The Malik Report
From one uphill battle to another. The 7-6-and-1 Red Wings face all they can handle in a 10-3-and-0 Washington Capitals team on Tuesday evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/CSN DC+/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), with the Wings hoping to rebound from Sunday's 4-1 loss to Dallas against another team that's attempting to sustain a sterling start.
On Monday, the Wings were happy to see Pavel Datsyuk practicing with the team, but Datsyuk isn't ready to return just yet, and Brendan Smith's ill, so tonight, the Red Wings may still look a little shorthanded while attempting to prevent "History from Being Made."
On Sergei Fedorov night at the Joe, Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin is tied with Fedorov for all-time goal-scoring among Russian players, and Ovechkin's 484th goal will pass Fedorov's mark (Ovechkin scored the shootout winner in the Capitals' 3-2 shootout win over Toronto on Saturday, but had a goal disallowed due to a coach's challenge).
As Ovechkin's former Capitals teammate, Fedorov told DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose that he's excited to see his record broken sooner than later:
The NHL has posted clips of Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Lidstrom's Hockey Hall of Fame induction speeches:
The WHL, OHL and QMJHL are holding a series of 6 total games against a set of Russian prospects whose ranks will include Evgeny Svechnikov--for at least a couple of the games, anyway--and the WHL portion of the Subway Super Series schedule kicks off off tonight in Kelowna (10 PM EST on Sportsnet) and Kamloops, British Columbia tomorrow (also 10 PM EST start). Joe Hicketts, who's been much talked-about on this blog, will play in both WHL games, and will captain the team in Kamloops Tuesday evening (his hometown).
The Russian roster changes from game to game, so it's not certain whether Svechnikov will play against the WHL, but the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles forward is certainly one of Russia's better prospects.
Tonight, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald's Andrew Rankin tells us the story of Evgeny Svechnikov's upbringing, and it's a great story:
Evgeny Svechnikov never debated what he would do with the money he earned from his NHL entry-level deal with the Detroit Red Wings.
When the three-year contract was finalized in October, he sent his signing bonus straight to his parents, Elena and Igor Svechnikov, who live in Kazan, Russia.
“They need it more than me,” said the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles sophomore star. “I have a very good life, much better than theirs.”
It’s been well over a year now since the Red Wings’ 2015 first-round draft pick packed his bags and headed to North America to pursue his NHL dream. Truth is, the gregarious 19-year-old doesn’t miss home all that much, except for his parents and brother Andrei, also a highly touted hockey player.
Svechnikov’s parents never had it easy. But they saw promise in their boys from an early age and were determined to see that potential fulfilled. Svechnikov spent most of his boyhood playing hockey in Siberia. His father delivered cakes for a living while his mom was a billet mother of sorts, tending to three or four of Evgeny’s teammates year-round.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
Via RedWingsFeed, Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke with the NHL Live regarding Sergei Fedorov and Nicklas Lidstrom, and he did so for nearly nine minutes:
Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski penned an article about Fedorov's mixed legacy as a polarizing force...
from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,
For the first time since he signed a three-year contract with the Red Wings last July, Mike Green will face the team that he spend the first 10 seasons of his NHL career with.
“It’ll be strange, but I’ve moved forward now,” Green said. “I think it’s more exciting than anything. I know the personality in the dressing room and how most of these guys play, so it will be fun. But it will be fun because we’re competing.”
One thing Green will try to do Tuesday is help prevent Ovechkin from surpassing Fedorov as the league’s all-time Russian-born scoring leader.
“If you let him skate or you give him too much room he’s got an incredible shot,” Green said. “If you can eliminate his time in space, you eliminate a lot of his chances.”
Green said he knew at the end of last season that his time was up in Washington and that he would benefit from a chance in scenery.
“I was there a long time and obviously, sometimes chance is good,” the Red Wings’ defenseman said. “I felt I was becoming a little bit stagnant there, so I wanted to evolve, and I felt that coming here would be the best thing for that.”
more plus other Detroit topics...
