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The Malik Report

Mike Babcock Wants More Energy From His Team

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

With a concert at Joe Louis Arena Saturday, the Red Wings partially dressed in their room, went out to their cars, and drove to a rink at the University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods. Most wore hockey pants, socks and warm-ups.

Some carried their pads in the trunks of the cars.

At the rink, the skates went on and coach Mike Babcock drilled them.

"We're a team that needs to bounce back," Babcock said. "I felt our energy at practice was a little better than it has been in a bit.

"And we haven't had good energy this last little bit. So I'm hoping the energy's back."

After the exertions, for the players it was skates off, most of the pads, too, and then back in the cars. Many ran into a traffic jam on I-94, where a patching crew performed a different kind of repair.

Then it was undressing at The Joe, packing duffle bags for the trip to Boston and driving to the airport for the flight.

Babcock had a list of tasks of his own.

read on

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Chris Chelios remains a busy man

The Chicago Tribune's Michael Stainbrook penned an article about a Chicago "prep legend" from Mt. Carmel High School named Chris Chelios, and his profile of the Red Wings executive reminds us exactly why we shouldn't expect to see Chelios coaching a team on a full-time basis any time soon--he's too busy being Chris Chelios, though he certainly tries to give the Grand Rapids Griffins as much of a hand as he can:

Chelios hops over the boards at Van Andel Arena during a Griffins practice. He's slower on the ice, the result of 1,651 NHL games played over 26 seasons. Only four players have played in more. Only Gordie Howe played as many years.

"He's been there and done everything," Blashill, the Griffins coach, said. "He's reached the pinnacle as a Hall of Famer. When you've done that, you command an unreal amount of respect."

Chelios spends most Griffins games sitting in a suite and taking notes. He briefs the team during intermissions. But there's one player he won't include in any report. His son Jake is a Wolves defenseman. The Griffins and Wolves play in the same division and meet eight times per season.

Jake and his three siblings have Chicago ties. Their grandparents live in Westmont. Sisters Tara and Caley Chelios play lacrosse at Northwestern. Older brother Dean, Jake's former teammate at Michigan State, played in the ECHL for the Indy Fuel, a Hawks affiliate.

Chris travels from Detroit to Chicago frequently and catches as many Wolves games as he can. He went to watch Dean play in Indianapolis. He flew to California to see NU's lacrosse opener against USC.

"He's somebody who can't sit still," Jake said.

Stainbrook continues and discusses Chelios's plans to spend the summer in Malibu, and despite the fact that hockey does include summers off, Mike Babcock comes back to Detroit pretty dang regularly to plan for the next season, as does Chelios, so I can't imagine him giving up his coach-executive-restauranteur-businessman-dad-and-bon-vivant lifestyle any time soon.

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Post-practice articles: Pulkkinen recalled, Glendening promoted, Gustavsson starts vs. Bruins

Updated 3x at 3:45 PM: Mike Babcock isn't screwing around after the Wings experienced a setback against the Calgary Flames on Friday.

With a matinee against Boston in the offing tomorrow and a home tilt against Edmonton on Monday, as Paul noted, Babcock tweaked the second line to give Luke Glendening the opportunity to "grind" for Pavel Datsyuk, and after announcing that Jonas Gustavsson would start against Boston, the Wings recalled Teemu Pulkkinen from Grand Rapids, burning one of the Wings' four non-roster-emergency call-ups between the trade deadline and the end of the Griffins' playoff run.

The Boston Bruins are currently hosting the Philadelphia Flyers in a matinee affair, so the Wings conducted their practice an hour early and appear to have delayed their afternoon flight to Boston for a reason:

For what it's worth, Mickey Redmond happened to speak to Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Drew Lane and Marc Ferrell yesterday, and while the wings bombed last night's game, Mickey's observations remain pertinent:

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Wings recall Pulkkinen

From the Red Wings' PR department:

… Forward Scored Four Goals in Two Games Since Rejoining Griffins on March 3 …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled right wing Teemu Pulkkinen from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

Pulkkinen, 23, was assigned to Grand Rapids on March 3 and picked up four goals over the team’s last two games, including a hat trick on March 4 versus Oklahoma City. He leads the AHL in both goals (34) and points (61), while sitting second with 10 power-play goals, third with 189 shots on goal and tying for second with six game-winning goals. The Vantaa, Finland, native has also skated in 12 games with the Red Wings, scoring two goals and firing 27 shots on goal. Pulkkinen has already topped his offensive totals from his AHL rookie season in 2013-14, when he landed on the AHL All-Rookie Team with 59 points (31-28-59) in 71 games. Prior to coming to North America, the former fourth-round pick (111th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft) registered 128 points (48-79-128) in 185 professional games with Jokerit of Finland’s SM-Liiga from 2009-13 and was honored as the league’s rookie of the year in 2010-11.

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The Monster Starts In Boston

Beat writers all report Jonas Gustavsson will start in goal against the Bruins tomorrow afternoon.

