The Malik Report
From the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe:
The ECHL schedule-makers did no favors for a Walleye team that figures to be road weary by the time Toledo’s home opener finally rolls around on Nov. 7.
The Walleye open the season with eight straight road games before playing their first contest at the friendly confines of the Huntington Center. In fact, 12 of the team’s first 14 contests and 16 of its first 20 games are being played away from home.
“It is what it is,” Walleye coach Derek Lalonde said. “We need to get through this stretch a little bit above water. We still need to get points in this 20-game stretch. No matter what happens, we will be much better for it later. But we need to win now.”
Toledo began the season last Friday with a 3-2 loss at Indianapolis in a game that went to the shootout. The Walleye followed that with a 5-1 loss at Cincinnati and have started the season with an 0-1-1 record.
The team has two more weekend road trips before playing at the downtown arena. Toledo is at rival Kalamazoo — which is looking for its first win — on Friday, and on Saturday, the Walleye play at Evansville.
The Red Wings' website posted a slate of post-game interviews from Detroit's 3-1 loss to Edmonton a couple of hours after I went to bed, so:
Here's Tomas Tatar...
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Many of the same issues have plagued the Detroit Red Wings the past three games: Lack of offense, ineffective power play, having to play catch-up hockey....
"I thought in large parts tonight we played (well)," Blashill said. "We went into the game with a real focus of spending less time in our end and more time in their end and we did that.
"Do we need to continue to get better? Absolutely. Are the results good enough? No. But again, I thought there were a lot of areas we took in the right direction and now we got to get better on Friday."...
His club has scored only one goal in each of the past two games and five during this slide, but Blashill was encouraged to see more shots (a season-high 29). It would have been much more if they hadn't had 24 shots blocked and missed the mark on 17 others.
"I think you're going to have some blocks. That's the league. I think everybody plays tight defensively," Blashill said. "But the missed ones ... you want to make goalies make saves. Too many times tonight we missed the net on some prime opportunities. That's something we can talk about, but the focus is we got those opportunities and let's continue to get those opportunities."
The Red Wings took a late flight to Calgary after dropping a 3-1 decision to the Edmonton Oilers, a loss that dropped the Wings to 3-and-3 but seemed to give the team an incremental but important amount of improvement over their particularly flat performances against Carolina and Montreal.
For the Oilers, the game hinged upon Connor McDavid's eventual game-winner in the 2nd, which was scored in demonstrative fashion, as NHL.com's Derek Van Diest noted...
Of prospect-related note:
The Detroit Red Wings began their Western Canadian road trip with a 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, and maybe, just maybe, we can call this a moral victory.
Detroit out-shot their opponents 29-28, they out-chanced Edmonton, they out-attempted Edmonton 60-43, won the faceoff battle 34-24, and blew 11 minutes and 6 opportunities worth of PP time, didnt really show up until the 2nd period, and just...
This team is beating itself right now, and it's beating itself because the Red Wings' players are over-thinking and under-playing as they try to shake the Babcockian systemic tendencies from their game and embrace a more aggressive, north-south style under their new coach. As a result, there are tons of individual plays and over-commitments that yield turnovers, offsides calls against, too-many-men penalties, and generally watching the Wings grind themselves into dust turning over pucks in their zone, stopping short at center ice and deferring passes and shots in the offensive zone, all while getting out of position enough that the forwards leave large gaps between themselves and their defensemen, yielding superb scoring chances against.
You add that up and it's a recipe for a team trying way too hard to think their way through a game that is instinctual, and in the case of the Wings vs. the Oilers, a loss that feels even more embarrassing than it actually was. In a weird way, this game was a step forward more than it was a step back, but the overall gain was incremental at best.
Of Red Wings-related note not too long before the Red Wings-Edmonton Oilers tilt this evening (9:30 PM EDT on FSD/Sportsnet One/97.1 FM):
The Red Wings posted a game-day preview...
The Oilers' website posted an interview with Henrik Zetterberg...
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Johan Franzen has suffered numerous concussions during his career, from a plethora of hits.
The most recent one happened more than nine months ago and has put his career in serious jeopardy.
Edmonton Oilers forward Rob Klinkhammer, who delivered the hit that ended Franzen's season on Jan. 6, said he feels bad for the Detroit Red Wings forward.
"I feel really bad for him," Klinkhammer said Wednesday, prior to the Red Wings-Oilers game at Rexall Place. "It wasn't really intentional. I was kind of skating to the bench and he was skating one way, I saw him at the last second, kind of braced myself and I think his head hit my head or something. Completely unintentional."
continue plus some Datsyuk talk...
New Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill has high expectations of his squad and feel that they haven’t been playing to their potential.
The Red Wings and Oilers engaged in morning skates ahead of tonight's McDavid-vs-Larkin match-up (9:30 PM EDT on FSD/Sportsnet One/97.1 FM), and there were no lineup surprises for either team, with Max Talbot squaring off against Petr Mrazek in the nets and the Red Wings utilizing the lineup they've employed in practice for the past two days (i.e. Ferraro in, Jurco out).
On the Oilers' side of the ice, Edmonton's 630 CHED's Reid Wilkins took note of the Oilers' line machinations:
Defenceman Andrew Ference will play just his second game of the season Wednesday night as the Edmonton Oilers host the Detroit Red Wings.
Ference has been a healthy scratch the last four games but will replace the injured Griffin Reinhart against Detroit.
“You just skate hard when you’re not in and work on stuff after morning skates and practice,” said Ference. “It’s nothing out of the ordinary. You just put in the work and get ready when you’re ready to go.”
“I think if you peeled the onion back a little bit, it’s hurting him,” said McLellan of Ference’s lack of game action. McLellan added that Ference is handling the situation “very professionally.”
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.