The Malik Report
As the Detroit Red Wings attempt to rebound from Wednesday’s loss to Nashville in Game 2 against the Predators tonight (7:30 PM EDT—take note that it’s not an 8:30 start, folks—FSD/FS Tennessee/CBC/CNBC/97.1 FM), we can make two easy assumptions:
Despite the NHL media, Wings’ press corps, the Chief’s, Don Cherry’s, Steve Rosenbloom’s and Jeremy Roenick’s (and my own) takes on the Shea Weber fine-but-not-suspension, Weber found himself more irritated by having to repeatedly dodge directly addressing the $2,500 dent in his wallet than anything else, so if the question is, “Message sent?” the answer is, “Who the hell knows, probably not”...
This one should be filed in the, “No fooling” department, from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
You can add Jim Nill to the long list of names the Montreal Canadiens are compiling in their GM search.
A source told ESPN.com that the Habs contacted the Detroit Red Wings regarding Nill, their well-respected assistant GM. In the past, the Wings have always said “No” to any team calling about him. Given Detroit’s history of not allowing teams to speak with Nill, I don’t think he’s going anywhere. I’m fairly confident he’s staying in Detroit.
Update: The Fourth Period is playing devil’s advocate about this, but let’s be honest: Nill’s paid like a GM and has many of a GM’s responsibilities while riding shotgun with Holland in Detroit, running the draft and helming the Grand Rapids Griffins’ personnel decisions, he’s settled in the area, the Wings have that non-compete clause, and quite frankly, he isn’t Francophone. I don’t see the Canadiens nabbing anyone who doesn’t have a command of French after the Cunneyworth fallout.
Updated with Roenick reaction at 11:55 PM: I am admittedly not up to full speed (sorry) and not swimming in commentary for the Wings’ and out-of-town press like 55 feet of Lake Superior water after jumping in off the end of a 2,700-foot-long pier (which is actually a nice feeling, and I miss it), so I can’t claim to have my pulse on the hockey world’s reaction to what I will suggest is a surprising $2,500 fine to Shea Weber for introducing Henrik Zetterberg’s face to the end boards at the end of last night’s 3-2 loss (and if you missed it, Paul Gaustad’s slashing match with Pavel Datsyuk, which resulted in Todd Bertuzzi delivering what Barry Trotz described as a “haymaker,” was just as vicious)...
But I feel that it’s necessary to provide something of a counterpoint to the Chief while sticking my still-re-acclimating and not insubstantially-sized nose into the discussion:
Very briefly (still ramping up to full speed here, sorry folks): here’s a roundup of the various Red Wings and Predators storylines from Thursday. The news regarding Shea Weber (more on it later) comes as a bit of a surprise, per the Tennessean’s Josh Cooper:
Greetings from today’s Predators practice update. Shea Weber was not suspended by the NHL for hitting Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the glass at the end of yesterday’s game. Weber was fined $2,500, the league maximum, and assessed a minor for roughing on the play.
“I’m just glad he wasn’t hurt. Like I said, we’re just focused on Game 2,” Weber said.
He also mentioned he talked with NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan this morning, and the message was clear: “Play to the edge and not over. It’s cut and dry and everyone is going to have to do that in here.
Update from Paul, Weber fined $2500, health of Zetterberg came in to play on the decision.
Also note original post of this blog was 11:02pm on 4/11/12.
Updated 4x with a little Swedish stuff at 2:54 AM: Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber gave Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg quite the punch and introduction to the end boards after being boarded by Z:
From about mid-February onward, and even if the Red Wings don’t win another playoff game this spring, I have and will continue to maintain the opinion that the Wings’ conscious decision to not replace the leadership of Kris Draper, Chris Osgood and Brian Rafalski on the ice, bench and in the locker room, the turnover that is breaking in two assistant coaches at the NHL level, the team’s inability to find a puck-mover of Rafalski’s caliber and the coach and management’s decision to sink or swim with what are “youngsters” by Wings standards in players like Valtteri Filppula, Jiri Hudler, Cory Emmerton, Jonathan Ericsson Niklas Kronwall, Ian White and Jimmy Howard instead yielded and will probably result in what we’d deem a “rebuilding” year—or perhaps a “reloading” one by Wings standards—and I think the growing pains and likely off-season roster-bolstering via free agency (barring any decisions by Nicklas Lidstrom to do other things than continue to play hockey) were probably all accounted for prior to the commencement of the 2011-2012 regular season.
The Wings’ lack of swagger and media-inflated status as underdogs extraordinaire against the Nashville Predators have many pundits insisting that the window of opportunity has closed on Detroit once and for good in a league where one supposedly cannot win without superstars in their early 20’s on the roster, and the Fan 590’s Greg Brady offers a lengthy suggestion that the wings are too old and that their prospect cupboard is too bare for them to continue to succeed in the post-season:
Updated 4x with good news about Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg at 12:06 PM: Via MLive’s Ansar Khan, this quip from Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos should come as no surprise to those who witnessed Darren Helm suffering a serious injury to his forearm on a skate cut from Alex Radulov:
#SNPlayoffs news. #toughloss #Redwings Helm playoff run is over. Its believed tendon damage that required surgery went well.
Awful news for the Wings, and it should be noted somewhere that Helm wears gloves with very long cuffs—size 14 gloves which end up with 15-inch protection—so it’s hard to blame the player for not taking adequate precautions to protect his wrists.
Update: the Red Wings are confirming:
HELM UPDATE: Darren had successful surgery to repair lacerated tendons in his right forearm. He is out for the remainder of the playoffs.
The Detroit Red Wings never lost their nerve in a game whose officiating matched the penalty quota Chaiman Mao’s attendance required, but they certainly were out-lucked and perhaps out-worked in trenches in front of both goaltenders, and as such, Detroit lost Darren Helm to what is probably some sort of season-ending wrist injury (thanks to a skate cut by Alex Radulov) and lost road-ice advantage, if you will, in a 3-1 loss to Nashville.
At the end of the game, sure, Shea Weber reacted to a cross-check to the back by Henrik Zetterberg by punching Z in the back of the head, but that his penalty was the last of 17 called—10 to Nashville and 7 to Detroit, which scored 2 PPGs and killed 10:19 of Nashville PP time, but lost—after the fact is no surprise, and the bottom line during a wild and woolly game is simple:
Update: MLive’s Brendan Savage confirms that Helm has had surgery: Per NHL.com’s stream of coach Mike Babcock’s presser, Red Wings forward Darren Helm had surgery on his left forearm—for what, Babcock wouldn’t say, though it’s not hard to imagine that it involved cut tendons—after he suffered a skate cut from Alex Radulov in the 1st period of Detroit’s 3-2 loss to Nashville. He’s definitely out for the series…
Paul here and note, video can be viewed by North America IPs only…
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.