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Red Wings-Wild wrap-up and overnight report: despite Bertuzzi’s injury, Wings take strides forward

The Detroit Red Wings will probably have to play against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday without the services of Todd Bertuzzi, who sounds “questionable” at best after slightly pulling his groin during the Red Wings’ 6-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night, but as I suggested in the “quick take,” the Red Wings displayed so much jam, grit, patience, poise and even swagger during what was a pretty darn tightly-contested game until Darren Helm gave the wings a 3-0 lead 37 minutes into the game, and especially until Valtteri Filppula gave the Wings a commanding 4-0 lead 3:25 from the end of the second perio…

That it’s hard for the subjective wings fan in me to feel anything less than nearly absurdly optimistic about the Wings’ ability to overcome the absences of Pavel Datsyuk (knee, out for about another week), Lidstrom (ankle, out till at least Tuesday) and Jonathan Ericsson (wrist, out for about a month) because the Wings built upon their 5-2 victory over Columbus in terms of both style and substance, spending just as much time out-working the Wild as the Wings did eventually out-classing their opponent.

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Red Wings-Wild quick take: Datsyuk/Lidstrom-less Wings learn how to walk

Update: Regarding Todd Bertuzzi’s “lower-body injury,” per MLive’s Ansar Khan:

Bertuzzi is day to day with tender groin, Holland said. Questionable for Sunday’s game.
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Holland on Bertuzzi: “He’s day-to-day, just a tender groin. we’re not taking any chances. See how he feels tomorrow.’‘
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More Holland on Bertuzzi: “I’d say questionable for Sunday. Nothing serious. This time of year we want to be very cautious.’‘

The Detroit Red Wings’ 6-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild was both a case of a smart, veteran Wings team pouncing upon an opponent that got into town very, very late and a Red Wings team that started the game sans Nicklas Lidstrom (ankle), Pavel Datsyuk (knee) and Jonathan Ericsson’s (wrist) services, and played the 3rd period without Todd Bertuzzi (Wings coach Mike Babcock wouldn’t elaborate on his “lower-body injury” but to say to HSJ that he’d be reevaluated)...

Building upon their very ugly 5-2 win over Columbus on Monday by playing a gritty, spirited and hard-working game that was worthy of a much more desperate opponent, and by playing the kind of high-skill, up-tempo game that the slightly short-staffed Wings must, must, must embrace to keep winning when Chicago comes to town on Sunday.

To some extent, the younger, pluckier Wings did much more than perform superbly individually and collectively: they learned how to walk, if you will, without their two most important players not named Jimmy Howard in Lidstrom and Datsyuk, and taking the Wild out with such poise and panache is nothing less than fantastic for the team’s confidence going forward.

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Red Wings-Wild game-day updates: Quincey’s in for Detroit, Lidstrom concerned about bone bruise

Updated 8x at 6:56 PM: As the Detroit Red Wings prepare to face off against the Minnesota Wild tonight (7:30 PM EST, FSD/FS North/97.1 FM), there’s finally good news on the injury front for Detroit, per MLive’s Ansar Khan:

Wings skating with these defense pairs: kronwall-stuart, quincey-white, smith-kindl. Janik is 7th D.
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Wings skating with these lines: 51-40-26, 11-8-44, 20-43-93, 96-48-39.
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Quincey playing for Wings tonight. Janik reassigned to Grand Rapids.

The Free Press’s Helene St. James confirms...

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Red Wings-Wild set-up and overnight report: shorthanded Wings need to ‘get on a roll’

Updated 2x with an interesting Ken Daniels tidbit at 5:21 AM: The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Minnesota Wild tonight (7:30 PM EST, FSD/FS North/97.1 FM) without the services of their two most important players not named Jimmy Howard in Pavel Datsyuk (knee, probably still a week out), Nicklas Lidstrom, who’s been ruled out of this weekend’s games with a bone bruise in his left ankle/foot, and a support player in Jonathan Ericsson (out for a month with a broken wrist), but probable returnee Kyle Quincey (groin, skated on Thursday) and the Wings need rather desperately to kick off a stretch of three games in five nights by bulding upon their three game losing streak-busting win over Columbus and getting on something of a roll.

The Vancouver Canucks did the Wings a favor by defeating the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night, affording the Wings the opportunity to remain tied with the Blues for first in the Central Division standings while only dropping 3 points behind the Canucks, but if the Wings do win the Central, they could very well face the 12th-place Wild, who lost goaltender Nicklas Backstrom’s services but rallied from a 4-1 3rd period deficit to tie the Montreal Canadiens and ultimately lose 5-4 in a shootout.

