The Malik Report
Updated 2x at 2:48 PM: The Detroit Red Wings didn't hold a morning skate ahead of tonight's game against the Florida Panthers (7:30 PM EST start on FSD/FS Florida/97.1 FM), but Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill still let something of a bomb drop in stating that Jimmy Howard would start, and that Riley Sheahan's return would cost Teemu Pulkkinen a spot in the lineup.
MLive's Ansar Khan was first out of the chute with a game-day report:
The Red Wings hope to get back on a winning track against the Florida Panthers this evening (7:30 PM EST start on FSD/FS Florida/97.1 FM), and they're going to face a full Panthers lineup, Jaromir Jagr included, as reported by the Miami Herald's George Richards...
Jaromir Jagr is working out with the #FlaPanthers morning skate...
Willie Mitchell was skating, just headed off into the room. #FlaPan
Looks like Brandon Pirri back in #FlaPanthers lineup; up with Nick Bjugstad.
And the Sun-Sentinel's Harvey Fialkov:
There's Red Wings-related World Cup of Hockey news here, but you have to dig a little for it. From NHL.com:
Three players who helped the Czech Republic win the gold medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics were named to the Team Czech Republic management staff for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey by the Czech Ice Hockey Association on Thursday.
Martin Rucinsky, who played 16 NHL seasons with eight teams, was named general manager.
Also from the 1998 Olympic team, which was the first tournament that included NHL players, are assistant to the general manager Milan Hnilicka and assistant coach Jaroslav Spacek.
Jiri Fischer, director of player development for the Detroit Red Wings, was named head of scouting.
So Jiri Fischer will help the Czech team find players appropriate for the squad, which dovetails nicely with his job as the traveling prospect guru and player scout for the Wings.
From MLive's Ian Thibodeau:
From Woodward Avenue in Detroit's Cass Corridor, it looks like construction on the Detroit Events Center must be far ahead of schedule. But Sean Hollister, senior construction manager at Barton Malow Hunt, said Wednesday the 785,000-square-foot arena is right on pace.
It's no surprise to him that the future home of the Red Wings looks like an arena less than a year after work began on the two-and-a-half year timeline.
"Is production going great? Yeah, but there are so many more (parts of the project) that need to happen...We are tracking right where we want to be," Hollister said.
From the Red Wings:
DETROIT RECALLS KINDL FROM GRAND RAPIDS
… Blueliner Picked Up Three Points in Nine Games with Griffins …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled defenseman Jakub Kindl from the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
Kindl has skated in nine games for the Griffins since he was assigned on Jan. 11, notching three points (2-1-3), 12 penalty minutes and 22 shots on goal. The 28-year-old has skated in 271 games for the Red Wings since the 2009-10 season, logging 67 points (16-51-67), 145 penalty minutes and a plus-13 rating. This season, he has appeared in 23 games for Detroit and posted five points (2-3-5), including his first career overtime-winner on Nov. 6 at Toronto. Kindl has also seen action in 19 postseason games over the past three seasons, notching five points (1-4-5) and 12 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-3, 199-pound blueliner has appeared in 138 AHL games for the Griffins since the 2005-06 season, totaling 93 points (16-77-93) and 239 penalty minutes and adding five points (2-3-5) in 17 postseason games. He was a 2009 AHL All-Star for the Griffins, posting an AHL career-high 33 points (6-27-33) in 78 games during the 2008-09 campaign.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Red Wings went 0 for 2 on the power play in Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. They have gone 5 for 34 in their past 13 games and are tied for 20th in the league at 17.4 percent, a significant drop from last season (23.5 percent).
"I don't think every year (goals) are going to go in at the rate to keep you at No. 2," Blashill said. "We got to get up as close to the top 10 as possible.
"Power plays are going to ebb and flow a little bit. I think you can have the exact same guys out there, the exact same plan, which is fairly close to what we have, and you might not stay at No. 2. We just got to get back inside that top 10, even if it's just for the rest of the year, not necessarily in the final (rankings)."
How do they do that? Shoot the puck.
The 25-17-and-8 Detroit Red Wings came out of the All-Star Break with a very disappointing 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and as their status in the Atlantic Division remains murky, the Wings almost have to win their match-up with the 30-15-and-5 Florida Panthers this evening (7:30 PM EST start on FSD/Fox Sports Florida/97.1 FM) if they aren't to tumble from the Atlantic to a Wild Card spot by the time the teams meet again next Monday.
I don't know how they'll do it based upon Wednesday night's sloppy, somewhat sluggish and fast-paced but slow-moving game. Detroit looked downright tired at times coming out of the All-Star Break, and while the Lightning have been more dominant at home than the Panthers, Florida's record's nothing to sneeze at, having won 4 straight, including a 4-2 victory over the Capitals on Tuesday.
In Tampa Bay, the Red Wings' special teams doomed them: Tampa Bay went 2-for-3 on the power play, and Detroit went 0-for-2 on theirs, and both teams felt that said special teams determined what was a defense-first affair.
The Lightning concurred while speaking with the Tampa Tribune's Erik Erlendsson...
Of prospect-related note:
In the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin won 52% of his faceoffs in 19:28 of ice time in SKA St. Petersburg's 3-2 OT loss to Avtomobilist;
In the Swedish J20 SuperElit league, Joren Van Pottelberghe served as the back-up in Linkopings HC's 4-1 win over AIK;
In the QMJHL, Adam Marsh didn't play in the Saint John Sea Dogs' 4-1 win over Moncton;
In the OHL, Vili Saarijarvi had an assist and took 5 shots in the Flint Firebirds' 4-3 win over Saginaw;
And in the WHL, Joe Hicketts had an assist and 5 shots in the Victoria Royals' 4-1 win over Calgary;
While Dominic Turgeon scored a goal in the Portland Winterhawks' 3-2 loss to Everett.
The Detroit Red Wings kicked off their post-All-Star-Break schedule with a heavyweight match-up against the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening.
Between tonight's game against Tampa Bay and tomorrow's game against the Panthers (7:30 PM on FSD), Detroit has/had the opportunity to climb over their Atlantic Division rivals, but they faced long odds in Tampa Bay where the Lightning had won 7 straight games at the Amalie Arena.
The Red Wings let Tampa Bay make it 8 straight via a 3-1 loss that made Detroit look as if they'd crawled out of the All-Star Break with the same lack of energy, intensity, effort and attention to detail that haunted the Wings' home games--except that this defensive error-defined and special-teams-defined game (when the opponent goes 2-for-3 on the power play, you're in trouble) took place on the road.
Wednesday's game was just a puzzler. You would think that Detroit and Tampa Bay had exited the break with exactly zero momentum, but Tampa's speed and lateral plays were almost impossible to contain, while the Red Wings' perimeter play and dreadful power play were predictable.
Now Detroit heads into Florida, where they never win, and they absolutely must defeat the Panthers to not find themselves at a serious disadvantage in the Atlantic Division standings.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
Here is the Wings' Game-Day Preview video:
The Lightning posted a game-day video as well, via Twitter:
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.