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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Maple Leafs live blog redux: die-hards and revenge

The Red Wings hopped on Red Bird III and flew to Toronto for tonight’s marquee match-up against the Leafs (at 7 PM EDT on the CBC, CBC Sports online in Canada and the NHL Network in the U.S.); hopefully someone will toss up a link to a stream to those who need it) going with what we’ll politely call the “B Team” against a due to a combination of injuries—Pavel Datsyuk (back), Mike Commodore (knee) and Danny Cleary (upper-body something) and Jan Mursak (ankle, out till January-ish) are sidelined—and the fact that the Wings inexplicably cap off their pre-season slate with a three-games-in-three-nights grind.

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Red Wings-Maple Leafs live blog: fantastic hockey on tap tonight, tomorrow

No Brendan Smith (suspension), no Pavel Datsyuk (back), no Danny Cleary (???), no Mike Commodore (knee) and a Joe Louis Arena whose crowd consists of die-hard Red Wings fans who are willing to miss a Tigers-Yankees games and a raucous band of Maple Leaf fans who appear like pot fiends during a rock concert, trading soccer chants and sometimes out-cheering the two thirds majority of Wings fans, and a back-to-back slate of games on Fox Sports Detroit (tonight at 7:30 PM) and then Hockey Night in Canada (tomorrow at 7)...

It all adds up to, as far as I’m concerned, anyway, one of the best rivalries in sports, sadly constrained to the pre-season because the NHL split two of the league’s most historic and bitter rivals, perhaps despite another empty promise of a reunion. These may be pre-season games, but the Wings and Leafs wage a war both on the ice and in the stands (expect a drunken brawl or three and arrogance galore from the blue and white-wearing crowd that believes its’ already won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1967) under an international media spotlight and amidst a plain old fantastic atmosphere as both teams pare down their rosters to prepare for the regular season in earnest

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It’s A Live Blog From The Windy City

Bulls/Pistons
White Sox/Tigers
Bears/Lions
Blackhawks/Wings

The rivalry continues tonight. who will be crowned king of the pre-season?

Watch the game to find out- VERSUS 8:30pm ET.

Paul for George.

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Live Blog- Chicago Visits Detroit

George asked me to put up a live blog for him so here it is.

Play hard and stay healthy boys.

Chicago’s lineup will be sprinkled with prospects like Saad, Beach, Kruger, Smith, Pirri, Olsen, Hayes and Connolly.  Veterans making the trip include Carcillo, Bickell, Frolik, Mayers, McLean, Stalberg, Leddy, Lespisto and Montador.

Some of the Wings taking the ice today are Lidstrom, Franzen, Helm, Abdelkader, Bertuzzi, Ericsson, Kindl, Zetterberg and Miller. (Khan has the full lineup)

The game is televised on FoxSports Detroit beginning at 5:00pm ET today.

-Paul

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This can’t be so impossibly complicated…

As things slowly work their way back towards “normal” here at TMR, I’ve promised myself to, if you’ll pardon the comparison, “Don’t be Ellen,” as in “don’t get preachy about mental health or anything else, just do your damn job” (her TV sitcom “jumped the Shark” when she came out because its focus became singular, I’m not going to turn into a chapter of NAMI here—this is just a hockey blog)...

But given all the talk we’ve already heard and will continue to hear about fighting and the role of enforcers as it pertains to the trio of passings this past summer, I’m lost as to why we can’t just state the obvious about the issues obviously facing the NHL, NHLPA and NHL Alumni in terms of investing as much in improving their behavioral health programs, mental health care programs and alumni support as they do keeping their athletes in tip-top physical shape.