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Don Cherry’s gonna love this…

Per the Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell, I’m sure that Coach’s Corner will involve some anti-Red Wings and anti-Maple Leafs talk after Wings GM Ken Holland and former Leafs president Richard Peddie offered the following takes on banning fighting in developmental programs, perhaps all the way up to the CHL level at some point:

“I’d love to see it at the lower levels,” Holland said. “Are we ready for no fighting in the NHL? I don’t think so. I think the game is evolving at the National Hockey League level. You get into the playoffs and there’s hardly any fighting. I think it’s great there’s no fighting in youth leagues. It’s a good thing.”

Former president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Richard Peddie also supports a ban on fighting outside of professional hockey.

“I don’t disagree with what they’re doing at the junior levels on the whole fighting side,” Peddie said. “I know there are lots of pros and cons. I’ve heard it debated at the (NHL board of) governors’ meetings. There are things very unique in hockey versus basketball and baseball. I’m really up in the air at the pro level, but at the junior level, I’d have no problem with it whatsoever.”

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Waddell discusses Red Wings GM Ken Holland’s managerial philosophies

As noted in the off-day post, Red Wings GM Ken Holland gave an address to Windsor, Ontario’s Odette School of Business this morning, and in addition to posting a short video of Holland’s comments, the Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell penned a fantastic article which both explains Holland’s philosophies regarding player development…

“Very conservative, very slow, patience, patience, patience,” said Holland, explaining his managerial philosophy. “It’s better to get someone there (NHL) one year late, rather than two years too early. When you do that, it’s a mistake. It (success) is like a ladder. You’re meticulously adding one piece at a time. There’s no other way.”

His belief that strong sports teams should be built and maintained by strong management teams…

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Red Wings entertain a very special visitor at Thursday’s practice

The Detroit Red Wings will be reminded of their departed friends in Philadelphia next Tuesday, when Mark Howe’s #2 is retired, because Brad McCrimmon’s family will also be in attendance and will be recognized by the Flyers, and today, the Wings’ press corps reports that the family of another one of the Wings’ friends in Stefan Liv’s wife and two young sons. Jonathan Ericsson spoke to DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose about hosting the family for a few days and bringing Liv’s oldest son, Herman, down to the Joe on Thursday…

“Now we have some kids in the house it’s hard to play around with those guys,” said Ericsson, who suffered a fractured left wrist last Saturday. “Carrying them around I usually have one in each arm. Now I can’t really do much with either of them.”

Acting as a chaperone, Ericsson was in the Wings’ locker room Thursday introducing his teammates to five-year-old Herman Liv. His three-year-old brother Harry and their mom, Anna, did not attend Thursday’s practice.

“The kids are fine, they’re too young, I think, but for Anna her days are up and down, of course. So it’s nice for them to think of something else for once.”

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Red Wings’ Nicklas Lidstrom out for the weekeend

Updated 3x at 7:40 PM, and the practice post has been updated 9 times at 5:40: Bad news regarding Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, per the Free Press’s Helene St. James:

Per Holland: Lidstrom has “deep bone bruise. Is out for weekend. Will be re-evaluated on Monday.” Lidstrom hit in ankle last Saturday.
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#RedWings will be without Nicklas Lidstrom for Friday against #Wild and Sunday against #Blackhawks

I’m leaving all the practice news from today in the off-day post, so head there for your Thursday Wings news fix.

Update: Via RedWingsFeed, here’s St. James’ text report...

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Red Wings off-day news: Lidstrom still hobbled by sore ankle, Datsyuk not skating, either

Updated 10x at 8:52 PM: Although quite a bit can change over the course of 24 hours when it comes to sore ankles, there’s bad news from today’s Red Wings practice regarding Nicklas Lidstrom’s sore left ankle/foot, per the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness....

Lidstrom not on ice at wings practice. Quincey is, along with smith and janik.
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No Datsyuk on ice also.

And MLive’s Ansar Khan...

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Red Wings overnight report: and now we wait (and talk about Smith, Kindl and Mursak)

From a purely practical perspective, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock’s decision to give his players as many days away from the rink as possible from the middle of February on plain old makes sense. After game 55 or so, even if you’ve got special teams that are as inconsistent as the Wings’ have been, and even if you’re one gritty and ugly win removed from a three-game losing streak, as the calendar turns from February to March…

There are only so many meetings that you can have and so many drills you can run in practice before your players tune you out, and if you keep banging your players’ heads into walls, well…Fans of the St. Louis Blues, a team that now leads the Central Division and will probably lead the NHL by the time the Wings tangle with the Wild on Friday (those are the pratfalls of having a light schedule: for the next week or so, pundits will stare at the standings and lament how the mighty Wings have fallen simply because they have a relatively “light” schedule over the next two weeks), will probably find this out in a Hitchcockian year or two, but we’ll let them learn how’ “Hitch’s” grinding on his players, even as a “kinder and gentler” Hitch, tends to diminish teams’ dominance over time on their own.

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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.

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