The Malik Report
The Red Wings chose not to incur a fine for flying out of San Jose at a late hour, but given the toll going 0-2-and-1 on their West Coast road trip took upon their chances of harboring any hopes of avoiding a first-round match-up against the Nashville Predators, who the Wings lead by two points in the Central Division standings thanks to a favor from the Los Angeles Kings, and given that Darren Helm (left knee), Joey MacDonald (back spasms, possible disc issue), Nicklas Lidstrom (bone bruise on his left ankle) and Johan Franzen (back spasms) will form a long line at an MRI machine at the Detroit Medical Center instead of a line to do drills at the Wings’ practice on Monday morning…
You’d think that the Wings, whose distressing 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks was nothing more than an exclamation point upon a road trip which included losses to LA and Anaheim, would want to get out of dodge as fast as possible. The Wings have gone 3-8-and-2 since defeating the same Sharks on February 17th, and given the revolving door that’s been placed in front of the trainer’s room…
Update: The Free Press’s Helene St. James and MLive’s Ansar Khan report that Helm will have an MRI on what is either a left knee injury or a Charley horse on Monday: The Detroit Red Wings’ 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks may have been best summarized by the game’s final play: Off a dump-in by Niklas Kronwall which neither Justin Abdelkader nor Danny Cleary could retrieve, Dominic Moore charged up the middle of the ice, gave-and-went with Douglas Murray and skated into the Wings’ zone.
When Moore—who knocked Darren Helm (“lower-body injury,” will be reassessed on Monday) out of the game with an inadvertent knee-in-knee checkstopped with 3 Wings surrounding him about ten feet in front of the hash marks, instead of closing in on Moore, Kronwall and Ian White just stood and sort of watched Moore kick the puck to his stick, and passed the puck to Martin Havlat, who fired a hard shot from the right wing side on Jimmy Howard.
Red Wings fans have more or less figured out that the reason Brad Stuart’s family hasn’t moved to Detroit with him involves his step-daughter’s custody issues. Mrs. Stuart’s daughter from her previous marriage is 17 and, as far as those familiar with California law can surmise, the Stuarts would have to give up custody of said daughter, depending on the legalities involved, if Mrs. Stuart were to move out of either the State of California or just plain old move out of Ciera’s school district. That’s why Stuart has spent the last four years away from his wife, step-daughter and two young sons, and it’s why Stuart seems to be on the fence about re-signing with the Wings. The San Jose Mercury News’s David Pollak spoke to Stuart about his family situation while wondering aloud whether Stuart will return to the Sharks this summer:
One last thing from the Red Wing side of things — or at least something that starts there and could end up on the Sharks side of things. Brad Stuart let it be known several weeks ago that it was very unlikely he’d be back in Detroit next season after his contract expires. That’s because his wife and their three children have stayed in their Los Gatos home the last three seasons and that’s too much distance. I talked with him today and nothing’s changed on that front.
“It’s always going to be important,” he said of the need to play closer to the Bay Area. “It’s obviously something we’ve discussed, not just recently but for the last few years.”
The Red Wings didn’t win the Stanley Cup during the spring of 1996, but their playoff runs to the Cup Finals in 95 and their three-round run into the brick wall that was the Colorado Avalanche after they’d defeated the St. Louis Blues gave the Wings both the resolve,determination, playoff experience and especially the personnel changes necessary to capture the Cup in 1997, and the CBC’s “It Happened on Hockey Night” series revisits one of the best goals in Red Wings history today:
Many thanks to Paul for the link.
Updated 6x at 5:40 PM: As the Detroit Red Wings prepare to face off against the San Jose Sharks tonight (10:30 PM EDT, FSD/CSN Bay Area/ NBC Sports Network airing the Sharks’ feed/97.1 FM), the Red Wings’ website provides good news and bad news from a very late morning skate:
From DRW PR: The Red Wings are 19-13-1 all-time on St. Patrick’s Day.
Wings are on the ice for their morning skate in San Jose. Johan Franzen (back) is not out there at the moment.
Here is your look in at today’s morning skate at HP Pavilion. http://twitvid.com/ISXDK
According to Mike Babcock, Pavel Datsyuk will play tonight. Johan Franzen will not
Given that the Detroit Red Wings have amassed a 3-7-and-1 record since defeating tonight’s opponent, the San Jose Sharks (10:30 PM EDT, FSD, probably without a pre-game due to the CCHA final between WMU and Michigan at 7:30 PM/CSN Bay Area/97.1 FM) way back on February 17th, it would seem appropriate for Detroit to bookend its worst stretch of hockey this season by finishing up the last game of their last West Coast swing of the regular season by putting a Pavel Datsyuk-sized dent in the Sharks’ playoff hopes.
But that’s where the problem regarding tonight’s game lies.
Updated 6x at 5:56 PM: Good news-bad news from the Red Wings’ practice on Friday in San Jose, per the Free Press’s Helene St. James on Twitter:
Datsyuk says he’s playing against Sharks
In locker room after practice, Cleary asks, “Where’s Mule?” Kronwall supplies his answer “food court”
Babcock said Franzen has back spasms, doesn’t know status for tomorrow
Here’s the entirety of St. James’ Twitter quips...
Every indication suggests that as soon as Nicklas Lidstrom is able to return from the bone bruise troubling his left ankle, he’ll be back on the Wings’ blueline, maybe as soon as next Wednesday or Friday…But the Wings’ struggles without Lidstrom have the Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek suggesting that the Red Wings would be in serious trouble should Lidstrom retire after this season*:
There isn’t panic in the Motor City exactly, but with the news that team captain Nicklas Lidstrom has gone home to have his injured ankle (diagnosed as a deep bone bruise re-evaluated), there has to be concern at the very least. The Red Wings were wiped out in both Los Angeles and Anaheim on the first two games of a short California road trip that wraps up Saturday in San Jose. The good news is centre Pavel Datsyuk is supposed to return for that game, which should give the slumbering offence a boost. The bad news is that without Lidstrom, the defence looks a little thread-bare.
Oh, there’s panic in the Motor City, and the fact that Jakub Kindl and Jonathan Ericsson are sidelined as well are highly “underrated” in terms of hobbling the Wings’ defensive corps…
The Red Wings won’t practice till 12 or 1 PM PDT today, so we’re kind of in a holding pattern in terms of learning whether the Wings will be able to “dig out “of the hole they’ve dug for themselves while employing Pavel Datsyuk’s services against the San Jose Sharks, but a few stories/videos popped up which are worth noting this morning:
At least the San Jose Sharks did the Red Wings a favor on Thursday night. After an “off-day” which was anything but a day of rest and relaxation for Red Wings’ fans nerves, Saturday night’s opponent defeated the Nashville Predators 2-1 in a shootout with, according to the Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa, Mike Babcock watching the Predators climb to within a point of Detroit in the Central Division standings.
That’s particularly important given the Wings’ 3-8-and-1 record of late, and while we’re all hoping that the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2-0 win over the St. Louis Blues at least kept the gap between Detroit and St. Louis to a theoretically closeable 8 points, the reality of the situation is that when the Red Wings get back to work today, they’re going to be hoping to preserve home-ice advantage over an incredibly highly likely first-round opponent in Nashville, and given the fact that the Wings had to shut down and send home Nicklas Lidstrom on Thursday and then Continue Reading »
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.