The Malik Report
Updated 6x with some gory details at 8:42 PM: DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose offers at least decent news regarding Valtteri Filppula, who suffered a skate cut to the back of his left leg when he was accidentally slew-footed by Colorado Avalanche forward David Jones on Sunday:
#RedWings practicing at Scottrade Center. Valtteri Filppula (cut leg) is not on the ice. Not known if he’ll play Tue. @DetroitRedWings #NHL
Update: This is good news, per the Free Press’s Helene St. James:
Filppula stayed off ice as precaution today, but might play Tuesday. Needs skate that won’t rub cut above ankle.
Update #2: Per MLive’s Ansar Khan:
As Red Bird III gets underway flying the Red Wings from Denver to St. Louis sans an update on Valtteri Filppula’s status, and, according to Yahoo Sports’ Nicholas J. Cotsonika (via the Wings’ Twitter account), we wait for the Board of Governors to finish their golf games as their meetings aren’t even scheduled to start until 6:30 PM EST, we’re officially playing a professional waiting game in terms of finding out whether a Wing who’s finally fulfilling his massive potential will miss a short period of time or a long period of time, and whether, by tonight or tomorrow evening, anyway, the Wings might have a (proposed) new home.
So let’s pass some time talking about this morning’s crop of Red Wings news, starting with the dreaded (by me, anyway) realignment issue:
Sometimes teams do just enough to help their cause that they end up winning games they might otherwise lose, and sometimes they do the opposite, committing the precie amount of errors and inattentiveness to detail necessary to shoot themselves in both feet. On Sunday, the Detroit Red Wings played a plain old sloppy game, especially after losing Valtteri Filppula’s services in the middle of the first period, and between giving up 19 second period shots, a shorthanded goal and playing jumbled, clunkily-executed hockey, the Wings coughed up a 1-0 lead and a salvaged 2-2 tie in dropping a 4-2 decision to the Avalanche, ending a seven-game winning streak and remaning two points behind the Central Division-leading Chicago Blackhawks—and five points out of eleventh place—in the jam-packed Western Conference standings.
To employ a technical term, Valtteri Filppula appeared to suffer an innocuous injury to the back of his left leg when felled by an inadvertent slew-foot by Colorado Avalanche forward David Jones during the Wings’ 4-2 loss to the Avs on Sunday, but skate blade cuts have a way of turning nasty, which is why Wings coach Mike Babcock was worried about Filppula, as he told DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose:
Valtteri Filppula, who is off to the best start of his NHL career with 21 points and a plus-9 rating, was cut on the leg above the skate boot. The seriousness of the injury was not immediately known though coach Mike Babcock indicated that the Wings’ forward had been taken to a Denver hospital.
“Fil got a cut on his leg above his skate,” Babcock said. “We sent him to have it looked at. We don’t know if it’s serious or not serious.”
The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 4-2 decision to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night,, surrendering a 1-0 lead and a 2-2 tie’s worth of momentum mostly via self-inflicted wounds (Ryan Jones’ slew-foot on Valtteri Filppula, who left with a “lower-body” injury which Wings coach Mike Babcock informed Trevor Thompson involved a skate cut above his right ankle).
The Wings’ power play was at times ineffectual, and was at worst, a total mess, giving up a short-handed game-winner to T.J. Galiardi, and while Ty Conklin was sensational at times, stopping 17 of a 19-shot second period onslaught, he looked incredibly vulnerable on the goals he gave up. He didn’t receive much help, however, by a Wings team that was all too happy to cough up the puck when pressed physically in all three zones by the tenacious Avs, both committing too many turnovers and making too many unforced mistakes because the Wings’ players got bunched up, messed up, or caught standing around when a little more skating and a little more attention to detail would have allowed their puck carriers to at least have someone to pass to, if not some support when inevitable turnovers occurred.
Updated 4x with even more realignment stuff at 7:05 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Colorado Avalanche tonight (8 PM, not 9 PM, EST—sorry, I forgot to carry the one in the game set-up—FSD with Dave Strader doing play by play/Altitude/WXYT) with the easygoing Wings hoping to establish an eight-game winning streak against the plucky Avs with Ty Conklin between the pipes.
As Pro Hockey Talk’s Mike Halford suggests (via RedWingsFeed), the world’s a different place from the one in which Conklin last started a game on October 15th, and while I don’t think that the Wings will be too concerned if Conklin is anything less than dominant tonight, but I can’t help but feel that Wings fans might freak out if Conklin’s limited exposure continues to reflect his ability to back up Jimmy Howard in a poor light.
The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Colorado Avalanche tonight (
8 PM EST, FSD—not plus thanks to the NBA lockout/Altitude) facing a team that has played neither particularly well nor particularly poorly since the Wings defeated the Avs 5-2 about a month ago: the Avs have gone 5-and-5, but have won their past two games, including a 3-2 shootout win over St. Louis on Friday night; the Wings, of course, are coming off a 4-1 victory over Buffalo on Friday night, and they’re hoping that Ty Conklin can deliver the team’s eighth straight win.
Perspective from both teams’ camps seems to be a little lean this morning, as the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater spent this morning talking about the same realignment issue that’s bugging you and me, as well as the demise of the dedicated enforcer, so we’ll turn back to Dater’s recounting of Friday’s Avs win to gauge the Avs’ offensive firepower...
Updated 2x at 1:45 PM: In theory, we know it’s coming, but I don’t think that we Red Wings fans necessarily know who we’re dealing with when we talk about it.*
As Paul posted on Saturday night, the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman built off the column by Sportsnet’s John Shannon, which suggested that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will table two options for realigning the NHL to the 30 members of the Board of Governors this Monday in Pebble Beach, CA. On the Saturday night’s Satellite Hotstove (which you can watch here), Friedman stated the following:
Well, I’m a little late to the party as the Chief and I are playing dueling banjos, but we all knew that the Red Wings facing a congested December schedule (see: fifteen games over the course of 30 days, with 14 to go over the next 28), Ty Conklin would receive a start sooner or later, and MLive’s Ansar Khan reports that Sunday’s game against Colorado will be “that day” for Conklin:
Conklin is 1-2-0, with a 3.33 goals-against average and .880 save percentage. He made 29 saves in a 3-0 victory over the Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on Oct. 8. Coach Mike Babcock said that factored into his decision.
“He got a shutout last time we were here. It was important to get him in,’’ Babcock said after practice today at the Pepsi Center. “Howie’s played great, we can always do that (play him), but I think Conks is going to play great tomorrow. He played great the last time in here.’‘
Said Conklin: “I’m very excited. It’ll be nice to get in there and get some action.’‘
Now that Fabian Brunnstrom’s Mrs. has given birth to little Alexander, the Red Wings have sent Brunnstrom down to Grand Rapids, hopefully for a month or more as Brunnstrom’s shown more than enough flashes of talent to entice the Wings’ management, players and fans…But he hasn’t played regularly enough or had the opportunity to play as many minutes as he needs to truly regain his form. Here’s the Griffins’ press release regarding Brunnstrom’s reassignment:
The Detroit Red Wings on Saturday assigned left wing Fabian Brunnstrom to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
A native of Jonstorp, Sweden, Brunnstrom has skated in four games with the Griffins this season, recording one goal and two assists. He has registered one assist and four penalty minutes in five contests with the Red Wings. The 26-year-old winger has tallied 43 points (17-26—43) in 85 career AHL games.
Between the Wings’ “we’re playing more than once every other night” grind during December and January (see: you need warm bodies when guys inevitably get dinged) and Mike Babcock’s effusive praise for Brunnstrom’s talent and work ethic, he’ll be back sooner or later.
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