The Malik Report
Sometimes it is a nice change of pace to watch how the 'other' side calls a game winning goal.
John Kelly and Darren Pang with the call on Pavel Datsyuk's OT goal.
Below, watch Ken Hitchcock post-game...
The Detroit Red Wings came into their final game of their 6-game swing against the Mighty St. Louis Blues expecting heavy checking and hard play from their opponent, and they got everything they could handle and more but a viciously hard-checking and downright grabby team (hey, the rules allow the Barret Jackmans of the world to pin you to the boards or the Jay Bouwmeesters to kick your legs out from underneath you, or the Kyle Quinceys to hog-tie you, frankly, JUST DON'T DIVE).
As a result, the Wings and Blues played 30-something minutes of paint-drying-numbingly boring hockey, but when the Wings' offensive vacuum tubes warmed up, they began to steamroll St. Louis through the latter stages of the 2nd period, when they got stopped up by a legit but too predictably painful "incidental contact" call, the Wings flagged, and the Blues earned a point as a result, but the result belonged to the team that didn't quit (until the team that did bitched about it, anyway), emerging with a Magic Man-authored 3-2 OT win whose contributions came from both familiar and surprising faces.
Ken Holland was on with Matt Dery of Detroit Sports 105.1 and talked Howard, Franzen, the younger players, status of Mike Babcock, etc.
Nothing earth shattering but a good interview which touched on numerous topics.
from Jeremy P. Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
"We're just introducing their players to our players, so I think it's hard to duplicate (the rivalry)," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We miss having that opportunity to play them. Twice a year just doesn't seem to be right, but this is the way it is right now."
Blues captain David Backes certainly won't need any introductions tonight. He say that while the matchup has perhaps lost a little luster because of the infrequency of the games, it's still Detroit.
"There's plenty of memories battling with those guys, especially the first couple of years in the league," Backes said. "That being said, the rivalry started many years before that and the playoff history between these two teams. The fans seems to be all about the rivalry.
"Ticket sales and all that good stuff, we should have a full building with our energy in there and that helps us every time. They're a good team in the East, we're a good team in the West and there's two points at stake and that should be plenty of incentive to play well."
from Chris Pinkert of the Blues' website,
from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
For the Red Wings, earning a victory would be a good way to end a long road trip in which they've played better than the overall results have showed.
Losses in Vancouver and Washington were actually two games in which Babcock felt the Red Wings played well enough to earn points.
This will be their last road game before a three-game home stand sends them into the All-Star break next weekend.
"Going into the All-Star break, we have to put the pedal to the medal," Sheahan said. "This will be a good challenge."
One that Babcock is excited about.
"I'm excited for us to have an opportunity at them, they're a good team," Babcock said. "It's an opportunity to play them in their building. We've had a lot of success there, a lot of fun, and some hard games. We've gotten thumped a few times, too.
"Let's go play."
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
... it will probably result in hockey fans there getting to see hockey that’s just as good with players who have a far better NHL future than those playing major junior. That’s because USA Hockey already has an agreement in place to purchase Compuware Arena in Plymouth and intends to move its National Team Development program there. With USA Hockey having its under-17 and under-18 teams playing out of Plymouth, fans there will get to see some of the best players in the United States play against top teams in the USHL and Division I U.S. college teams....
By moving to Plymouth, USA Hockey gets out of the Ann Arbor Ice Cube, which seats only about 1,000 people and does not have the amenities the program needs. By moving to Plymouth, it gets a bigger rink which it will own and will have proximity to a major airport in Detroit and the wherewithal to host more international events. (A spokesman for USA Hockey said the due diligence is being done on the purchase of the rink and it should be done in four-to-six weeks.)
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at the Globe and Mail,
The 22-year-old with just 21 games of NHL experience is ready for the challenge but doesn’t intend on changing much of his routine.
“It’s just a game and you have to be ready for every game you play if it’s once a week or three games in a row,” Mrazek said. “Just be ready and I do the same thing if I don’t play or if I play.”
The onus may be on Mrazek’s teammates to change some things, or at least tighten up. Detroit is solidly in third place in the Atlantic Division with 55 points through 43 games, but much of that is thanks to Howard, who had a 2.11 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.
In Howard’s absence, the Red Wings have to adjust to Mrazek.
“I think little things that we can do: We can talk to him more, we can kind of figure out our systems,” Smith said. “He’s a goalie that is aggressive and is very confident and challenges, and we love that out of him. We’re really happy to play in front of him.”
from Dave Bartkowiak Jr. of ClickOnDetroit,
Peter Karmanos has announced the sale of the Plymouth Whalers to a new owner who will relocate the team to Flint.
The Whalers will begin play in Flint in the fall of 2015. The Ontario Hockey League still has to approve the team's sale and move to another city.
"It's a bitter-sweet moment. The best thing about this is that the OHL franchise stays in the States, pending board approval. Flint is an ideal location for an Ontario Hockey League team," Karmanos said Wednesday during a news conference.
Karmanos pointed to rival teams in Saginaw and Sarnia, Ontario, for reasons why moving to Flint is ideal. He was joined by Whalers Governor and Carolina Hurricanes Assistant GM/Director of Hockey Operations Mike Vellucci, who was coach and GM of the Whalers for years.
"Karmanos has signed a purchase agreement to sell the team to Rolf Nilsen," said Vellucci. "Rolf's intention is to transfer the team to his new building, Perani Arena & Event Center in Flint, Michigan, for the 15-16 season."
Press release is below...
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
Here's how the Red Wings stack up this week.
• USA Today: 10th, down from seventh last week. What they're saying: "Jimmy Howards groin muscle injury gives goalie Petr Mrazek a chance in the spotlight."
• ESPN.com: 11th, same as last week. What they're saying: "Oh, boy, the loss of Jimmy Howard could be have a big impact. Let's see how the Red Wings respond."
• NHL.com: Ninth, up from 10th. What they're saying; "Not only do the Red Wings lead the League in fewest shot attempts allowed per 60 minutes at even strength (45.0), they have been even better at suppressing them since Dec. 1 (42.8). They've also upped their output at the other end slightly."
• CBSSports.com: 11th, up from 12th. What they're saying. "This is the part of the rankings where it gets tricky. The Red Wings await news about Jimmy Howard's groin injury. If he's out an extended period of time, the Wings could be in a world of trouble."
even more rankings...
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
The Sabres not only retired the No. 39 Dominik Hasek wore during nine seasons in Buffalo, but Mrazek got to meet his childhood idol and fellow Czech Republic native on the ice after the pregame ceremony before going out and recording his sixth victory of the season.
It's a day the 22-year-old netminder will never forget.
"It's nice when you meet the legend and the goalie who did so much stuff for country and for himself," Mrazek said. "He won everything he could. I just say congratulations to him for what he did. I think if I were to meet him now, we would talk a little bit more.
"It's Dom's number on the puck so I'd like to keep it. It's nice to have these memories. I have every puck from junior championship or from the Calder Cup Finals. So I rescue every puck I can. It's nice to keep.
"I have it for the rest of my life."...
The idea to go up and shake hands with Hasek didn't wasn't Mrazek's but instead came from coach Mike Babcock, who coached "The Dominator" in Detroit during the final two seasons of his legendary 16-year NHL career.
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.