The Malik Report
Updated 10x at 3:32 PM: The Red Wings need to rebound from their 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators when they battle the New York Rangers this evening (8 PM EST on NBCSN/TVA Sports/Sportsnet One/97.1 FM), and the Rangers' morning skate preceded the Wings' skate, as NHL.com's Dan Rosen noted:
Kevin Klein, Mats Zuccarello, Derek Stepan on the ice this morning. Zuccarello is likely to play tonight. Stepan not likely. Klein? No clue.
Pro Hockey Talk's James O'Brien penned a game preview...
I don't like setting up back-to-back games, and this is going to be...scattershot.
Sometimes Flightaware reveals intriguing things about professional sports teams' machinations. The Red Wings' team plane got into Newark airport at 12:54 AM, and you can assume that the team made its trek from Newark to downtown New York City (20-30 minutes in the middle of the night). The Wings' flight crew, however, took off again and made a 12-minute flight to LaGuardia, landing at 2:11 AM.
The 6-3-and-3 Red Wings' players and coach were likely asleep by then, but Detroit's coming into tonight's "NBC Rivalry Night" game against the New York Rangers (8 PM EST on NBCSN/TVA Sports/Sportsnet One/97.1 FM) having dropped a 3-1 decision to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.
Given that Jimmy Howard stopped 16 of the 32 shots he faced in the 1st period, the mysterious stretcher may have visited the Wings' room to give Howard an IV; Fox Sports Detroit's John Keating confirmed that Jonas Gustavsson will start opposite Henrik Lundqvist this evening;
It did appear that we might see a new set of lines tonight as these were the Wings' 3rd period forward lines:
Red Wings prospect news is a little sparse today, however:
In the ECHL, the South Carolina Stingrays out-shot the Toledo Walleye 38-25, but Jared Coreau stopped 35 shots and four shootout shooters as the Walleye defeated South Carolina 4-3 in a shootout (no points for Marek Tvrdon or Richard Nedomlel, who finished at -1).
The Walleye's website posted a recap...
The Red Wings flew to New York after dropping a 3-1 decision to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, a game in which the Wings played worse than Sunday's 3-2 shootout loss to Buffalo but earned no points due to a lack of structured, spirited and/or attentive/gritty/determined play.
Tonight, the Wings play the New York Rangers in a lovely NBCSN Rivalry Night game (8 PM EDT on NBCSN), with Jonas Gustavsson slated to oppose Henrik Lundqvist, and the undermanned Rangers are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to St. Louis on Monday, so they're going to be in a swell mood, too.
The weirdest post-game story unfolded on Twitter after the game (the best story was the statement Gordie Howe's family released), and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan tried to explain what did or did not happen:
On a night when the United States has begun to elect the Dumpster Fire vs. the Steaming Pile of Poop, the Red Wings displayed all the qualities of our elected officials in stand-around-itis, a complete and total inability to pay attention to details and a general lack of interest in doing much more than yelling at each other and expecting things to change en route to a 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators...
Updated 2x at 10:39 PM: I was forwarded this email from @howehattrick, and it's good news:
One of the families in our neighborhood is related to Gordie Howe, and posted this on our subdivision website. I thought you'd like to see her note:
So many neighbors have asked and sent well wishes. I've been getting some updates from Texas and can share that Mr. Hockey continues to amaze and break records.
Last week, we were fully expecting to say goodbye, this week he is talking, using his right hand, and walking as much as 40 steps at a time.
Gordie is nearly 87, and his health is not good, but he is not hanging up his skates just yet. He is truly humbled and cheered by the support he has received.
Also, Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji reported this email was sent to Hockeybuzz by Mark Howe:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss' latest injury isn't long-term, it appears.
Weiss might return to practice this weekend. He was forced to leave after two periods during his first game of a conditioning stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins last Wednesday due to a groin issue.
"He's feeling better every day. It appears nothing more than a groin strain," general manager Ken Holland said. "We'll be conservative because of what's happened in the last year and what happened two periods into his conditioning stint."
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
... Remember, too, that Nyquist did his damage last season largely while Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg were out of the lineup with injuries. That gave him first-line minutes. That put him on the first power play. He and his teammates weren’t deferring to Datsyuk and Zetterberg, and though he faced top competition, his opponents didn’t know him well. Now Datsyuk and Zetterberg are back, and Nyquist is no secret anymore.
The Wings have shuffled their lines often this season, but if everyone is healthy, Nyquist probably won’t play a first-line role. He has been bumped from the first power play once already. As coach Mike Babcock told reporters, when Nyquist plays with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, he “never gets the puck.” The Wings thought he would get more touches playing with Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar. When Nyquist was hot last season, he was averaging 3.03 shots per game. Now he’s averaging only 2.18.
“I’m hoping these young guys, just because Pav and Hank are back, that they’re not going to take a backseat and say, ‘OK, now I don’t want to be seen too much, because now it’s their team,’ ” Kronwall said. “We need them to keep developing and keep pushing, keep scoring, keep playing hard just the way they did last year.”
As for Nyquist losing his sleeper status, Kronwall said: “I’m sure guys will have scouted him, teams will have scouted him. They’ll know more about him and his tendencies, and that’s going to be a good challenge for him.”
The Red Wings are preparing to battle the Ottawa Senators this evening, and one beat writer was conspicuously absent from the Wings' morning skate--for good reason. The Free Press's Helene St. James was penning an article about the status of one Anthony Mantha, who she reports is 2-3 weeks from playing for the Grand Rapids Griffins as he slowly but surely works his way toward contact practices...
The 20-year-old Detroit Red Wings prospect saw a highly anticipated training camp crash when he fractured a tibia in mid-September, and injury from which he's only just started to recover. General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press Tuesday that Mantha "has been given clearance to partake in some practice drills this week. Barring setbacks, sometime in the next couple of weeks, we hope we're talking about dressing him for a game."
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.