The Malik Report
The hockey blogger's rules for a "slow day" involve, "Don't look around too much, or you'll find more than enough to keep you busy." I should have listened to that rule, because I ended up finding a decent crop of Wings-related and plain old interesting stuff, and spent three hours doing so.
Saturday marked the second anniversary of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl tragedy, and as Lokomotiv's owned by JSC Russian Railways, the owner/operator of the Russian railroads, the company spared no expense to build a memorial to the 37 players and coaches lost two years ago.
I dared to take a "nap day" after spending a pair of sixteen-to-eighteen-hour affairs at the Red Wings' prospect camp, and it at least appears that the Red Wings players as well as their prospects decided to take Saturday off, too.
For the latter group, there's a slate of two games in two nights coming, and if the prospects don't build upon their win over Dallas by defeating St. Louis tomorrow night at 7 PM, things get complicated for the Howe division-leading Wings:
Steve Ott of the Buffalo Sabres thinks so in a story from Dan Rosen of NHL.com on division and conference realignment.
But are they still considered a powerhouse or does their legacy allow the use of that word to continue?
I instead would use the words "legitimate Stanley Cup contender" or "consistently the best team over the last 20 years".
As noted in the "initial thoughts and audio" post, the Red Wings prospects' 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars didn't secure the team a berth in the prospect tournament final, but it was as close to a giant-slaying as you could get.
The "new" crop of Red Wings prospects has been built purposefully to possess size and some snarl, but compared to the Stars' prospects, they looked downright small, and the Radek Faksas, Andrei Nicushkins, Alex Chiassons and Patrik Nemeths were supposed to have their way against a team with all of three non-rookie AHL'ers in Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco and Max Nicastro and two European pros in Teemu Pulkkinen and Calle Jarnkrok..
For those of you who are in Traverse City this weekend, take note: there are no games scheduled for Centre Ice Arena today, Saturday the 7th, and the Red Wings will not be practicing at 12 PM.
They chose to take the day off after defeating Dallas 4-2. Wings prospects assistant coach (and Grand Rapids Griffins assistant coach) Jim Paek stated that the coaches are well aware of the fact that the prospect tournament players are going to be taking part in a second stretch of two games in two nights, and that they've got six straight days of training camp work ahead of them, so they're trying to conserve the players both mentally and physically.
The Detroit Red Wings' prospects defeated the Dallas Stars' prospects 4-2 on Friday night, holding on by the slimmest of margins as Dallas's NHL-ready and AHL-heavy roster pushed incredibly hard at the end, but Martin Frk, Riley Sheahan and Teemu Pulkkinen scored excellent goals--with Pulkkinen unloading his "holy slapper" one-timer--and Jared Coreau stopped 17 of 19 shots and received superb support from teammates committed to the Jeff Blashill-Mike Babcock defensive system that is, "Third forward, whoever the hell you are, get back and help your defenseman!"
The last goal was awarded to Andreas Athansiou as he was pulled down en route to scoring an empty-netter!
There is very literally a debate as to whether the Wings, who will not practice on Saturday, are "through to the final" because the St. Louis Blues' 3-2 OT win over Minnesota may or may not count for two points to the Wings' 3 for a pair of regulation wins, thus yielding a Howe Division title and a "bye" to play the Lindsay Division winner in Monday's championship, or whether Sunday's 7 PM game against St. Louis will tell the tale as to who would play the winner of the division led by the Buffalo Sabres.
The Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau explains how things are going to do down:
While Daniel Cleary stole the show at today's informal Red Wings practice, MLive's Ansar Khan also spoke with someone who's hoping to stick with the Wings in one Todd Bertuzzi, who believes that he's ready to return to action after missing the vast majority of the 2013 season with back issues:
“I felt the best I did last year coming into training camp and that didn’t work out so well,'' Bertuzzi said. “We’ll see. I’m happy where I’m at right now. I feel strong. I’m skating better right now. I haven’t had any issues in the morning or at night, so that’s a plus for me.''
Bertuzzi experienced health issues for three weeks in the off-season before taking three weeks off to recover. He started his rehab again, started skating and has felt great ever since.
J.A. Doninicis of Too Many Men On The Site lists the Top 25 Swedish Players In The World,
1. Erik Karlsson- He won the Norris Trophy under the age of 23 and put up Bobby Orr-type number in 2011-12.
2. Henrik Lundqvist- The former Vezina winner and 3-time all-star will look to regain his 2006 Olympic magic in Sochi.
3. Nicklas Backstrom- Backstrom is back after being sidelined by injury. He won the 2008-09 Viking Award for best Swedish hockey player in North America.
4. Henrik Zetterberg- Being a captain of an Original Six team is a big responsibility, but Zetterberg is also leading them past the days of Nicklas Lidstrom.
read on and 4 more Detroit players are listed...
The Red Wings' prospects defeated the Minnesota Wild's prospects 2-1 on Thursday evening, but as there are no games scheduled for Saturday, and as only one more game remains on the Wings' schedule (the Wings play against St. Louis on Sunday), Detroit's prospects absolutely must defeat what is a star-studded and stacked Dallas Stars team this evening (at 7:30 PM).
As noted in the audio/mini practice post, coach Jeff Blashill appeared to make two tweaks to his lineup, with Rasmus Bodin sitting so that Jordan Maletta can get into the lineup, and Marc McNulty sitting out for Michal Plutnar's sake. Jared Coreau's starting as well, so the Wings' roster should look something like this:
Red Wings prospect Nick Jensen is very noticeably absent from Detroit's prospect tournament roster, and the Saint Cloud Times' Mick Hatten reports that Jensen's absence involves a shoulder injury incurred when Tyler Bertuzzi broke the ONE rule of summer development camps in choosing to fight Jensen to prove his toughness.
Jensen will attend the Wings' main camp (the team is flying up on Tuesday, as DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose noted, with ten players taking part in a community relations tour of Michigan; the rest of the Wings and Griffins arriving in TC two days prior to Thursday's training camp start to take part in Wednesday's charity golf tournament and to be poked and prodded for physicals), but he may not skate at all, and it's still possible that Jensen may need surgery to repair damage done in a silly tussle:
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.