomorrow. We'll evaluate it tomorrow," coach Jeff Blashill said. "Happened late in the third. I didn't know about it until after the game. Right now it's day-to-day, but it might change. When I was told this morning, it was day-to-day for now. I think those things change depending on how he reacts."
Blashill said of Zetterberg: "We hope he's good to go tomorrow but I don't know that for sure."
If Ericsson can't play, Jakub Kindl will get his opportunity to shine:
The Wings hit the ice for practice at Joe Louis Arena just after noon, hoping to rebound from last night's shootout loss to Vancouver.
MLive's Ansar Khan reported slightly distressing news...
#RedWings on ice for practice. Ericsson only player who played last night who isn't skating.
Kindl playing tomorrow? He's practicing on the power play on unit with Green, Datsyuk, Richards and Tatar, though there's no net front guy.
Marek Tvrdon has been incredibly unhappy in the ECHL, and he's made his comments known to the Slovak media. It appears that the Red Wings are going to cut ties with Tvrdon and allow him to return to Europe to continue his professional career:
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Adam Oates regarding his long weekend consulting with the Red Wings:
Oates watched Friday's 4-3 shoot-out loss to the Vancouver Canucks from the press box, afterwards making his way down to the coaches' offices. Oates will also be at Sunday's game against Calgary.
Oates told the Detroit Free Press the seed was planted when the Wings were in St. Louis last month. Oates said he ran into Wings general manager Ken Holland, and that led to this weekend.
Oates declined to say if he is being asked to observe anything specific, but the power play makes sense, given his expertise. The Wings went 0-for-3 with four shots during the 4-3 shootout loss to the Canucks.
2. St. James also noted this comment from Henrik Zetterberg, made after the Wings' 4-3 shootout loss to Vancouver:
The Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that Griffins forward Mitch Callahan's had jaw surgery after taking a puck in the face again:
The Grand Rapids Griffins' fifth-year right winger was struck in the mouth during a light practice Friday and will be out for an undetermined amount of time.
"One of my teeth went flying out and it was bleeding pretty heavy," Callahan said in a text message Saturday morning. "But I'm about set to leave the hospital and be back in my own bed."
Callahan underwent surgery Friday night and had a metal plate inserted and his jaw wired shut. It occurred on the opposite side of where he was hit in 2014, he said.
Callahan said a shot was deflected off a stick and hit him in the lip and lower jaw.
As for how long he might be out, Callahan said in a text, "it's looking like four to six weeks, with my mouth wired shut for two."
The Red Wings managed to earn a point in Friday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks despite themselves--and they played really, really badly for the vast majority of the game, so a point out of the mess that Detroit made...
It sure as hell didn't feel like a victory, but getting anything out of Friday was a sort of "win."
Both teams were feeling self-reflective after the game, and for the Canucks, salvaging their first win out of 4 games was a figurative and literal relief, as they told the Vancouver Sun's Iain MacIntyre:
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