The Malik Report
The Red Wings faced off against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night engaging in something of a salvage mission. Detroit needed two points very badly to salvage their home-and-home series, to salvage their October, and to assuage the fears and misgivings of their fans.
Ultimately, the Red Wings won a sloppy 5-3 decision that was, at one point, a 5-1 victory, and while the final five or so minutes' worth of play muddied the waters, the Wings still emerged from the swamp in Kanata with a desperately-needed 2 points and a generally textbook performance as the Wings displayed their first 50+-minute performance since they defeated the Lightning on October 13th.
In the end, it was a little sloppy and a little inelegant, but the Wings finally out-skated, out-forechecked, out-transition-passed and out-played their opponent, and throughout the way, stood up to the kind of rough stuff that's intimidated the Wings early on in this young campaign.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. I received this note from the Grand Rapids Griffins, regarding one Tyler Bertuzzi:
Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Tyler Bertuzzi has been suspended for two (2) games as a consequence of a match penalty for slew-footing assessed in a game at Toronto on Oct. 30.
Bertuzzi will miss Grand Rapids' games Friday (Nov. 6) vs. Rockford and Nov. 11 vs. Iowa.
2. In news of a very different kind, MLive's Ansar Khan and the Windsor Star's Bob Duff report that "Nyquist," the horse owned by Red Wings fan Bob Reddam, has won the Juvenile Breeders' Cup. Yahoo Sports' Sean Leahy (via RedWingsFeed) has video from the race;
3. The Free Press's Helene St. James ponders what has gone wrong during the Red Wings' second five-game segment:
from Dana Wakiji of the Wings website,
Currently, the Wings are 18th in the league on the power play, scoring at a 16.7 percent clip, tied with the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche.
"I think in the power play especially process is the No. 1 thing because your best power plays in the word, four out of five times don’t score, lots of times, most power plays over the course of the season the high end at the end of the year is 20, maybe 25 percent, so maybe three out of four, so I think it’s process," Blashill said. "Within that, does it generate momentum? By generating momentum are you spending lots of time in their end?
"We scored the 5-on-3, which is nice, but you got to score when you get 5-on-3. I think we can still be a little bit better. Five on four face-offs, I had us much lower than what NHL stats had us. We’re going to have to win more face-offs, so we spend a little more time in the zone. The unit with (Dylan) Larkin and (Teemu) Pulkkinen had chances off the rush, but they didn’t keep the puck in the zone once they got the chances off the rush, so we got to spend more time in the zone."
Because the Wings haven't been scoring a lot in general, they might be pressing a bit.
"I think we gotta get the puck to the net," Larkin said. "We moved it around pretty well and we get in the zone pretty well and I think just getting numbers around the net and getting shots there and finding new spots, getting a few dirty goals to get the confidence back and then we can start making plays."
more topics including Mrazek returning to Ottawa...
added 3:03pm, Ken Kal's prewiew of the game is below, includes an interview with Blashill...
Both the Red Wings and Senators chose to hold optional morning skates ahead of this evening's rematch between the teams (7 PM EDT on FSD/City/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), and the Senators chose to not make any lineup changes save in goal, as the Ottawa Citizen noted...
Craig Anderson will start against Detroit Saturday night as the Ottawa Senators play the back end of a home and home series with the Red Wings.
Mike Hoffman (groin) will not play tonight nor will Curtis Lazar (concussion).
As a result the same skaters that played an “excellent” game, according to head coach Dave Cameron, Friday night will line up at home where the wins have been harder to come by.
As did the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch:
Updated 2x at 12:26 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to assuage last night's 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators as the teams engage in the back half of a home-and-home series this evening at the Candian Tire Centre (7 PM EDT on FSD/City/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), but the Senators aren't likely to feel much sympathy for Detroit's 1-5-and-1 slide given that last night's win snapped an 0-2-and-2 streak for Ottawa.
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reports that the Senators are "taking an optional" morning skate today...
