The Malik Report
Updated 7x with some trade talk at 3:21 PM: I received clearance from the boss to sleep in after the Red Wings' 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames to recharge my batteries, so this isn't exactly the news I'd hoped to wake up to:
It sounds like Howard's okay, which is good given that the Wings are going to face an angry Blues team that dropped a 6-1 decision to Nashville last night after the team takes an hour-long flight to St. Louis on Red Bird III, which is scheduled to take off from Metro Airport at 3:16 PM today...
At this point, the Detroit Red Wings have a better record at "breaking" goalies than they do in breaking through them. Attempting to rebound from an ugly 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Red Wings worked incredibly hard to accomplish very little over the course of a 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night, but the Wings sent Miikka Kiprusoff packing after two periods due to the same kind of "lower body injury" which felled Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
That's a bit of a problem because the Wings will end up playing Brian Elliott's Blues as they themselves attempt to recover from a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of the Nashville Predators when the Wings and Blues meet for the second of three times this month on Thursday, in St. Louis...
And while it's uncertain whether an overworked Jimmy Howard will be spelled by Petr Mrazek, while it's highly likely that the overworked Niklas Kronwall (averaging 23-25 minutes per game) will receive any relief, and while it's hard to say what the Wings' lines will look like, barring any of the injury surprises that have become almost predictable, the 4-4-and-1 Wings have begun to develop an Achilles heel that none of us thought would be plaguing them:
The Detroit Red Wings knew that they'd be facing a fired-up Flames team that had lost a 3-2 shootout decision after surrendering the game-tying goal in the final seconds thereof on Saturday, and knew that they'd have to push much harder and play much better than they did in the team's awful 4-2 loss to Columbus...
And instead, the Wings kinda rolled over and died, but not before madly flapping and flailing their arms like a person trying to swim against the current after falling into the Detroit River outside the Joe--and that current is way, way, way too fast to combat by doing anything other than going with the flow.
Updated 2x at 3:53 PM: I tried to cram an unbelievable amount of information into the Red Wings-Flames game-day update post, but the video parts didn't fit, so here's Ken Kal's game-day preview from the Wings' website, in which Kal speaks to Jimmy Howard, Danny Cleary and Niklas Kronwall about capitalizing on the Wings' home-heavy first-half schedule...
The Flames' website posted a game-day preview of its own, as well as interviews with Mikael Backlund and coach Bob Hartley, but something tells me that you're going to be more interested in what Jiri Hudler had to say to the media...
Yesterday, the Detroit News's Mike Martindale reported that Pavel Datsyuk's suing a local businessperson who's been selling memorabilia with Datsyuk's likeness on them for some time now, and today, the Detroit Free Press's George Sipple spoke to Datsyuk's lawyer, who wants people to know that the lawsuit is not a, "Find someone who's may or may not be violating the concept of intellectual property and sue the pants off of them" one:
“Lawyers have been involved in efforts to try to amicably resolve this matter since the summer of 2012,” said Datsyuk’s attorney, Mahesh Nayak. “If you can believe it, we have given efforts to that degree to amicably resolve it since that time and have been obviously unsuccessful in getting there.”
Datsyuk wears the No. 13 for the Red Wings, which use a red and white color scheme on their hockey jerseys.
A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday before Oakland Circuit Judge Martha D. Anderson. The suit is filed against Pasha LLC, Pasha Sportwear and Terrance Sullivan.
The competing storylines about the Red Wings' desire to build a follow-on rink to replace Joe Louis Arena, as part of a $650 million mixed-use development which will be located between Cass and Woodward Avenues just north of I-75, have become something of a contest of late. On Sunday, Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea told us that the probably corporately named rink (the Belle Tire?) may "break ground" this year, and today, the Detroit News's Louis Aguilar wants to put the brakes on that scenario:
A University of Michigan professor who is a consultant on a potential $650 million, 35-acre sports and entertainment complex in Detroit dismissed earlier media reports that said he predicted construction for the downtown project could begin this fall. Rosentraub said he didn't intend to give a firm timeline for the project that includes a new home for the Detroit Red Wings professional hockey team.
