The Malik Report
I usually try to write something up after a game like this, but after enduring a 6-0 Red Wings loss to the St. Louis Blues, one in which the Wings were out-shot by a ridiculous margin, out-chanced, out-skated, out-hit and plain old out-played to such an extent that I can only hope that this was a, "Okay, we're going to play one preseason game, get our asses kicked incredibly thoroughly and leave our rust, our shakiness and our utter fear of playing without Lidstrom behind us, all in one game and one city!" type game...
I might as well let you vent. Jimmy Howard was valliant despite giving up 5 goals on 28 shots. Three of 'em were just breakaways (Kyle Quincey left his brain in Detroit), and he may have had a chance on Tarasenko's second goal, but that was about it.
The power play stank. The penalty kill stank. The Wings looked intimidated by the Blues--as has become usual over the past couple of years at the Scottrade Center--and looked plain old lost.
Not good, from DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
Fox Sports Detroit showed an excellent replay of what happened: early in the first period, David Backes launched himself into Mursak at the Wings' bench, and the tip of Mursak's shoulder hit the top of the boards. He managed to finish the first, but did not return.
More as it comes in.
Updated 10x at 4:27 PM, and again, Bertuzzi has mono: The Detroit Red Wings will begin their 2013 season against the St. Louis Blues tonight (8 PM EST, FSD with a one-hour preview, beforehand, 97.1 FM), and the Blues have completed their morning skate, as noted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jeremy Rutherford...
The Belleville News-Democrat's Norm Sanders:
And NHL.com's Lou Korac:
The Detroit Red Wings begin their 2013 season against the St. Louis Blues tonight (8 PM EST, FSD w/ a 1-hour preview starting at 7/97.1 FM, and ohyeahbytheway, Center Ice is holding a free preview until the end of January), and as we a) won't know the final shape of the Wings' or Blues' rosters for tonight's game until the morning skate at about noon ET today (okay, we know the Wings' lines and we know that Jimmy Howard will face Jaroslav Halak in the nets), and b) the Friday evening post sort of serves as a Wings-Blues preview in itself...
I'd like to restate the, "Sometimes it's better to not give f*** about what other people think" theory with a little more poise this time.
Updated 2x at 9:30 PM: This afternoon's Red Wings news cycle hit "pause" pretty early as the Red Wings hustled to Metro Airport to board Red Bird III and flew to St. Louis almost immediately after wrapping up their final pre-season practice at Joe Louis Arena. This evening, a combination of Wings-Blues tidbits (tomorrow's game starts at 8 PM EST, and will air on Fox Sports Detroit, with a season preview airing at 7 PM, and 97.1 FM--and if you checked out the Wings' combined radio and TV broadcast schedule, you'll notice almost half their games will air on WXYT AM instead of the Ticket's FM station), Wings personnel notes and NHL previews and prognostications merit an evening post, so here it is.
Starting at the beginning, with player personnel news, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan confirms that Darren Helm (back), Jakub Kindl (groin) and Todd Bertuzzi (flu) will miss tomorrow night's season-opener, with Helm and Kindl slated to miss multiple games due to their injuries:
Sports Illustrated's Brian Cazeneueve took an intriguing tack in terms of "catching up" with famous hockey names by speaking to Boston Bruins anthem singer Rene Rancourt, Philadelphia Flyers PA announcer Lou Nolan, Nashville Predators play-by-play annoncer Pete Weber, Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates and somebody whose name Cazeneueve spells as "Al Sabotka" about a certain Joe Louis Arena's building manager's activities when the Detroit Red Wings weren't skating on the ice Al Sobotka tends to so meticulously. Here's what Al did during the lockout:
The Zamboni Driver: Al Sobotka, Detroit Red Wings
Al Sobotka, 59, is the building operations manager at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena and the Zamboni driver at Red Wings' games. During his 41 years with the team he has become as essential to the games as the ice he manages,
but he is most often recognized for cleaning up and then twirling overhead the many octopi that fans hurl onto the ice at playoff time. "It's become part of the show," he says modestly.
