The Malik Report
Paul here for George.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Detroit Red Wings will use the same lineup tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Joe Louis Arena than they did Saturday vs. Carolina.
But several of their injured players are close to returning.
Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (fractured left wrist) said he hopes to play Wednesday at Columbus. Forward Johan Franzen (back spasms) said there’s a chance he could play Wednesday, if not than he should be back Friday at home against Nashville. And goaltender Jimmy Howard has targeted Friday for his return from a strained groin.
“That’s the ideal plan, Friday,’’ Howard said. “Get several really good practices under my belt and continue to work in the weight room, strengthening it and see how it holds.’‘
He has faced shots the past two practices and said he “felt like I can do everything. Now continue to keep practicing for a couple of days and we’ll see.’‘
During the Detroit Red Wings’ 5-4 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes last night, a sequence of play more or less encapsulated Tomas Holmstrom’s 1,000-plus-game tenure with the team: after going to his “office” in front of Cam Ward, Holmstrom was cross-checked from behind into Ward by Hurrianes defenseman Tim Gleason. When Holmstrom attempted to extricate himself from Ward, Gleason punched Holmstrom in the head, removing his helmet, and as Holmstrom shoved Gleason back in an attempt to plain old get away from his opponent, Gleason punched Holmstrom’s face again, but by the time the referees blew play dead with the puck on Red Wings players’ sticks, something predictable ensued: thanks to Holmstrom’s reputation, Gleason received a roughing penalty, but Holmstrom was also assessed a phantom goaltender interference penalty for getting the stuffing beaten out of him. For every legitimate penalty Holmstrom’s assessed for bumping goalies, he endures twenty or more infractions from opposing teams’ players or goaltenders, and he absorbs their abuse like a happy human pincushion.
Holmstrom left the penalty box two minutes later and got right back to work attempting to screen one of the many goaltenders he scouts via video in an attempt to emulate their movements while trying to tip pucks traveling at 80-plus miles an hour, absorbing cross-checks, slashes and otherwise uncalled infractions and toeing the line that is the top of the goal crease along the way, and his fearlessness in terms of doing a very dirty job very, very well—while receiving a ridiculous amount of punishment along the way—explains why the Detroit chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association nominated Holmstrom for the Masterton Trophy as the Wings player who embodies perseverance and dedication to hockey.
Within a year of drafting Soo Greyhounds defenseman Ryan Sproul and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada defenseman Xavier Ouellet, the pair of defensemen have grown into two of the Red Wings’ best defensive prospects, so the Wings chose to sign both players now instead of attempting to negotiate with the blossoming offensive defensemen’s agents a year from now:
RED WINGS SIGN PROSPECTS RYAN SPROUL AND XAVIER OUELLET TO ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACTS
… Defensemen Were Selected by Detroit in the 2nd Round of Last Year’s NHL Entry Draft …
Detroit, MI…The Detroit Red Wings today announced that defensemen Xavier Ouellet and Ryan Sproul have both been signed to three-year entry-level contracts. In accordance with club policy, additional terms of these deals will not be disclosed.
Update: According to MLive’s Ansar Khan, the Wings have sent Brendan Smith to Grand Rapids as an olive branch as he’s not going to play while Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl get their feet wet again, and the Griffins rather desperately need to win out to make the playoffs. Having Janik and Smith in the lineup will help them considerably, and if they don’t “win out,” Smith will probably vie for a job come playoff time.
My goodness. I’m not even going to try to give you a narrative recap of the insanity that was the Detroit Red Wings’ wild, Jason Woolley 5-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Red Wings may have received a much-needed kick in the pants in the leadership department by Nicklas Lidstrom, who returned and registered an assist, 4 shots, 2 missed shots and 2 blocked shots in 20:26 of ice time…
But they also had to overcome the horrendous habits they’d accumulated during a 6-game winless streak. The Wings managed to surrender goals on the first shifts of the 1st and 2nd periods, surrendered 2 power play goals on 2 Hurricanes attempts and trailed 4-1 with 4 minutes and 5 seconds left in the second period.
Very briefly: as the Detroit Red Wings prepare to face off against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight (7 PM EDT, FSD+/FS Carolinas/
1270AM, online stream linky here), DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose reports that Nicklas Lidstrom will be a “game-time decision” as he tests out his still-sore left ankle, but the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan reports that Jakub Kindl will definitely play as he returns from a strained quadriceps muscle, and MLive’s Ansar Khan, the Free Press’s Carlos Monarrez, Fox Sports Detroit’s Dana Wakiji and NHL.com’s Brian Hedger (who also penned stories about the Wings’ injuries in general, Jimmy Howard and Nicklas Lidstrom) all report more or less the following, depending on how one reads the tea leaves:
Franzen skated but left the ice when drills began.
Howard skated before practice and stated will try to face shots tomorrow and he is out to at least Wednesday.
Lidstrom, Kindl and Ericsson all practicing. Kindl appears “in” for tomorrow.
The above is a recap from the beat writers and this is Paul filling in for George.
added 12:00pm, Joey MacDonald has a slight bulging disc, surgery not an option at this point, will start cortisone treatment soon.
I’ve been a very bad Red Wings fan over the past 48 hours. Since the parent received the, “We need you in first thing tomorrow to have a basal cell sarcoma removed” call on Tuesday evening, I’ve spent a decent amount of time in front of the computer, but haven’t done much of anything hockey-related. I know that the Wings played a “spirited” game against the Rangers on Wednesday (with Ty Conklin in goal) but remain winless in six, are 2-5-and-2 in March and have gone 3-7-and-3 since setting their home-ice winning record way back on February 19th. I hate to admit it, but I didn’t watch it—I taped it and played the Sims 3 instead because my brain was too rattled to even watch a Red Wings game.
Paul here filling in for George who hopefully will return sometime today.
Doug Janik has been returned to Grand Rapids and the Wings have an off day today.
I have a question… There is talk of Jimmy Howard wanting to start on Saturday against Carolina.
The Wings play Columbus at home on Monday then travel to Columbus on Wednesday.
Are the Wings better off holding him back and let him play in one of the Columbus games or are you okay with him playing Saturday?
Paul here for George who hopefully is recovering from a long day.
Probably the type of game Babcock wanted from this lineup, just could not find a way to put the puck in the net.
Only Detroit goal was scored by Zetterberg in the first period.
added 10:56pm, Game highlights have been added below…
My apologies for not being around to do my job over the last 24 hours…Between exhaustion on my part and a health scare for the parent which has me writing this from the parking lot of the doctor’s office which asked the parent to come in immediately for a follow-up appointment, my priorities are regrettably elsewhere today. I shall return to work as soon as my and especially my parent’s health circumstances allow, and again, I apologize for the interruption in service.
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.