The Malik Report
From DetroitRedWings.com's Lynn DeLoss Estes, the Red Wings will be holding their annual wine-tasting Toast of Hockeytown on March 18th (and the Grand Rapids Griffins are holding theirs tomorrow):
The 13th Annual Toast of Hockeytown presented by ITC Holdings Corp. will be held on Monday, March 18, from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. The event benefits the Detroit Red Wings Foundation and will take place on the covered ice of Joe Louis Arena. Only 500 tickets are available to this exclusive event.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland's witnessed half his roster miss time due to injuries, and Detroit remains an injury-ravaged team (see: Darren Helm, Todd Bertuzzi, Johan Franzen, Jan Mursak, Carlo Colaiacovo and Brendan Smith, with Johnas Gustavsson, Mikael Samuelsson, Pavel Datsyuk, Ian White, Patrick Eaves and Jonathan Ericsson having returned to health, Valtteri FIlppula nursing a nagging sore MCL and Kyle Quincey and Brian Lashoff getting "banged-up"), but Holland told the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson that he expected the 48-games-in-99-nights schedule to yield a demolition derby:
Detroit’s Holland feels the 48-game season is an absolute war of attrition. NHL teams’ medical rooms are so full that players are taking numbers for treatment with games being played three or four times a week and the energy level in every game ramped through the roof.
“It’s a playoff run from January to April — three-and-a-half months of games every second day, then the 16 finalists get to do it all over again in the playoffs,” Holland said. “There is the added intensity and the physicality, how hard people backcheck. It’s not even the hitting. It’s up and down the ice. There is no coasting. One hundred feet up the ice, 100 feet back, that’s taxing on players’ groins. We are pushing the players to the limit and coaches are taxing their best players. At the end of the day, it comes down to what clubs can stay the healthiest.”
Updated 2x at 11:23 AM: From DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose, a not unexpected move:
Update: The Griffins are confirming...
RED WINGS AND GRIFFINS SWAP GOALIES
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Monday recalled goaltender Jonas Gustavsson from the Grand Rapids Griffins and assigned goaltender Petr Mrazek to the Griffins.
The Detroit Red Wings flew to Nashville to face a Predators team that will be on the back half of back-to-back games (the Predators play in Colorado on Monday afternoon) mired in their worst slump of the season and perhaps playing their worst hockey since the team stumbled out of the gate with a 1-and 2 record. The Wings have dropped consecutive losses to St. Louis, Anaheim and now the Minnesota Wild, who rallied from a 2-goal deficit and defeated the Wings 3-2 thanks to 3 goals scored over the course of 4 minutes and 10 seconds.
Despite the returns of Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk from injuries, and despite Kyle Quincey having shaken off what DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose reported were over 20 stitches thanks to a high stick from Devin Setoguchi, the Wings' inability to generate any offense whatsoever from players not named Zetterberg, Datsyuk or Brunner, their absolutely horrific power play and the team's seemingly tracing paper-thin level of self-confidence all but doomed the team to its third loss over the past six days as soon as Torrey Mitchell's game-winner hit the back of the net.
Updated 3x with clips of Mrazek, Zetterberg and Babcock speaking to the media at 9:30 PM: The Detroit Red Wings now find themselves admist a 3-game losing streak thanks to a loss of poise, a loss of direction and a seemingly baffling lack of effort, intensity and attention to detail after giving up 3 goals over the course of 4 minutes and 10 seconds, en route to a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night.
The Red Wings, bolstered by the additions of Pavel Datsyuk and Mikael Samuelsson, got off to a superb start, and it took 8-and-a-half minutes for Damien Brunner to score a gorgeous goal off a superb outlet pass from Brian Lashoff and some magic worked by Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, and after out-shooting Minnesota 14-8 in the 1st period, the Wings struck quickly in the second, with Pavel Datsyuk scoring 20 seconds into the second period from Zetterberg and Lashoff...
