The Malik Report
The Grand Rapids Griffins’ regular season wrapped up yesterday with a loss against the Hamilton Bulldogs, and this morning, the Red Wings’ PR department stated that 11 of the Griffins’ players will be heading to Detroit today or tomorrow to serve as “Black Aces”:
RED WINGS RECALL 11 GRIFFINS TO SERVE AS ‘BLACK ACES’ DURING 2012 PLAYOFFS
… Detroit and Nashville Square off in Game Four on Tuesday Night at The Joe ...
Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings today announced that 11 players have been recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League to serve as ‘Black Aces’ during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The group, consisting of five forwards, five defensemen and one goalie, will practice before or after the Red Wings each day and will be on hand to dress for NHL post-season games should the need arise. Four of the 11 players saw game action with the Red Wings during the 2011-12 regular season including forwards Joakim Andersson and Fabian Brunnstrom, and defensemen Doug Janik and Brendan Smith. Garnet Exelby, a veteran blue-liner in his first season with the Griffins, has over 400 games of NHL experience with the Atlanta Thrashers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Updated 2x at 12:18 PM: The Red Wings are on the ice for practice as I write this, with MLive’s Ansar Khan reporting that Nicklas Lidstrom and Ian White are skating together, and NHL.com’s Brian Hedger reporting that Danny Cleary’s skating on the Datsyuk line, with Gustav Nyquist demoted to the 4th line and Todd Bertuzzi skating with Miller and Abdelkader…
And while that should tide you over till the after-practice updates, if you are, as the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts
RedWingsFeed) suggests, no longer a Brendan Shanahan fan because he chose not to suspend Shea Weber, Pro Hockey talk’s Joe Yerdon reports that Shanahan told WFAN’s Boomer and Carton in New York that he didn’t suspend Weber because, well…The Wings didn’t lie and tell Shanahan that Henrik Zetterberg was hurt:
The Detroit Red wings’ 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Sunday afternoon has left me an angry man this morning, and I feel no need to hide it.
I’m angry because—and I mean this with no disrespect intended—I find it baffling that even the Craig Custances, Kevin Allens and Nicholas J. Costonikas of the media world, who I admire, merely lead the tip of a MSM spear whose thrust is, “Gosh, can you believe that Shea Weber was still dominant even though Red Wings fans booed him and he had to fight Todd Bertuzzi on Friday? What resolve!”
Pretty stunning news from Flint: According to the Flint Journal’s Roberto Acosta, hockey entrepreneur and former Flint Generals owner and goalie Bob Perani has passed away:
Bob Perani, a former hockey player turned businessman in the Flint area whose name graces the city’s entertainment and sports arena, died at the age of 69 this morning while on an international flight from Detroit to Tokyo on his way back to his retirement home in Thailand.
“He could be serious when it was needed, but he was more of a teacher and had that type of demeanor, not only with me but my sister (Lahna Ward) and all the employees that worked for us,” said Robert Perani. “It wasn’t a boss/employee relationship. He wanted people to learn lessons in life. The things you did on the job reflected how you lived your life.”
Robert said Bob would work tireless hours in building up Perani’s Hockey World, which encompasses 17 sporting goods stores in the United States and two in Canada since it began in 1976.
The Detroit Red Wings were beaten by two teams on Sunday—the Nashville Predators, who won a 3-2 decision, and the Detroit Red Wings.
The Wings bafflingly came out of the gate flatter than day-old pop in front of an electric Joe Louis Arena crowd, dug a 2-0 hole for themselves and then worked against the clock for the rest of the game, and while the Wings made a game of it and then some thanks to a Datsyukian deke, a near goal by Johan Franzen as time expired in the 2nd and a furious, 19-shot third period assault, the Red Wings’ power play went 1-for-4, on too many of the Predators’ odd-man rushes, pucks found their way through Jimmy Howard…
Thanks to the NHL’s desire for afternoon matinee playoff match-ups, the Detroit Red wings will hope to build upon their sloppy but tenacious 3-2 victory over Nashville on Thursday at a bizarre time—the game starts at 12 PM EDT (NBC—WDIV’s pre-game begins at 11:30 AM EDT/CBC/97.1 FM) and in less-than-ideal circumstances in terms of today’s ice surface, because Al Sobotka and the Wings’ crew will have had somewhere between eight and ten hours to prepare Joe Louis Arena’s ice for an 80-degree day and thunderstorms thanks to a Nickelback concert on Saturday night.
