The Malik Report
Twenty years ago, hockey took a major step in its evolution when the Detroit Red Wings put five Russian players together as one unit of three forwards and two defensemen for the first time.
The "Russian Five," as the deployment of forwards Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov and Vyacheslav Kozlov, and defensemen Vladimir Konstantinov and Viacheslav Fetisov became known, debuted Oct. 27, 1995, against the Calgary Flames and helped the Red Wings score the final three goals.
Kozlov and Larionov each scored in Detroit's 5-2 victory against Calgary, but hockey ended up being the biggest winner, as the game changed for the better in response to the transcendental nature of the Russian Five, the brainchild of Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman.
Together, the Russians helped Detroit to a historic 1995-96 season, when it set the NHL record with 62 wins and finished one point short of tying the record for most points in a season (132), set by the Montreal Canadiens in 1976-77. More importantly, the Russian Five was a big part of the Red Wings' first Stanley Cup championship in 42 years.
"My main trick was not to unite all five Russians every time," Bowman said. "I was worried that the opponents would be able to figure out how to play against them. Often, I would wait until the second or even third period to get them out on the ice together. It always got other teams confused."
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"I think it's a fun set-up." Henrik Zetterberg said. "Obviously, puck possession is huge."
Said Nyquist: "Obviously, it's exciting; you've got a lot of open space out there, a lot of chances."
Even goaltenders, who will be hung out to dry often, like it.
"It was fun, wide open," Jimmy Howard said. "Exactly what you thought was going to happen."
The Red Wings have quickly realized the importance of timely changes. An inability to change cost them in Calgary and a bad change by the Canucks benefited them in Vancouver.
"At some point, you have to get off the ice because the last thing you want to do is get tired out there when you're only three (skaters)," Nyquist said. "I think that's what happened in Calgary. We got some guys out there on the winning goal that had been out there for so long. You're just so tired out there you can't even think. You got to get off at some point and it was nice to take advantage of that (on Saturday)."
According to NHL.com, the Russian 5 debuted on October 27th, 1995 against the Calgary Flames, and NHL.com found a PASS Sports feature on the quintet's 2-goal performance that evening:
The 4-3-and-1 Red Wings wrap up a stretch of 4 games in 7 nights as they host the 2-and-6 Carolina Hurricanes this evening (7:30 PM on FSD Plus/FS Carolinas/97.1 FM).
As we learned on Monday, the Wings won't have the services of Mike Green (shoulder), Kyle Quincey (concussion) or Brad Richards (back), but the Red Wings were already very wary of the Hurricanes, who out-shot Detroit 47-19 in the Wings' 4-3 victory over Carolina on October 10th and out-shot Detroit 36-20 in Carolina's 5-3 win on October 16th.
The Hurricanes come into tonight's game having dropped a 5-2 decision to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday and a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings last Friday, but we'll say that the mood is bright as the Canes shift into the 5th of 6 straight road games.
added 6:23pm, And you probably know this...
added 6:36pm, Sipple tweet,
Barring an injury, Holland not planning to call anyone up. GR plays in Toronto on Fri. so could get someone to Ottawa for Sat. game easily.
From the Red Wings:
JUSTIN ABDELKADER AND LUKE GLENDENING SET TO APPEAR AT METRO DETROIT MEIJER LOCATIONS
... Abdelkader to Appear at First “Red Wings Day at Meijer” on Wednesday, Oct. 28 in Allen Park …
DETROIT– Detroit Red Wings forwards Justin Abdelkader and Luke Glendening are set to appear individually at six Meijer locations throughout the Metro Detroit area, signing free autographs and interacting with the fans of Hockeytown. Abdelkader, a Muskegon, Mich., native and former Michigan State Spartan, will make the first appearance of the campaign on Wednesday, Oct. 28 in Allen Park (3565 Fairlane Dr.), while Glendening, a Grand Rapids, Mich., native and former Michigan Wolverine, will appear at the Meijer in Warren (29505 Mound Rd.) on Thursday, Oct. 29. Abdelkader and Glendening will each make two additional stops this season in Lincoln Park, Roseville and Detroit. All events will take place from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., with player signings to occur from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. The season-long schedule can be found below.
From the Red Wings:
Red Wings recognize Friday as Hockey Fights Cancer Night at Joe Louis Arena
Fans encouraged to wear purple on Friday to support cancer awareness as Red Wings take on Ottawa Senators at 7:30 p.m. at The Joe
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings join the National Hockey League in support of Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Month by hosting the club’s annual Hockey Fights Cancer Night on Friday, Oct. 30, when the Red Wings host the Ottawa Senators at 7:30 p.m., at Joe Louis Arena (FOX Sports Detroit Plus & 97.1 The Ticket). Red Wings fans attending Friday’s game are encouraged to wear purple to help support cancer awareness.
All 30 NHL teams will host a Hockey Fights Cancer Night. The event is part of the annual Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Month, an initiative founded by the NHL and NHLPA in December 1998 to raise money and awareness for hockey’s most important fight. To date, more than $15 million has been raised under the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative to support national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research.
Updated 4x at 2:08 PM: The Red Wings practiced this morning with Pavel Datsyuk in tow--until the contact drills, anyway--but they were without Brad Richards, Mike Green and Kyle Quincey, who are out with a back issue that Richards is having checked out in New York today, an "upper-body injury" that will sideline Green for 2-3 weeks and concussion issues for Quincey, respectively.
The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa empahsized the positive in discussing Datsyuk's mini-return, mostly from a joking Datsyuk as well..
"My conditioning is unbelievable!" he said, repeating a question and exaggerating his already accelerating breathing to dramatically huff-and-puff – demonstrating the issue with which he now mostly grapples: conditioning.
But his mood was good, and Datsyuk's smile was flashing. Datsyuk's surgery to repair ruptured tendons in his right ankle -- an injury he played through, with considerable pain last season – was four months ago.
"Sometimes I feel better," Datsyuk said. "I feel better when I start to skate, but it's hard to keep pace, good pace, when the team skates fast. I feel more confident, but it's not close yet."
While the timetable is the same, Datysuk said, "Every day, it feels better and better."
He said he would continue to skate with the team, "when I have a chance." But mostly, he will continue to drill on his own.
The Free Press's George Sipple confirmed Datsyuk's comments...
From MLive's Ansar Khan:
And DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji:
Updated 5x at 12:26 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice just prior to 11 AM this morning to practice ahead of tomorrow's game against the Carolina Hurricanes, and MLive's Ansar Khan noted that Pavel Datsyuk hit the ice first:
Wings filing onto ice for practice. Datsyuk is skating. If he stays it will be his first practice with team this season.
Green, Quincey and Richards not skating.
Wings doing some east-west sprints near start of practice and Datsyuk is participating.
The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa reported for duty...
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.