But the Wings seemed to all but collapse after Dany Heatley mucked the 2-1 goal past Petr Mrazek off a bizarre faceoff loss and puck that went off Lashoff and right to Dany Heatley. A poor pinch by Jonathan Ericsson and a terrible defensive play by Samuelsson yielded a game-tying goal by Jason Zucker under four minutes after Heatley scored...
Updated 3x with Wild updates at 5:28 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will face off against the Minnesota Wild tonight in a pseudo-matinee game (6 PM EST, FSD/FS North/97.1 FM) with both teams hoping to snap two-game losing streaks. The Red Wings will start Petr Mrazek opposite Niklas Backstrom tonight, and the Wings will also receive a roster reinforcement in the form of Mikael Samuelsson, but whether Pavel Datsyuk plays tonight, we don't yet know, and we won't know until game time:
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan is confirming...
The Detroit Red Wings took a slightly delayed flight to Minnesota to kick off their Fathers' Trip on Saturday, and that trip consists of games against the Minnesota Wild tonight (6 PM EST, with the pre-game stuff airing at 5:30 PM FSD/FS North/97.1 FM) and the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.
Amidst a stretch of six games played over the course of 12 nights, the Wings left Detroit hoping to right their listing ship and return to playing a simpler, smarter brand of puck possession hockey after dropping consecutive losses to St. Louis and Anaheim, and they'll do so with Petr Mrazek starting tonight, Mikael Samuelsson returning to the lineup (at the expense of Gustav Nyquist, who was sent back to Grand Rapids on Saturday).
There's at least a "50-50" chance that the ever-chipper Pavel Datsyuk will return from his shoulder bruise as well, and the Wings have received some good news in the injury department over the past two days:
Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk may or may not play in tomorrow night's game between the Wings and Minnesota Wild as he's nursing a bruised shoulder, but the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa reports that Datsyuk's dry sense of humor was intact and healthy as he attempted to evade questions about his injury during post-practice scrum:
"My shoulder? It's good always," he said. "Why you ask?"
Asked if it is a bruise, Datsyuk smiled a crooked smile and said, "No, it's fine. Much better."
"It's like 50-50, now," he said, with a sigh, about his prospects for playing the Wild.
Updated 9x at 4:02 PM: Gustav Nyquist has been demoted, Mikael Samuelsson will play tomorrow and Petr Mrazek will start vs. Minneosta: The Detroit Red Wings back on the ice after dropping a 5-2 decision to Anaheim on Friday, getting in one last practice before heading out on the Fathers' Trip's worth of road games in Minnesota on Sunday and Nashville on Tuesday. The Wings are scheduled to fly to Minnesota at 2:46 PM, missing out on most of "Hockey Day in Michigan," so today's practice may be an abbreviated affair.
There is some good news in the injury department today (for once) from DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
MLive's Ansar Khan confirms...
Red Wings-Ducks wrap-up and overnight report: mistake-prone Wings reminded that they’re on their own
Given the near-insane number of injuries that the Detroit Red Wings are dealing with, the news that Pavel Datsyuk missed Friday night's game against Anaheim with only a "shoulder bruise" that's being classified as a "day-to-day" injury.
The Wings sent Jonas Gustavsson (groin) down to Grand Rapids for a conditioning stint on Friday, and Mikael Samuelsson (groin) and Jan Mursak (shoulder) are supposedly "close" to returning, but Carlo Colaiacovo and Brendan Smith (left shoulder injuries) are at least 7-10 days out, the same will probably be said about Johan Franzen (hip flexor), and on Friday, we found out that Todd Bertuzzi (back, on the IR so that the Wings could recall Gustav Nyquist) and Darren Helm (back) are probably going to miss another month of hockey--if not longer.
But the Detroit Red Wings can't be excused from having played tremendously mistake-prone hockey over the past three games. The Wings' 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings was rope-a-dope hockey at its best (or worst); the Wings' decision-making bit them in the butt during their 4-3 OT loss to St. Louis on Wednesday, and on Friday, with Nicklas Lidstrom (and Damien Brunner's parents) in town, the Wings found a way to turn a 4-game home-stand into a 2-1-and-1 split--by surrendering 1-0 and 2-1 leads en route to an incredibly sloppy performance and a 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
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