Post-practice updates will be added as needed.

added 1:26pm, via Ansar Khan tweets,

Babcock said Glendening will play with Datsyuk and Tatar. He wants someone to do some work for those guys.

Babcock said he hadn't decided who will come out of lineup to make room for  Pulkkinen.

Babcock said Zidlicky has a bit of a charley horse but should play tomorrow.

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Wings Skating Before Heading To Boston

via Gregg Krupa tweets,

DetroitRedWings on ice university Liggett Grosse Pointe. Helm skating early with goalies and Dekeyser.

No Zidlicky, here. But maybe related to moving, perhaps.

via Ansar Khan tweets,

Darren Helm taking a few laps on the ice by himself before practice. Might be first time he's skated since oblique injury one week ago.

Helm left the ice when practice started. Zidlicky only one not skating but he is expected to play tomorrow in Boston.

added 11:46am,


added 11:52am, via Khan,

Cleary rotating in

Glendening probaby holding Pulkkinen's spot.  Teemu not at practice.

added 12:03pm, via Khan,

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The overnight report: On UFA Babs, the playoffs, Marchenko, Helm, no-signings and Red Army

Because it's become so very familiar, I'm a little tired of the endless notebooks explaining how the Red Wings hold no hard feelings toward Free Agent Departure X, so the five separate notebooks focusing on Jiri Hudler's maturation in Calgary and the ways in which the Red Wings are proud of Hudler  strike me as particularly predictable reading given that Hudler scored 2 goals in the Wings' 5-2 loss to Hudler's Flames on Friday night.

I would suggest that the second topic of note this morning is equally tired and has become equally trite, but many of you find the multi-sport comparisons and calculations regarding one Mike Babcock's future to be far more interesting than I do, so this morning, I'm holding my nose and giving time to the Free Press's Evil Drew Sharp, who wonders aloud whether the Red Wings will "step to the plate" to ensure that Mike Babcock is not the next Ndamukong Suh (on his way out?) or Max Scherzer (already gone):

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Prospect news: Griffins lose in OT; Coreau backstops Walleye to win; NCAA regular season wrapping up

The Grand Rapids Griffins were four tenths of a second from their tenth straight win when Milwaukee Admirals forward Viktor Stalberg tied the game, sending Friday's tilt to OT.

In overtime, Stalberg struck staggeringly quickly again, scoring only 25 seconds in OT and delivering a 3-2 OT win for the Admirals, opening up the Griffins' 4-game road trip on a sour note.

The Griffins' website posited a game recap:

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Red Wings-Flames wrap-up: ‘scorching’ by Flames serves as a reality-check

The Detroit Red Wings got thoroughly out-worked over the course of their 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Friday, and according to the Flames, who were coming off a 4-3 shootout win over the Bruins on Thursday evening, Calgary had Detroit right where they wanted them early in the 2nd period, when Detroit had a 2-1 lead, and the Flames had been called for icing with the 4th line on the ice.

At least that's what the Flames told the media about the timeout, because the Flames soon regrouped, tied the game 2-2 and then roared away from a Wings team that looked far more gassed in the 2nd and 3rd than the Flames did in the 1st--when the Flames were absolutely dog-tired both mentally and physically.

As the Calgary Herald's Scott Cruickshank noted, soon after the timeout, Brandon Bollig helped Matt Stajan tie the game--though Stajan's game-tying goal at 6:06 of the 2nd found its way both off the left goalpost and through a fantastic screen set up by one Jonathan Ericsson (who finished at -3 and was on the ice for 4 of the Flames' 5 goals):

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Quick take, Red Wings vs. Flames: out-worked, out-wrestled, out-blocked, out-skated, out-played

On Friday night, the Detroit Red Wings weren't willing or able to out-work a difficult opponent battling for its playoff lives in the Calgary Flames, and as a result, Detroit blew a 2-0 lead and ended up getting its ass handed to it, losing 5-2 to the Flames and setting up a must-win situation going into a "4 point game" against Boston on Sunday.

If the Wings kick Boston to the curb, the B's will more or less be out of the Atlantic Division race, but if the Wings don't, Boston will be 9 points back with a game in hand.

On Friday, the Wings put on a clinic for the vast majority of the 1st period, getting two gorgeous goals from Justin Abdelkader, but after that, both Abdelkader and the Wings were out-worked, out-hustled, out-hooked, out-held, out-clutched, out-grabbed, out-hacked, out-whacked and out-skated by a Flames team that just had more urgency and just had more moxie.

Add in the fact that Jimmy Howard was screened staggeringly well by his own defense on the 2-2, 3-2 and 4-2 goals (Jonathan Ericsson finished the night at -3), add in the fact that one of those pucks should have hit Howard (at least), and add in the fact that the Flames blocked 21 Wings shots, and you get a game in which the team that out-shot its opponent 35-24 and out-attempted its opponent 64-37 got its ass handed to it, especially in the second and third periods.

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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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