The Malik Report
Imagine oil and water being inducted in the same Hall of Fame class.
OK, strike that: Imagine oil and a bag of rusty nails that will make you bleed if you even look at them the wrong way being inducted in the same Hall of Fame class ...
That’s essentially defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, medium build machine-like hockey deity who spent 1,564 games with the Detroit Red Wings; and fellow defenseman Chris Pronger, 6-foot-6 blunt instrument of destruction who intimidated the NHL in 1,167 games with five franchises – six if you count the fact that he’s not yet retired and the Arizona Coyotes control hold his contract.
Yet there they were, under the stained glass dome of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, accepting their Class of 2015 rings, having reached this unmatched level of individual achievement in the NHL through two divergent very paths.
Wyshynski continues at extended length...
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
In the Hockey Hall of Fame category, NHL.com's Dan Rosen tells the tale of how the Wings "found" Nicklas Lidstrom...
[Christer] Rockstrom discovered Lidstrom through contacts in Vasteras. He mentioned his discovery to Neil Smith, then Red Wings chief amateur scout. They made a pact not to say anything to anyone outside their inner circle, which included general manager Jim Devallano and Holland. They even had to ward off agent Don Meehan, one of the top power brokers in the game, from talking about Lidstrom to other teams.
"Donnie said to me, 'Do you know a kid in Sweden named Lidster?'" Smith said. "And I said, 'Lidster? I don't know Lidster. Doug Lidster?' He said, 'No, no, Lidstrom.' I go, 'No, I don't know any kid named Lidstrom.' Well, I've known Donnie forever and he goes, 'Neil, come on.' So I said, 'OK Donnie, but don't you tell anybody about him.'"
Smith said he told Meehan not to bring Lidstrom to the draft in Minneapolis out of fear someone would see him, figure out who he was, and get curious.
"Christer wanted it to be a secret that I had a lot of potential," Lidstrom said.
Word never got out. How could it?
New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (Sweden): "For a goalie to have a defenseman that's so calm and mentally in the right place, it calms you down. He's always making good decisions, good reads, and then you got to know him off the ice and it all made sense. He always seemed to be focused, but relaxed. He's a smart guy, and very humble. I think it struck me just how calm he is."
Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (Sweden): "I understand why they call him 'The Perfect Human,' because that's what he is. Such a pro. Smooth at everything. Nick is unbelievable."
Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (Sweden): "My main memory from him is probably the '06 Olympics, when he scored the game-winning goal in the final. When I was young, it's not that long ago, but the coverage wasn't the same. We didn't get the same info and coverage of games throughout the year, so for me I didn't really watch that much hockey other than Swedish hockey. It was more when I came over here that I realized how good he was and how good he'd been for a long time. I think not only the stats show that, but I think if you ask pretty much anyone who's played with him or against him, they would all say the same thing: He did a lot for the game and he did a lot for Swedish hockey players growing up. Kids like me. That's the reason why people start playing hockey."
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman: "He never looked down, always had his head up. He was moving the blue line with his head up. He never looked down at the puck. That's hard, way harder than it looks. Just to be able to control the puck, walk the blue line, find a lane, take a slapper, and rarely get a shot blocked. He just made everything look so easy. Smooth."
many more in the hockey world on Nick Lidstrom...
A win is a win.
Of Hockey Hall of Fame and other Red Wings-related note:
The Toronto Star's Kevin McGran chose to frame the Hockey Hall of Fame's 2015 class's induction as follows:
To Nicklas Lidstrom, it’s special that he and Sergei Fedorov are going into the Hockey Hall of Fame together.
To Fedorov, it was inevitable.
“Being roommates for a long time, playing on the power play with him a lot, playing penalty kill with him a lot too, we can’t leave each other’s side,” said Fedorov. “It had to happen.”
Lidstrom and Fedorov received their Hall of Fame rings on Friday, the first event of a busy Hall of Fame weekend, along with Phil Housley, Chris Pronger, Angela Ruggiero and builders Bill Hay and Peter Karmanos.
“It’s special to go in with Sergei . . . we were teammates for such a long time and it’s special because we had success, too,” said Lidstrom.
The Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger chose to discuss the "Red Wings Wing" of the Hockey Hall of Fame...
The Red Wings' 3-2 overtime win over the Toronto Maple Leafs was a strange one to say the least. The Red Wings flew back to Metro Detroit for Sunday's matinee against Dallas and Tuesday's tilt against Washington perhaps having stolen a point, and perhaps having gifted one to Toronto...
But at this point, 13 games in, and minus Quincey, Green, Datsyuk and, for two thirds of the game, Landon Ferraro--oh, and a power play, too--the Red Wings seem to need all the help they can get generating and sustaining forward momentum, and as Detroit got out-shot, out-attempted, out-won in the faceoff circle and held to the perimeter for the vast majority of the evening, you take these bounces...
And you laugh heartily when someone like Jakub Kindl steals two points from Toronto and delivers 3 straight wins to Detroit:
If you think that the Red Wings' start is bad, it's got nothing on the Grand Rapids Griffins. Grand Rapids' 4-1 loss to the Rockford IceHogs on Friday dropped the Griffins to 1-and-7, with the Griffins hosting the Iowa Wild next Wednesday.
A combination of a bizarrely spread-out schedule and a surprising amount of struggling adjusting to a new coach and systems has yielded a particularly difficult start for the Griffins, as their website's recap notes:
It's hard to separate out the concept of the Red Wings trying to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs from the Babcock Bowl, but a month into the regular season, the Red Wings plain old needed a win amidst the distractions of the Hockey Hall of Fame induction weekend and the every-day Babcockian soap opera.
On Friday, the Red Wings played a terrible and terribly boring game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, surrendering an essential point with only 1:02 remaining, but Henrik Zetterberg still scored his 300th goal, Petr Mrazek was ALMOST perfect (save the shaft of his goal stick), and JAKUB KINDL went END TO END to ensure that Mike Babcock's Maple Leafs would surrender a 2-1 OT decision.
This game was a farce by Hockey Hall of Fame night standards, and the Red Wings have still been out-shot, out-chanced and out-faceoff-won by disturbing margins this season, but the Red Wings willed a win out of this shitty game, and I'm proud of them for having done it.
Here's Henrik Zetterberg's 300th goal:
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.