The Malik Report
Updated with more gabba at 3:37 PM: The Red Wings are flying to San Jose this afternoon, choosing not to practice after their back-to-back losses against Los Angeles on Tuesday and the Ducks last night, respectively.
The Free Press’s Helene St. James filed the following addendum to her stories about the Wings’ losses with an eye toward what will be a must-win game against a San Jose Sharks team that’s fighting for its playoff life on Saturday evening, noting that Red Wings coach Mike Babcock didn’t really have much to say about the fact that his team played without Nicklas Lidstrom (bone bruise, back Monday at the earliest), Pavel Datsyuk (knee, possibly back on Saturday), Jonathan Ericsson (broken wrist, out 3-4 more weeks) or Jakub Kindl (strained oblique muscle, no timeline as of yet):
Update: the voting page can be found here...
Here’s something to cheer you up given the lovely result of Wednesday night’s Wings-Ducks game: last month, the Red Wings encouraged local recreational hockey teams to submit YouTube videos explaining why their team should have the privilege of facing off against a team of Red Wings Alumni, and while the Wings haven’t revealed how one might vote for the five finalists, RedWingsFeed’s search engine robots (I can only afford untrained monkeys) found that the Wings have chosen the following teams to vie for your affections. In no particular order, they are…
Gustav Nyquist might be the luckiest person who left the Red Wings’ locker room after Detroit dropped a wretched 4-0 decision to the Anaheim Ducks. Nyquist’s Red Wings teammates will have to sit and stew in their own juices during a much-needed off-day as the team chose to remain in LA after both Wednesday night’s defeat and Tuesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Kings.
They’ll fly to San Jose this afternoon and try to pick up the pieces after essentially losing all hope of winning the Central Division against the Blues, who sit 8 points ahead of Detroit in the Central Division and western Conference standings, and placing their home-ice advantage over their probable first-round opponent in the Nashville Predators, who sit only 2 points behind the Wings, thanks to a 2-and-5 record in March and a perfectly hideous 3-8-and-1 record since the team set their home-ice winning record against the Sharks way back on February 19th.
Why is Nyquist lucky? MLive’s Ansar Khan reports that the Wings sent Nyquist back to the Grand Rapids Griffins, who’ve won 2 straight games and will welcome their leading scorer back for a hard playoff push.
The Detroit Free Press’s Mitch Albom offers a passionate plea for fans who will attend this Saturday’s game between the Red Wings Alumni Association and the Shawn Burr Foundation in Fraser to take part in a painless little procedure which might help the aforementioned Burr beat another bout of myeloid lymphoma:
Drop the gloves. Shawn Burr is back for another round against cancer. This one, like most second rounds, may be tougher than the first, which he squashed in typical Shawn Burr fashion, claiming he was the only person in history to go through chemotherapy and gain weight.
Months passed. He was cancer-free, they said. He even posted a Facebook entry a few weeks back, the day the Red Wings were seeking the record for consecutive home victories. It read, “Life is good.” A few days later, he had a blood test. The results were concerning. A biopsy was taken. And “life is good” seemed like a memory.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Shawn Burr, 45, is just too damn optimistic, too upbeat, too selfless and too self-deprecating to lose to cancer. He has the goods to beat it. But he may need some equipment.
In the words of Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, “I know this music.” And the music Mr. Zorg speaks of in The Fifth Element best represents the Red Wings’ 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, representing the Wings’ fifth loss in seven March games:
It’s the sound of senseless, useless and ultimately futile combat in the film, and for the Red Wings, who have gone 3-8-and-1 since they established their home-ice winning record way back on February 19th, Wednesday night’s loss must doubtlessly mark the lowest point of their 2011-2012 season.
As noted in the game-day update thread (expect one more update prior to the game there), Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom had a bad day in terms of his attempt to recover from a bone bruise in his left ankle, and to put things bluntly regarding the captain’s issue, I’m going to repeat something I said on Twitter:
Bone bruises are quite literally the concussions of the orthopedic injury world. There is no rhyme or reason as to how long it takes for any particular bone bruise to heal, regardless of one’s relative health, and when I heard that Lidstrom had a bone bruise, I was genuinely disappointed that he hadn’t broken his ankle or even suffered one of those infamous “high ankle sprains,” because those at least have concrete timelines for recovery.