To be brief (for once, and perhaps only once):

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Red Wings lose one of their biggest fans

Very sad news from DetroitRedWings.com’s John Hahn:

The Detroit Red Wings mourn the passing of their friend and honorary coach, Earl Cook. Earl was an amazing 23-year-old young man who was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma on January 25, 2007.  His journey has seen him battle through numerous rounds of chemotherapy, 9 surgeries, and learning to live with one leg.  He became friends with Head Coach Mike Babcock and the Red Wings players over the past several seasons, serving as an inspiration to the team and everyone who heard his story.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Earl and his family,” says Babcock.  “Earl had an unbelievable spirit that allowed him to battle through a long list of challenges that most of us are fortunate to never know.  He served as a fantastic role model for myself and our team.  He may have passed today, but with the way he lived his life, he never allowed this disease to beat him.”

I met Earl once and shook his hand because he was one of my heroes.

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If there was a switch, I’d have flipped it already

While I was overwhelmed by the support so many of you offered when I stated my health issues in plain terms, I’m not expecting the same here, especially because it starts with a crappy simile:

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Red Wings, FSD release 2011-2012 broadcast schedule

FYI, per the Detroit Red Wings and Fox Sports Detriot:

Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings and FOX Sports Detroit today announced the 2011-12 Red Wings local television schedule.

FOX Sports Detroit (FSD) continues its award-winning production and carriage of Red Wings games by airing a total of 73 regular-season and pre-season contests with 61 games slated for FSD and 13 on FOX Sports Detroit Plus (FS PLUS).  Additionally, FOX Sports Detroit will carry all non-exclusive games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs if the Wings advance.

Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond return as the Wings TV on-air broadcast crew with former Red Wing and Hockey Hall of Famer Larry Murphy filling in for Redmond during select road games and serving as a between-the-benches reporter for home games.  John Keating will serve as primary host of the RED WINGS LIVE pre-game shows which air 30 minutes prior to most game times.  RED WINGS LIVE postgame follows most FSD telecasts with live reaction, analysis and game highlights.

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Wings/Griffins make no-risk signings in inking Estcolet, Rufenach to AHL deals

If what I saw this past summer held true during the Red Wings’ prospect tournament, the team’s made two superb signings which present no risk whatsoever to the team as the now Red Wings-managed Grand Rapids Griffins signed two slightly undersized but highly-skilled prospects to AHL-only contracts, which means that neither player takes up a spot on the Wings’ NHL roster, that they can turn pro with the Griffins or Walleye, and if they don’t work out for the Wings over the course of this season, they can impress 29 other NHL teams’ GM’s:

GRIFFINS SIGN ESTOCLET AND RUFENACH

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday announced the signings of forward Adam Estoclet (EHST-oh-clay) and defenseman Bryan Rufenach (ROOF-uh-nahk) to standard AHL player’s contracts.

Estoclet, a 22-year old native of Orono, Minn., was second in scoring for Dartmouth College in 2010-11, recording 29 points and a team-high 16 goals in 34 games (16-13—29). After completing his senior year, he joined the Providence Bruins for a seven-game stint, registering two assists and seven penalty minutes. In 127 games over four years at Dartmouth, Estoclet picked up 104 points (39-65—104). He led Dartmouth in scoring as a sophomore in 2008-09 and tied for ninth in ECAC scoring after tallying 21 points (5-16—21) in 22 conference games and 32 points (8-24—32) in 31 total contests that season.

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Wings won’t scrimmage on Saturday to attend McCrimmon funeral

Per MLive’s Ansar Khan, the Red Wings will tweak their training camp schedule to pay farewell to a friend on Saturday:

Saturday’s camp schedule has changed. The team will not scrimmage. Each of the three groups will practice in the morning and then the main team will fly back to Detroit for the funeral of former assistant coach Brad McCrimmon.

McCrimmon, former defenseman Ruslan Salei and ex-goaltending prospect Stefan Liv were among 44 who died in the Sept. 7 plane crash in Russia involving KHL club Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

I know that the Red Wings will rally around the McCrimmon family, and I hope Wings fans will do the same, because when something like this happens to people that partisan fans treat like extended members of the family…We give the McCrimmons their space, privacy, and at the same time, some TLC.

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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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