Bruce Garrioch @SunGarrioch 38m38 minutes ago
#Sens will have an 11 a.m meeting today. A few players may skate this morning. Will have roster updates from coach Dave Cameron around 11:30
Craig Anderson will oppose Petr Mrazek in the nets tonight, that much we know for certain.
While we're waiting:
This is very bad, from Winging It in Motown's J.J. from Kansas:
Things aren't going well anywhere around the Red Wings organization right now. The Wings started 3-0 and have gone 1-5-1 since then. The Griffins have started 1-6, suffering an embarrassing loss to the Toronto Marlies last night, dropping that decision 6-1.
But that's not the ugliest thing from last night. With 1:15 left to go in the game, tensions boiled over between the Griffins and the Marlies, which ended in Tyler Bertuzzi throwing a number a gloved punches at Kasperi Kapanen before slew-footing and bodyslamming the unwilling participant. Here's the play, from Jeff Veillette at TheLeafsNation
I'll suggest that you head over to WiiM for the .gif. It's really, really cheap...
Update: Bertuzzi has been suspended:
Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Tyler Bertuzzi and Toronto Marlies center Sam Carrick have been suspended pending the league's review of their actions during a game between their teams on Oct. 30.
Perhaps the Wings should be forced to watch some videos of their poor games this season...
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
In celebration of the annual holiday dedicated to the sweet and scary, Free Press writer Helene St. James quizzed players on the subject of Halloween memories — specifically, scary movies.
Brendan Smith related this horror story from his youth.
"When I was like 3 or 4, I watched the movie 'It.'," he said. "I was watching it with my older brother and his buddies. That one stuck with me pretty good. Even today, I am afraid of clowns. I don't really like them at all."
Wait, what was a toddler doing watching that psychological portrait of a killer clown? Turns out, his parents didn't know.
"We kept it quiet, we didn't rat on each other, that was the bro code," Smith said. "But ever after, movies like 'Poltergeist,' with the clown, it gives me the heebie-jeebies. I am just not a big fan of clowns."
This is apparently well known inside the locker room.
"I have heard that, it is kind of funny," Justin Abdelkader said. "Maybe we can use that some time against Smitty."
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
The problems continue to mount for the Detroit Red Wings.
The Red Wings suffered their sixth loss in seven games Friday night and many of the same issues that have contributed to the slump were present in a 3-1 setback against the Ottawa Senators at Joe Louis Arena.
• The offense continued to struggle, getting 30 shots on goal but only a handful of quality scoring chances.
• The power play was 1-for-5, making the Red Wings 4-for-28 – that's a 14.3-percent success rate – during the seven-game skid.
• Against the Senators, the Red Wings were outmuscled in front of the net at both ends of the ice – something they put an emphasis on trying to avoid entering the game.
• And they're having trouble getting the puck out of their own zone to avoid costly turnovers while creating chances at the other end.
Add it all up and the Red Wings (4-5-1) are off to their worst 10-game start since 1993-94, when they went 3-7 during Scotty Bowman's first season behind the bench.
The Red Wings flew to Ottawa on Friday night facing a near-must-win situation, having dropped the first half of a back-to-back series against the Ottawa Senators by a 3-1 margin. The teams will face off again this evening (7 PM EDT on FSD/City/TVA Sports/97.1 FM).
The Wings haven't really played well since Game 3 of the regular season--going into tonight's Game 11--and the Wings rather desperately need to break their 1-5-and-1 slide by executing on the damn ice, from Petr Mrazek (tonight's starter) on out.
The Senators knew that they'd salvaged their October on Friday night, as they told the Ottawa Citizen's Wayne Scanlan...
The Red Wings are in a bad spot right now. The Grand Rapids Griffins are in a worse one. The Griffins dropped a 6-1 decision to the Toronto Marlies on Friday, and the loss drops the Griffins to 1-and-6 on the season.
The Griffins' website posited a recap:
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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.