The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings have lost 5 straight games (0-3-and-2) and have given up three consecutive 2-0 leads over the past 12 days, with the latest loss coming in the form of a disappointing 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
Given some TMR readers' comments in the quick take, Vaclav Prospal's game-winning goal scored with 24.7 left in regulation, combined with Kyle Quincey's loss to what Wings coach Mike Babcock's calling a "rolled ankle," may or may not have marked death-knells for the Wings' playoff chances, or issued firing notices for Ken Holland, Mike Babcock and every player on the roster, depending on which player Wings fans like the least...
But for the Red Wings themselves, whose 7-7-and-3 record yields a 10th-place status in the Western Conference and a 5-point lead over the 15th-place Blue Jackets, the startling collision between Quincey and Artem Anisimov (who is okay) seemed to stop the team's momentum on a dime, and their inability to recover--with the obvious and necessary qualifier being that kids' games played by professional athletes are less important than people like Anisimov recovering from his injuries--from the shocking incident and plain old out-work the Blue Jackets for the remainder of the game yields us to a simple equation:
The Detroit Red Wings now sit at 0-3-and-2 since their rope-a-dope win over the Los Angeles Kings way back on February 18th, thanks to a 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
The game-winning goal was a microcosm of the season thus far: with time ticking down, the Wings pressed deep, and instead of shooting, Damien Brunner tried to pass the puck to the slot, despite the fact that both Henrik Zetterberg and the goal-scoring-but otherwise-nonexistent Valtteri Filppula were covered. James Wisniewski picks the pass off, skates it up ice, gives it to Derek Dorsett, and as Ian White and Brian Lashoff don't play together, but were the #2 defensive pairing thanks to Kyle Quincey's injury, Dorsett's lateral pass to Wisniewski from the left faceoff dot wasn't so much as sneezed at....
The Red Wings-Blue Jackets game is being officiated as something of a farce tonight, and that has nothing to do with the following Tweet from the Detroit News's John Niyo.
During the Artem Anismov collision, the Wings (who found out that Carlo Colaiacovo may not be as close to returning as once thought today) lost another defenseman:
Given the way tonight's game has gone, and given Adrian Aucoin's successful attempts to encourage Danny Cleary to spear himself before taking six to eight cross checks, slashes, pushes and football tackles on Justin Abdelkader, all during a Wings power play, all uncalled, we'll find out whether the Wings can finish with at least a starting lineup before this joke of a game's over.
Looked like a sprained knee.
Roose: New Red Wings fowrard Jordin Tootoo hopes to raise awareness of, funds for suicide prevention
This stirkes me as a particularly timely reminder. DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose reminds us that new Red Wings forward Jordin Tootoo is signing autographs tomorrow at Hockeytown Authentics to give "Team Tootoo" some Michigan legs:
Though more then 10 years has passed since his brother’s suicide, the topic is just too sensitive for Jordin Tootoo to discuss publicly, telling reporters Thursday, “I’m not going to get into details.”
Two years ago, Tootoo’s silence was funneled toward his philanthropic priorities meant to draw attention to suicide awareness and prevention, especially among children and at-risk teenagers. Tootoo used the suicide death of his older brother, Terence, who was a rising hockey star in his own right, to establish the Team Tootoo Fund, which seeks to assist those non-profit foundations.
“I got it going a couple of years ago in Nashville,” said Tootoo, who registered his first goal in a Red Wings’ sweater on Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena. “Part of our job is giving back. As professionals, you want to do all the right things for our community, for our fans. Obviously it was a no-brainer for me to keep it going here.”
Tootoo will sign autographs from 5-7 p.m. Friday at Hockeytown Authentics in Troy, Mich., with the monies raised benefiting his charity.
Updated 13x at 6:46 PM: The Detroit Red Wings are preparing to face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening (7:30 PM EST, FSD Plus/FS Ohio/NHL Network/1270 AM), and gauging from MLive's Ansar Khan's Tweets from the morning skate, we shouldn't expect much in the way of personnel changes on the Wings' behalf:
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness confirms...
The Detroit News's Terry Foster reports that a former Flint Generals player is trying to build the game of hockey in the City of Detroit, and at Jack Adams Arena, African American hockey players will play in a tournament this weekend whose aim is to spread the belief that hockey truly is for everyone:
McCrimmon is a big proponent of inner-city hockey, having grown up in Detroit and played pro hockey overseas. And this weekend, he's showcasing the inaugural "Black Ice Invitational" at Jack Adams Arena and Clark Park on Detroit's southwest side. Games begin at 5:50 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.
There are only four teams — from Columbus and Washington D.C., and two from Detroit — but McCrimmon is hoping to give the sport a boost in Detroit.
And he's made inroads. Black kids no longer look at him cross-eyed when he talks hockey. "I hope the (football) coaches are not mad at me," McCrimmon said. "(Some players we recruit) were mostly guys who played football and like to hit. Hockey is a sport where you get to hit."
The Detroit Red Wings will attempt to break a 4-game winless streak tonight against an opponent that always plays up to the level of its competition in the Columbus Blue Jackets (7:30 PM EST, FSD Plus/FS Ohio/WXYT AM/NHL Network--that means another Center Ice/GCL blackout), and while the Red Wings received some rare good news on the injury front regarding Jimmy Howard--who smartly took himself out of Tuesday's loss to Nashville when symptoms of "blurry vision" appeared--the Wings found out that Mikael Samuelsson's going to miss at least two weeks with a broken left index finger, and MLive's Ansar Khan reported that Johan Franzen (hip flexor), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and Brendan Smith (shoulder) are all likely to return during the Wings' road trip on February 27th and 28th than they are to return during Detroit's 3 games-in-4-nights stretch.
Tonight's Military Appreciation Night at the Joe, but the 7-6-and-3 Wings' "general" manager broke ranks and did the least intelligent thing the most honest and forthright GM in hockey (most of the time) GM in hockey could do during an extended stretch of underwhelming efforts by his team:
Updated at 8:46 PM: Here's the Free Press's Helene St. James' confirmation...
The Detroit Red Wings have caught a big break on the injury front, as starting goaltender Jimmy Howard has been cleared to play.
General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press that "all tests have shown nothing," and that Howard will be available to play Thursday when the Wings host Columbus.
The Free Press's Helene St. James broke the news that Red Wings forward Mikael Samuelsson's out for at least two weeks with a broken left index finger, and now we'll turn things over to MLIve's Ansar Khan, who reports that Wings GM Ken Holland doesn't believe that Jimmy Howard's injury is one worth losing sleep over (the team seems to believe that Howard's decision to take himself out for precautionary reasons when experiencing "blurry vision" during last night's loss to Nashville was a wise one), and Khan offers other injury updates as well:
"[Howard] had a great morning skate (Tuesday), felt good all afternoon, had a good warmup,'' Holland said. "Then, in the game, he felt blurry. When you have that you have to go through all the tests.''
Howard left at 11:22 of the first period in the 4-3 overtime loss at Nashville.
Also from Khan:
Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke to the Fan 590's Hockeycentral at Noon crew on Wednesday, addressing everything from Mikael Samuelsson and Jimmy Howard's statuses (out for 2 weeks and "iffy," respectively) to his team's performance in their first post-Nicklas Lidstrom season, the injury parade that's beset the Wings, Pavel Datsyuk's dekes and dangles and his take on improving the Wings down the line:
The interview's over 12 minutes long, and Holland speaks quickly, so expect to need to re-listen to it.
Update: Sportsnet posted the most important part of Holland's commentary, at least as it applies to possible personnel moves:
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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.