To some extent, the pressure really is on Detroit’s shoulders to hold its “home-ice” advantage after rallying from a 1-0 series deficit, and it’s going to take more than the huge dehumidifiers that the Wings park outside the Joe come April to ensure that the Wings don’t keep playing from behind in the race to four wins. There’s no doubt that the Wings were out-shot, out-chanced and have some work to do in terms of currying favor with what I think both teams can agree has been incredibly inconsistent refereeing (please don’t ask me to try and be objective about the Wings’ 6-to-2 penalty deficit in Game 2 while I’m wearing playoff tinfoil)...
Updated 4x at 4:23 PM: After the Detroit Red Wings’ 3-2 victory on Friday night, the Wings returned to Detroit, but will have to cross their fingers that Al Sobotka can work some miracles on Joe Louis Arena’s ice as Nickelback will be occupying the Joe, and tomorrow the forecast calls for nearly 80-degree temperatures and thunderstorms, yielding a less than “sunny” outlook for the Joe’s almost always excellent ice surface—though I have little doubt in Sobotka’s ability to far surpass the soup the Wings were playing on in Nashville—as the Wings and Predators renew acquaintances via a bizarre noon start (WDIV will begin their pre-game show at 11:30 AM tomorrow).
With the Joe unavailable, the Red Wings practiced at City Sports Arena, and the Predators remained in Nashville, with the Wings’ and Predators’ beat writers and the national press corps spending this morning and early afternoon skipping practice to fly to Detroit (amidst some “heavy weather” dotting their flight paths) and set up shop in the Motor City for the next four days.
So the off-day news is coming in at a snail’s pace, and we’ll start with the Twitter quips from the Tennessean’s John Glennon, who reports the following from Music City:
As it turns out, regardless of one is a hockey player or a hockey blogger, playing at less than 100% of one’s capabilities…I don’t usually use this word, but it sucks, frankly. So in lieu of a recap, here’s what I can give ya: a sampling of Red Wings-related stuff subsequent to the Wings’ 3-2 victory over the Predators and Todd Bertuzzi’s dust-up with Shea Weber:
Right at the beginning of the Detroit Red Wings’ 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators, Todd Bertuzzi informed Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber that he would be engaging in some fisticuffs as the result of his “Webering” of Henrik Zetterberg’s head during the teams’ previous meeting, and Bertuzzi and Weber engaged in what was a clean tilt…
And while most of the Wings’ players who were seen on Fox Sports Detroit’s post-game suggested that the event was spontaneous, Wings coach Mike Babcock, who usually lauds Weber’s play during the regular season, rather forcefully told Fox Sports Detroit’s John Keating that he would have accepted nothing less from Bertuzzi or his teammates. During his post-game presser, Babcock went a little further, as the Free Press’s Helene St. James notes:
One of the more savvy commenters suggested that the Detroit Red Wings’ 3-2 loss to Nashville on Wednesday was, in fact, perhaps the best game the Wings had played since the middle of March, and tonight…
I’m honestly confused here. The Red Wings were porous as all hell get out defensively, they were out-penalized—legitimately so in most cases—7-3 and had to kill off 6 Predators power plays [edit: did I mention that the Wings’ PK has been perfect thus far? No?], they were out-shot 10-5 in the 2nd period, 11-4 in the 3rd period and 26-17 overall, and they all but earned “gimme” assists on the Predators’ goals, but Detroit somehow emerged with a 3-2 victory and head home knowing that even playing relatively poor defensive hockey can be successful when they are in fact opportunistic offensively and get the kind of goaltending that Jimmy Howard can provide.
The fact that Todd Bertuzzi gave a crowd which ended the game booing Henrik Zetterberg something to chew on in terms of clean retribution by doing this to Shea Weber didn’t hurt:
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.