The Malik Report
Over the course of the both the Red Wings-Ducks and Red Wings-Blackhawks series, Ken Holland and Mike Babcock's roles on Detroit's "rebuilding on the fly" season (which, as the Oakland Press's Pat Caputo noted this afternoon, does not involve tanking to be bad enough for long enough to stockpile high draft picks like the Blackhawks did), and with the Grand Rapids Griffins advancing to the AHL's Western Conference Finals, Martin Frk dazzling at the Memorial Cup and the team adding to its stockpile of drafted prospects by bringing over Calle Jarnkrok (temporarily), Teemu Pulkkinen (permanently) and signing Nick Jensen and Mattias Backman recently (and adding free agents like Damien Brunner and the rapidly-headling Danny DeKeyser hasn't hurt, either)...
The Wings' NHL and AHL rosters don't necessarily lack talent or depth, though they're certainly not the Blackhawks.
Now the story about Mike Babcock heading to Anaheim instead of succeeding Scotty Bowman isn't necessarily as gruff as Ken Holland told the AP's Larry Lage earlier today--Babcock was coaching the AHL's Cincinnati Mighty Ducks in the 2001-2002 season, and when Babcock approached Holland stating that he wanted to coach the Wings, Holland told Babcock that he simply couldn't hire a coach with no experience as opposed to stating that the team "doesn't hire interns"...
The Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association named Patrick Eaves their nominee for the Masterton Trophy, which recognizes perseverance and dedication to hockey, because Eaves successfully recovered from a concussion that consumed 13 months of his professional career.
I don't think that anyone, including the Red Wings, imagined that Eaves would have become so invaluable to the team's penalty-killing or provide such no-frills defensive play that he'd be bumping Todd Bertuzzi and Jordin Tootoo out of the team's playoff lineup, but he's doing just that, and WXYZ's Tom Leyden penned a story about and filed a video profile of Eaves earlier this evening:
Listen/watch five minutes with 'Gus'.
The Associated Press's Larry Lage examined the battle between the Chicago Blackhawks' and Detroit Red Wings' coaches, discussing Joel Quenneville's role in his Hawks' successes (despite being 0-and-5 against the Wings in the playoffs) and Mike Babcock's presence behind the Wings' bench, and in doing so, Lage related a story from Wings GM Ken Holland that you may not yet be aware of:
"He makes his team accountable,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
With an iron fist?
"Yeah,'' Holland said. "He's the boss.''
Holland is Babcock's boss more than a decade after telling him that he wanted to lead the storied franchise on the ice while he was coaching a minor league team shared by Detroit and Anaheim. During the second intermission of a playoff game in 2002, Holland recalled Babcock telling him he wanted to be the next coach of the Red Wings.
"I don't hire interns,'' Holland said he told Babcock. "The next year, he knocked us out of the playoffs.'
Updated 2x at 5:19 PM: In addition to today's pair of Red Wings-Blackhawks practice posts: I know that the story that got Red Wings fans down involved the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's report that Darren Helm has suffered yet another setback in his attempt to recover from a partially torn ligament and slightly herniated disc in his back...
"The team is doing so great, it's the playoffs, and I want to be out there," said Helm, who was skating lightly during the Anaheim series before another setback occurred. "It's extremely tough to watch."
The plan now is for Helm to stay off the ice indefinitely.
"Something happened (skating during the Anaheim series) and it hurt a lot and I was limping around for a couple of days," Helm said. "We decided to take a step back and we needed a different approach — staying off the ice a lot longer.
Updated 5x at 5:18 PM: The first Red Wings-Blackhawks practice day post has run its course space-wise, so we'll begin a second slate of Red Wings and Blakchawks stories with coach Mike Babcock's very thorough off-day presser (which serves as a very nice compliment to his Fan 590 interview)...
As well as the Wings discussing the positive effects of their two two-day breaks between Games 1 and 2 and now 3 and 4 with MLive's Ansar Khan...
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock spoke to The Fan 590's Hockeycentral at Noon crew prior to speaking to the media after today's Red Wings practice, and while Babcock repeated some of his talking points to the Wings' press corps, he didn't go into as much detail regarding the team's prospects and evolution of the team's rookies at his presser as he did during his 11:40 interview with The Fan (beware: an auto-play clip follows the jump):
Red Wings-Blackhawks practice day updates: Wings stay the Babcockian course; good news for DeKeyser?
Updated 7x with Babcock's presser at 2:43 PM: After what might be their fnal real "off-day" for some time, the Red Wings got back to work today at Joe Louis Arena (the Blackhawks remained in Chicago for their practice), and something tells me that this is going to be the first of two practice posts, because Wings coach Mike Babcock engaged in a long q and a session with a faithfully-twitter-updating media corps:
Practice was relatively uneventful, but there's some intriguing news about Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser's recovery from a broken and surgically-repaired right thumb below:
Update: The Wings have confirmed their signing of Mattias Backman (and the Free Press is confirming, too):
The Red Wings' prospects still playing playoff hockey had big nights on Tuesday, with the Grand Rapids Griffins advancing to the AHL's Western Conference Finals and Halifax Mooseheads forward Martin Frk registering a hat trick at the Memorial Cup.
RedWingsCentral's Matthew Wuest took note of the Griffins' top performers in his latest prospect report (and the Griffins-Oklahoma city Barons series starts with back-to-back games in Grand Rapids on Friday and Saturday):
The Detroit Red Wings may have earned Eric Duhatschek's rising from the (mostly) dead "like a vampire" (squid) desgination after their 3-1 win over Chicago on Monday night, but even after an off-day's worth of comments and columns (and my goodness, do days when players don't practice yield a preponderance of pondering), but I believe that Grantland's Katie Baker summarizes the out-of-towners' takes on what may or may not be the "national team's" 2 games-to-1 deficit against the underdog Red Wings:
Unlike the other two teams that trail playoff series 2-1 at the moment, the Blackhawks have the disadvantage of playing Game 4 on the road. But this also means that, should they manage to even up the series, they'll have home ice in the pivotal Games 5 and 7. As surprised (and humbled!) as I've been by the performance of the Red Wings, I still give the Blackhawks the benefit of the doubt after their regular season, and think they have the best chance to ultimately advance.
Now I'll readily admit that, as you probably know by now if you read my in-game ranting on Twitter, the Red Wings in the playoffs = professionalism sometimes goes out the window (this does not translate to in-rink behavior unless my ass has paid for a ticket, however), so you're going to have to pardon me when I say this:
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.