Updated at 3:17 PM: The Red Wings practiced on Monday ahead of Tuesday's tilt against Washington (7:30 PM on FSD/CSN Washington/TVA Sports/97.1 FM; Mrazek starts), and while Pavel Datsyuk isn't returning tomorrow, he skated on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Dylan Larkin. The beat writers also told us that Brad Richards and Landon Ferraro didn't skate with the team, nor did Brendan Smith, who was feeling ill.
MLive's Ansar Khan filed a practice report...
[W]hen [Datsyuk] does ]return], coach Jeff Blashill indicated that Datsyuk likely will be paired with Henrik Zetterberg, at least initially. The other winger on that line hasn't been determined. Dylan Larkin skated with Datsyuk and Zetterberg during Monday's practice, as slumping Justin Abdelkader was moved to the third line.
"We haven't done anything yet for tomorrow; that was for practice today," Blashill said. He added, "At some point when (Datsyuk) gets back, my plan is to play him with Zetterberg, at least to start. Those plans can change. That's our thought right now. We wanted to get him on a line with just three guys by themselves. Who plays with them, we'll see."
From the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...
MLive's Ansar Khan...
LeBrun speaks with Fedorov regarding the Russian 5, roadblocks to current Russian immigration to NHL
From ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee anecdote blog:
Inductee Sergei Fedorov is proud of his role in the fab Russian Five in which legendary coach Scotty Bowman made him part of along with defensemen Vyacheslav Fetisov and Vladimir Konstantinov and forwards Igor Larionov and Slava Kozlov in the mid- to late-1990s in Detroit.
"It’s hard even now to analyze how much we did that kind of a job and influence and impact the whole NHL and the hockey world," Fedorov said of the Russian Five. "What we did is enjoy each other’s company on the ice, went through a lot of ups and downs, played together as a group. We learned that style of hockey from Soviet Union and Russia under great coaches too; and we were able to put that together for North American fans. Thank you, Scotty Bowman. He gave us the opportunity and the chance to play together."
Among ESPN's Craig Custance's 10 takeaways from this weekend and Monday, in an Insider-only entry: Custance didn't know that Nicklas Lidstrom nearly left the Red Wings in the summer of 1999 to have his oldest son Kevin go to school in Sweden. Lidstrom told Custance that it really nearly happened:
“Our oldest son was about to start school,” Lidstrom said. “My wife and I talked about what we wanted to do. That was the only time [leaving Detroit] came into play. Besides that, I never tested free agency. Never felt like I wanted to play anywhere else [in the NHL] than Detroit. That never came up in decisions.”
So had he left, he would have missed out on two Stanley Cups in Detroit?
“Yup,” he said.
“I do recall that,” said Lidstrom’s agent Don Meehan. “ I can remember having a discussion with Nick and Annika about being with their children and their education in Sweden and North America. I remember talking about it. It was a consideration from their end what they were going to do.”
Had he left, the Red Wings might not win those championships and every single one of Lidstrom’s Norris Trophies came after that decision to stay. So that’s seven Norris Trophies off his record and up for grabs among the other great defensemen of his era. Crazy.
Continued, with talk of the New York Rangers' unsuccessful attempts to trade for Lidstrom, and the joke at the time--I'm pretty sure it was the summer of 1999--was that Mike Ilitch could bring a Swedish school to Detroit.
Instead, Metro Detroit landed an IKEA.
From the Grand Rapids Griffins:
NASTASIUK AND NEDOMLEL REASSIGNED TO GRIFFINS
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings have reassigned right wing Zach Nastasiuk and defenseman Richard Nedomlel from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Nastasiuk, 20, made his ECHL debut with the Walleye on Oct. 30 and has recorded one goal and one assist in five games with the team. Detroit’s second choice (48th overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Nastasiuk has also appeared in one game with Grand Rapids this season. The Barrie, Ontario, native has played in a total of 12 regular season games for the Griffins since 2013-14, also tacking on one assist in 11 games between the 2014 and 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs.
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