"I was responding to a hypothetical and I said first A, B, C and D need to happen. The rest of the scenario was left out. It went straight to the conclusion without giving the context," Rosentraub said. He said he doesn't know, nor is he willing to predict, when construction could begin.
Updated 12x at 3:20 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Calgary Flames this evening (7:30 PM, FSD, Sportsnet West, 97.1 FM), and injuries remain at the forefront this morning, with the Wings anxiously waiting for news regarding Darren Helm's back (he's having a bone scan today), but thus far, little news is good news:
Whoops, make that some intriguing news--Ian White's returning, Brian Lashoff's going to play, and Tomas Tatar will indeed skate on the second line with Pavel Datsyuk and Valtteri Filppula--per Chuck Pleiness, George Sipple, Ansar Khan and Ted Kulfan:
The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Calgary Flames tonight (7:30 PM EST, FSD, Sportsnet West, 97.1 FM) hoping to rebound from an ugly loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets while continuing to withstand more injuries (Brendan Smith is going to miss a month with a shoulder injury, Darren Helm's got an "uh oh" of a medical test coming up in the form of a bone scan on his sore back, and the Wings recalled Petr Mrazek and Tomas Tatar from Grand Rapids because a) Jonas Gustavsson is nowhere near returning from a groin injury and b) the "bottom six" forwards have 1 assist between them)...
But the Red Wings will have anything but an easy oppnent in the Flames. As the Wings kick off a slate of four games over the course of six nights, Jiri "Happy" Hudler and the Flames hope to dig themselves out of a 1-3-and-2 hole while atttempting to assuage a 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago on Saturday which the Flames should have won seven ways from Sunday, out-shooting Chicago 47-19 and surrendering a 2-1 lead with 2.3 seconds left on the clock.
Before the Flames left Calgary for a three-game, "As far an 'East Coast Swing' as one can get while playing in the Western Conference" trip, they practiced in Calgary, and Flames coach Bob Hartley insisted that his team's 1-3-and-2 start was an aberration while speaking to the Canadian Press...
I'm trying to slowly but surely build upon Monday's gaggle of practice post news to fill up an early overnight report--for some reason, my body has decided that I need to go into my 35th birthday feeling like I lost a fight (I have been told that I felt similarly at Hutzel Hospital in 1978)--but given the awful news about Brendan Smith, and given that the Red Wings will face an incredibly motivated Calgary Flames team (including Happy Hudler) tomorrow night, you and I both need some good injury news for once, and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness provides just that...
As does the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:
General manager Ken Holland said defenseman Ian White has been cleared and will likely play Tuesday against Calgary.
White suffered a deep leg laceration, just above the knee, Jan. 22 against Dallas when goalie Jimmy Howard’s skate sliced him during a play near the crease. White has missed the last five games but his return is timely, given defenseman Brendan Smith is now gone for about a month with a shoulder seperation.
I'd planned to keep things a little more businesslike than the Triple Deke at Winging it Motown (who ends up being downright eloquent) when it comes to welcoming the man who most certainly marched to the beat of his own jazz ensemble, one Jiri Hudler, back to Detroit...But even someone who's purposefully not plugged into the streams of player-related gossip and innuendo like myself can tell you that less than family-friendly rumors about Hudler's off-ice activities followed him around like nobody's business.
That being said, I don't believe that the Red Wings cut ties with Hudler over "hookers and candy," as the Twitter meme goes--a combination of estranged relations from his decision to bolt for Dynamo Moscow in 2009-2010 and the plain old fact that he was asking for the kind of money the team would ideally like to pay Valtteri Filppula ($4 million a season for 4 years) in a cap-is-going-down NHL world, so the Wings let Hudler chase his payday, and he took advantage of it.
Hudler's Calgary Flames come to town tomorrow with a 1-3-and-2 record and a chip-and-a-half on their shoulders after dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to a Chicago Blackhawks team they severely out-shot and out-played but surrendered a game-tying goal to with just over 2 seconds left in the third period, and while the team practiced in Calgary before flying to Detroit on Monday afternoon, Hudler told the Calgary Sun's Randy Sportak that he does indeed plan on illustrating the error of his previous employer's ways to the Wings and their fans while getting the Flames back on track:
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.