The Malik Report
Updated 4x at 12:59 PM--Helm and DeKeyser might return on Saturday: Of Red Wings practice-related note:
First, an FYI:
The Red Wings took to the ice around noon to begin preparing for Friday and Saturday's games against Carolina and Montreal, and MLive's Ansar Khan reported that Johan Franzen didn't join them:
Wings on ice for practice. Franzen not skating, after feeling ill yesterday.
Nor did Zetterberg or Green:
Zetterberg and Green not skating. No word yet on why. Zetterberg might be taking maintenance day.
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
At age 35, Zetterberg is unlikely to produce those kinds of numbers and he knows that as well as anyone.
"It's early, three games," Zetterberg said. "I had a pretty good start last year then I hit the wall in January. A lot of things can happen but obviously it's a pretty good start. I just got to wake up tomorrow and feel good."
Fair enough but it's also an encouraging sign for the Red Wings to see Zetterberg starting the season with multi-point games in victories over Toronto, Carolina and Tampa Bay.
His seven points lead the NHL, his five assists are tied for the top spot and he's got a plus-5 rating.
"He's playing really well," said Justin Abdelkader. "He had a great summer as far as training. He came into camp ready to go, kind of with a chip on his shoulder. Maybe the new coaching change brought a breath of fresh air for him.
"I think our whole line is doing a lot of good things. (Dylan) Larkin is skating well, had good chances. (Zetterberg is) our leader and it's good to see him doing so good."
added 7:54am, Extended game highlights are below...
Of prospect related note:
And the Grand Rapids Griffins posted their weekly release ahead of their home opener on Friday:
The Detroit Red Wings' 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning looked like a playoff game--sometimes with the same gritty, "greasy" ugliness thereof--and the Lightning agreed with that assessment, as they told the Tampa Tribune's Erik Erlendsson:
“That was deja vu, playoff game all over again,’’ Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said. “There was not a lot of room out there, both teams were under 25 shots (on goal). They picked the corners, we didn’t.’’
That corner picking shot came courtesy of Gustav Nyquist, who found a tiny seam over the shoulder of Ben Bishop late in the second period for a power play goal that opened the scoring with 2:08 left in the second period. From that point on, it felt like Tampa Bay was going to have a tough go trying to get back in the game and when Henrik Zetterberg scored at 8:52 of the third - which came after the Lightning came up empty on two power play chances - a chance to start the season with a fourth consecutive victory went out the door.
There were no late game heroics like Game 4 of the playoffs last season when Tyler Johnson sparked a late rally to even up the series with an overtime victory.
“Tonight was a tough test for us, they play a really tight game and there wasn’t much space out there,’’ Johnson said. “It kind of reminded me of the playoffs in that sense.’’
Rematches can be overrated, and it's hard to say whether the Red Wings could take any solace in defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning during the regular season after being eliminated from the playoffs in a bitter seven-game first-round series--that kind of revenge takes until April to truly earn.
That being said, the Red Wings' 3-1 win--in all its gloriously ugly nature--felt pretty damn good, from Nyquist's 2nd-period, playoff-game-un-tying snipe to the goalpost that Ondrej Palat hit in the game's final seconds, with a little luck and a little lucky goodness separating Detroit from what could'a been and maybe should'a been overtime had Detroit not played so damn well defensively (mostly), from Mike Green of all people (and we need to get his Stealth CNT collection going, folks) on out to the Glendenings, Ferraros, Jurcos and Larkins.
This was the kind of game where Nyquist and Zetterberg carried the day, but Kyle Quincey got two points, and Jeff Blashill's ever-slightly-more aggressive structure seemed to give the Wings just enough of an edge to out-compete an incredibly-talented Lightning team.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
2. The Tampa Tribune's Erik Erlendsson spoke with Brad Richards regarding a particularly momentous summer preceding his signing with the Red Wings:
via the Detroit Red Wings,
Comerica Bank GameDay preview featuring Ken Kal, Jeff Blashill, Brendan Smith and Teemu Pulkkinen.
Updated 6x at 3:21 PM: The Red Wings took to the ice for their morning skate ahead of tonight's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the skate revealed that Darren Helm isn't quite ready to return from his concussion, that Tomas Jurco will play in Landon Ferraro's place, and that the Wings have tweaked their power play ahead of tonight's match-up against Ben Bishop and the Bolts (7:30 PM EDT on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM).
The Lightning "held an optional" morning skate as they're playing their 3rd game in 4 nights this evening, but the Tampa Bay Times' Joe Smith offered a notes and a zinger from coach Jon Cooper:
Cooper said Bishop is starting
Cooper said rest of lineup is game time decision. Guessing Nesterov could get in
#TBLightning Cooper playfully kidding about good friend @DetroitRedWings Jeff Blashill. "Aside from me, he's as good as it gets."
The Tampa Bay Tribune's Erik Erlendsson confirmed the possibility that the Bolts might make a change on defense:
Among Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman's "30 Thoughts":
18. In a conversation last week, Henrik Zetterberg confirmed (sort of) a story I’d heard about him. In 2013, as the Detroit Red Wings scraped to prolong their two-decade playoff streak, word was that, down the stretch, he launched into a passionate, slightly profane speech during a team meeting, basically saying that missing the postseason “was not going to happen on my watch.”
“I didn’t use the language you described,” he said last Thursday. “But I didn’t want to be on the team that missed the playoffs. The standard that was set by the players before me. Stevie [Yzerman], Nick [Lidstrom], [Kris] Draper, [Chris] Chelios. Playing with them, I learned how much it meant. I wanted the new guys to know it matters.” Zetterberg revealed it happened before the final game of the season, a must-win in Dallas. Detroit shut out the Stars, 3-0.
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.