Lidstrom’s had repeated x-rays to confirm that he hasn’t broken anything, but it’s very clear that the part of his ankle which suffered the bone bruise is located exactly where his ankle and heel dig into the back of his skate when he presses down on his toe to push off and skate forward, which means that he’s aggravating the injury with every stride, and he told DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose that his pesky injury remains so painful that the Wings’ medical staff is considering completely “shutting him down” for another week to try and rest an injury that’s clearly got a mind of its own:
Red Wings-Ducks game-day updates: Bertuzzi in, MacDonald starts, Lidstrom ‘shut down,’ Nyquist to GR
Updated one last time at 9:20 PM: Putting mid-day chatter behind us, the Red Wings will tangle with the Anaheim Ducks tonight (10 PM EDT, FSD/FS West/97.1 FM), and while it should come as little surprise that the Red Wings’ website reports that the Wings engaged in an optional morning skate (so did the Ducks, who NHL.com’s Curtis Zupke confirms will start Jonas Hiller, and Corey Perry and Luca Sbisa may or may not play), and our biggest lineup news comes from the Free Press’s Helene St. James, who reports the following...
Bertuzzi says he’s playing tonight against Ducks
MacDonald starting tonight, Howard back on Saturday as starter
And MLive’s Ansar Khan explains why “Joey Mac” is starting tonight:
Bertuzzi said he is playing tonight.
MacDonald starting in goal tonight for Wings. The plan was to not play Howard back to back coming off groin injury
As we wait for news from the Red Wings’ morning skate ahead of tonight’s game against the Ducks (10 PM EDT, FSD/FS West/97.1 FM), some off-day chatter merits noting:
• As previously mentioned, the Hockey News’s poll of 150 NHL’ers yielded 3 Wings players listed among the top 50 in the NHL: Henrik Zetterberg was named the 20th-best player, Nicklas Lidstrom was named the 7th-best player and best defenseman, and as the Hockey News reveals today, the players believe that Pavel Datsyuk is the second-best player in the NHL, behind Sidney Crosby:
Ted Lindsay talks about the Red Wings’ Alums and about not playing in the Winter Classic Alumni game
This merits its own entry: Red Wings legend Ted Lindsay spoke to the Wings’ website about the Red Wings’ Alumni Association’s agenda while speaking very briefly about the Winter Classic. Lindsay absolutely despised the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he tells the Wings’ website that back surgery will prevent the 87-year-old from playing in the Winter Classic Alumni game:
Gordie Howe can’t theoretically play, either, due to wrist surgery and bad knees, and Steve Yzerman’s stated that he won’t attend given that he hasn’t skated since he retired due to his osteotomy, but something tells me that we might see the trio do a one-shift
The Detroit Red Wings’ frustrating 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night leaves the Wings facing a quick turnaround for tonight’s game against the Ducks (10 PM EDT, FSD/FS West/97.1 FM) with almost no margin for error in their 12 remaining games.
The Wings now sit seven points behind the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference and Central Division standings, and are only two points ahead of an increasingly probable first-round opponent in the Nashville Predators, so the Wings may very well need some help to simply earn home-ice advantage over Nashville, never mind make a stab at the Central title as Detroit’s 2-and-3 March record and 3-5-and-1 record since the team established their home-ice winning record against San Jose some 24 days ago, and while the Wings might get Todd Bertuzzi (groin) back in their lineup tonight, Pavel Datsyuk (knee, will return Saturday at the earliest), Nicklas Lidstrom (bone bruise, will return Monday at the earliest), Jakub Kindl (upper-body, ???) and Jonathan Ericsson (broken wrist, out 3-4 more weeks) remain sidelined, and if Tuesday’s effort is any indication, Jimmy Howard’s teammates need to do much more than run around like a mite team if they are to defeat the Ducks, who are both out of the playoff picture and possess a similar 2-and-3 record this month thanks to a 3-game losing streak.
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.