The show has endured, despite the lockout. Without NHL hockey, the Joe hosted youth tournaments, events for season-ticket holders, corporate parties, and scheduled concerts and college hockey games. Sobotka oversees arena details from painting to seat repair and also cooks monthly barbecues for the team. Each meal requires 36 slabs of ribs with his spice rub, 25 pounds of burgers, eight chickens and 40 links of Cajun chicken sausage. With a full plate of responsibilities, Sobotka remained a full-time employee along with a dozen of the Wings' building staff, including electricians and engineers. "I felt bad for the (part-time) concession workers and cleanup guys," he says. "They are like family."
Sobotka earned high praise when the 1994-95 lockout forced a late start to the Stanley Cup Final in Detroit, where outside temperatures hit 98 degrees. "We used de-humidifiers and supplemental air on both ends of the arena," he says. "The players were surprised at how well the ice held up. We can do the same this year if we have to."
Fox Sports Detroit posted its preliminary Red Wings broadcast schedule about a week ago, and now the Red Wings have issued a press release stating both its TV and radio broadcast slots for the 2013 season.
RED WINGS ANNOUNCE 2012-13 TV/RADIO SCHEDULE
Detroit, MI…The Detroit Red Wings today announced their 2012-13 broadcast schedule that includes all 48 regular season games carried live on both television and radio.
For the 13th year, all Wings regular-season and playoff games will be carried live by CBS Sports Radio with Ken Kal and former Red Wings captain Paul Woods providing the call. CBS Radio will broadcast the games on a combination of 97.1 The Ticket and 1270 AM with more than half of the games simulcast on both stations.
FOX Sports Detroit (FSD) continues its award-winning production and carriage of Red Wings games by airing a total of 41 regular-season contests with 35 games slated for FSD and six on FOX Sports Detroit Plus (FS PLUS). Additionally, FOX Sports Detroit will carry all non-exclusive games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs if the Wings qualify. NBC (four) and NBCSN (three) will carry seven regular-season Red Wings contests in Detroit and nationally.
The Red Wings afternoon post-practice news post will still be updated for the next hour or two (as the Red Wings' beat writers file their practice reports), but, via RedWingsFeed, the Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek leads off his weekly notebook with an intriguing conversation held with one Red Wings gM Ken Holland about his team's attempts to sustain its 21-year playoff-qualifying streak without Nicklas Lidstrom:
“We’re not going to replace him,” said Holland, “so what do we do? Obviously we used to have a superstar on defence. In his prime, he’d play close to half the game. When you weren’t sure, you threw Nick on the ice. Now, I think Nik Kronwall is a really, really good defenceman. There’s no doubt he’s the face of our defence. It’s Nik Kronwall and then it’s a committee.”
The Red Wings have been a model of consistency during Holland’s entire 16-year tenure as GM. He likes to talk about a story, written by a well-known Toronto reporter at the end of the last lockout, predicting the Red Wings’ best days were behind them – and that in the new salary-cap era, where they couldn’t simply outspend the opposition, they would fall back into the pack. Holland said in an interview this week he still keeps that article on his desk as a daily reminder of the fickleness of pro sports and its ‘what-have-you-done-for-me-lately’ nature.
Updated 6x at 3:35 PM: via Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Mike Knuble signed a 25-game pro tryout contract with the Grand Rapids Griffins. That means he'll play for the Griffins but can sign with any NHL team that comes calling.
Todd Bertuzzi (groin, sick) will not play in Saturday's season opener at St. Louis but the club hopes he'll be ready for the second game, Monday in Columbus.
Darren Helm (back) expects to miss the first three games. Jakub Kindl (groin) won't play Saturday.
Brian Lashoff was reassigned to Grand Rapids.
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness confirms...
As does the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...
Updated 3x at 12:57 PM: the Free Press's Helene St. James reports that Mike Knuble "won't make the team": Fox Sports Detroit's streaming webpage will offer a live feed of the Red Wings' final practice before the truncated 2013 season begins on Saturday, with the Wings slated to hit the ice around 12 PM and skate for approximately an hour.
As we wait for practice to begin, here's a roundup of this morning's news stores, which focus upon the topic of the day in the intersection of the Wings' health concerns, including groin injuries nagging Jakub Kindl and Todd Bertuzzi, as well as a back injury that's bothering Darren Helm, with the roster crunch the Wings find themselves facing as they've got 27 players on the roster, but need to get down to 23 by this afternoon.
The fact that Patrick Eaves has been cleared to play, as noted by the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan, complicates the Wings' roster equation:
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.