The Malik Report
Evening news: Pondering Larkin’s Calder candidacy and discussing the Wings’ split goaltending duties
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan posits an intriguing theory...
Suddenly, it’s fair to wonder. Dylan Larkin is a strong candidate to win the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year). A fine start and Tuesday’s injury that knocked No. 1 pick Connor McDavid (broken clavicle) out for two to three months opens the door for Larkin.
Larkin, who added another early-season highlight Tuesday with his second consecutive winning goal, has nine points (four goals) in 12 games and ranks second in the NHL with a plus-10 rating.
Still, Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill knows there’s plenty to work on.
“He’s done a very good job, that’s undeniable,” Blashill said. “Does he have to get better at stuff? Absolutely. Was there lots of stuff over the first two periods (Tuesday) I thought he has to continue to improve at? One hundred percent. Our job as coaches is to make sure we continue to hold him accountable as he is having success just like we hold anybody else accountable, and we will do that. He’ll continue to improve because he wants to improve.”
And the Windsor Star's Bob Duff discussed the Red Wings' split goaltending situation:
In the prospect department:
Per HockeyFights.com and from the Ontario Hockey League, Vili Saarijarvi has been named the OHL's defenseman of the month:
Flint Firebirds 18 year-old blueliner Vili Saarijarvi is the OHL Defenceman of the Month. The Detroit Red Wings prospect put together an outstanding first full month in the OHL, scoring two goals along with 9 assists for 11 points in 11 contests to go with a plus/minus rating of plus-9. The Finnish rearguard registered points in seven of his 11 October appearances, scoring his first OHL goal as part of a two-goal effort against the Ottawa 67's on October 16th. Saarijarvi had three multi-point performances, including three assists against the Peterborough Petes on October 11th. Saarijarvi is currently tied for the lead in scoring among OHL defencemen with two goals, 14 assists and 16 points in 14 games.
A native of Rovaniemi, Finland, Saarijarvi was Flint's first round, ninth overall selection in the 2015 CHL Import Draft. A third round pick by the Detroit Red Wings at the 2015 NHL Draft, Saarijarvi was named best defenceman of the 2015 World Under-18 Hockey Championship in Switzerland after he paced Finland to a fourth place finish with three goals, six assists and nine points in seven games.
And in game action:
Well this is creepy, per CBS Detroit's Ashley Scoby:
A joint congressional report by Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, released this week, cites the Detroit Red Wings as one of many professional sports teams that have engaged in “paid patriotism” contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense.
According to the report, the Department of Defense has spent $10.4 million on marketing and advertising contracts with professional sports teams between 2012 and 2015.
It details “to the greatest extent possible DOD’s inappropriate and frivolous spending on paid patriotism activities, as well as the gifts, tickets, and other perks in each professional sports team contract” that was identified.
The Red Wings’ contracts, totaling $41,500, were detailed. Benefits and ceremonies that were paid for by the DOD (and therefore taxpayers) rather than the franchise, according to the report, included:
Off-day news: Hall of Fame talk; on Sheahan and the goaltending rotation, Bertuzzi’s slew foot and Z
The Red Wings didn't practice today as they're going to play a slate of 3 games played in 5 nights between Friday and Tuesday, but that doesn't mean that the Wings news cycle has slowed down a lick.
1. ESPN's John Buccigross reexamined his Hockey Hall of Fame predictions from 2007, and Buccigross is still bullish on Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg making the cut one day, and he makes a bet regarding a rookie possibly earning a nod down the line:
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill appeared on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Sean, Matt and Maz Show today, discussing the Red Wings' goaltending rotation thus far, Dylan Larkin's play, the Wings' emphasis on "team speed" and much more over the course of 10-and-a-half minutes:
Via RedWingsFeed, WXYZ posted a video of Wings CEO Tom Wilson discussing the Red Wings' $95 million worth of improvements already being added to the Wings' follow-on rink...
And Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea spoke with Wilson regarding some of the improvements to the rink:
From ESPN's Craig Custance:
The Red Wings were closing in on their pick in the third round, and Devellano asked [Christer] Rockstrom and [Neil] Smith for one more description of Lidstrom and what his potential might be in Detroit.
"This is a young man they don't think a whole pile of people are aware of," Devellano said recently. "They said he had terrific hockey sense, was a fluid skater and knew how to play the game. Those were the good points. However, he was not very strong at this point."
But he could get stronger. So they grabbed the kid.
Their decision transformed a franchise.
"Oh, my God, it carried us for 20 years," Devellano said.
On Monday, Lidstrom will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, one of the easiest decisions the committee has ever made. In those decades of success in Detroit, the Red Wings won four Stanley Cups. Lidstrom won an Olympic gold medal. He won seven Norris Trophies, finished second three times and, considering he didn't start winning those Norris trophies until he was in his 30s, probably deserved a couple more.
NHL.com has posted a gaggle of Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov videos on their YouTube channel.
This is still my favorite Lidstrom "moment" that didn't involve playoff goals scored from center ice or lifting the Cup, Lidstrom's first and only hat trick...
And Sergei Fedorov's 5-goal game against Washington may have been his best regular season game as a Wing:
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
1. AWood40 on YouTube posted an extended clip of highlights from last night's game:
2. For what it's worth, Jimmy Howard had a chat with the NHL Live just after last night's win:
TampaBayLightning.com's Bryan Burns penned an intriguing article journaling his trip to Joe Louis Arena to cover last night's game, and while it's not from a Red Wings perspective, it's worth your time:
The last time I visited Joe Louis Arena, the Lightning were trailing three-games-to-two in their first round playoff series and in serious danger of getting bounced out of the playoffs early. Instead, they put together one of their finest performances in a season filled with them, jumping out to a 3-0 lead and prevailing 5-2 in front of an extremely loud, extremely passionate Detroit crowd.
For my return trip, I thought it might be fun to document the whole experience and give you, the reader, a first-hand glimpse into a gameday in Detroit.
The following is a running journal of all that happened from the bus ride to the arena to departing for Buffalo and everything in between.
Hope you enjoy.
5:10 p.m. – Waiting outside the bus, enjoying the rare 70-degree early November Detroit weather, a number of interesting characters walk by. One man wears a white top hat, white dress pants and uses a white cane to produce a distinctive strut as he saunters down the street. A few paces behind, a man with an eight-inch (roughly) braided beard and a woman shaking a tambourine jangle their way by. Detroit is maybe my favorite people-watching city in the NHL.
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.