The Malik Report
Updated 10x with the Wings' game-day video at 4:06 PM: The Detroit Red Wings still face a must-win situation against the Nashville Predators tonight (7:30 PM EDT, FSD/FS Tennessee/97.1 FM) despite defeating the Los Angeles Kings last night, and at least initially, the morning skate gave no indications as to Johan Franzen's status for this evening...
The theory goes something like this: as the Red Wings' 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings gives the 22-16-and-8 Wings both 52 points and 20 regulation-or-OT wins, if the Wings earn a win over the Nashville Predators tonight (7:30 PM, FSD/FS Tennessee/97.1 FM) and the Dallas Stars (48 points, 20 ROWs) defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets (51 points, 17 ROWs), the Wings will make the playoffs outright, and won't have to worry about Saturday's regular season-ending match-up with the Stars (and all three teams have 2 games left to play).
But the Red Wings don't want to count on anybody but themselves controling their playoff fate, especially playing on back-to-back nights against a spoiler-happy Predators team--possibly without the services of Johan Franzen--and especially given the way the Blue Jackets have been winng, Detroit still wants to "win out."
There's no doubt that the Wings received an assist from the NHL in the form of Dustin Brown's suspension before tanling with the Brown-less Kings, and it's Brown's suspension that the Los Angeles Times' Lisa Dillman's recap focuses upon...
If you missed it in the quick take, Red Wings forward Johan Franzen suffered some sort of injury ("undisclosed") during the Red Wings' 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings, and he's iffy for tomorrow's game against Nashville, as MLive's Ansar Khan reports:
Coach Mike Babcock and general manager Ken Holland said Franzen's status for Thursday's home finale vs. Nashville will be determined in the morning.
“He's been real good for us,'' Babcock said. "He didn't finish the game, but hopefully he'll be fine for tomorrow.''
Babcock added, “Don't know a whole bunch. They just took him off the bench, or made him sit on the bench. I couldn't use him down the stretch. I'll find out tomorrow.''
If I were to guess, I'd go with Franzen possibly tweaking his hip flexors toward the end of the game. But that's just a guess.
The Detroit Red Wings may have made their biggest "statement" of the season when they needed it the most. They may have played the best playoff hockey they have in over a year, defeating the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 on a night that the team desperately needed to remain in control of its fate.
But it didn't start out "pretty," at least as far as finishing was concerned.
With under an hour to go before tonight's game between the Red Wings and Kings, with Dustin Brown out of LA's lineup, as Paul noted, Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika thoughtfully considering the legacy of the endangered 21-year-old playoff streak...
The AP's Larry Lage may have had to elbow his way to his laptop given the number of scribes in attendance for tonight's game at Joe Louis Arena, but he did so in order to drop a heavy hint that the Wings' long-term future does not involve their current rink:
The Detroit Red Wings will play in a new arena some season in the future. It's not if, but when and yet Chris Ilitch doesn't know or want to say much about it.
"Everybody is working hard and there's positive progress," the president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings told The Associated Press after Thursday's Detroit Economic Club meeting.
What's next in the process?
"It's tough to say," he said. "I'd prefer not to make any predictions and just keep working away and continue to do our due diligence and see what we can put together."
I'm going to raise an eyebrow regarding Lage's note that the $12.8 million in yearly tax subsidies the Wings were awarded by the Downtown Development Authority as it was my understanding that the money came from "general fund" dollars, not tax money that was tabbed for education, but that bone of contention remains an, "It depends on how you read the legislation" wrinkle.
Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story will air on the CBC this Sunday, May 28th at 8 PM EDT, and it will air on the Hallmark Channel on Sunday, May 4th at 9 PM (actor Michael Shanks plays Howe in the movie chronicling Howe's comeback with the Houston Aeros, and his website offers oodes of information regarding and articles about the film, which will go straight to WalMart DVD on April 6th), and the CBC posted a fantastic interview with Howe from 1978 as part of the lead-up to the film's premiere:
Shanks posted an interview he conducted with the Kamloops Daily News's Jason Hewlett this morning, too:
Updated 16x at 3:08 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face a stiff challenge in battling against the Los Angeles Kings tonight (7:30 PM EDT, NBCSN on TV and online/TSN2/97.1 FM), and the Wings hit the ice just before 10:30 AM for their morning skate with Todd Bertuzzi in tow:
Ahead of tonight's "Rivalry Night" game against the Los Angeles Kings (7:30 PM EDT, NBCSN/TSN2/97.1 FM), the Red Wings received help from one team they're battling with for a playoff spot and none from two others.
The 21-17-and-6 Wings still sit in 9th place in the Western Conference with 50 points and 19 regulation-or-OT wins, 1 point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets (51 points, 21-17-and-7, 17 ROWs, 2 games left, at Dallas on Thursday and home vs. Nashville on Sunday).
With three games remaining on Detroit's schedule (tonight against LA, tomorrow against Nashville and Saturday in Dallas), the Wings have almost no chance of catching the St. Louis Blues (56 points, 2 games remaining) thanks to St. Louis' 3-1 win over Colorado, and the Minnesota Wild now sit 3 points ahead of Detroit after pissing off Kings via a 2-1 win on Tuesday evening (Minnesota's got 53 points, a 25-18-and-3 record and 21 ROWs with 2 games remaining)...
This made the rounds on Twitter last night, but it's worth repeating and seeing in its larger form on the Detroit News's Red Wings blog, as intrepid Detroit News sports photographer David Guralnick captured a rather remarkable moment during last night's Red Wings win over Phoenix:
I haven’t seen a replay of this moment from the second period last night but after Justin Abdelkader sent Phoenix’ Zbynek Michalek into Detroit’s bench it looks like Mike Babcock is fortunate to have his head still on his shoulders this morning.
Tomorrow's game between the Red Wings and Kings (who are trailing 2-0 vs Minnesota, in St. Paul,as I write this) is an NBC Sports Network exclusive, and they're drumming up the "Rivalry Night" Game through a press release...
OS ANGELES KINGS ATTEMPT TO HOLD HOME ICE ADVANTAGE AS DETROIT RED WINGS FIGHT FOR POSTSEASON SPOT, ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK’S “WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIVALRY” AT 7:30 P.M. ET
NEW YORK – April 23, 2013 — Henrik Zetterberg and the Detroit Red Wings (50 pts.) host Dustin Brown and the Los Angeles Kings (57 pts.) at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich., on NBC Sports Network’s Wednesday Night Rivalry at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Kings, who are in fourth place in the Western Conference, have clinched a spot in the playoffs and are fighting to keep their home-ice advantage on the San Jose Sharks (55pts.), who are in fifth place in the conference standings. The Red Wings, currently ninth in the West, have lost six of their last 10 games, and need as many points as possible to keep their playoff hopes and 21-year postseason streak alive. Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, analyst Eddie Olczyk and ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire will call the game.
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.