The Malik Report
FYI, from NHL.com:
With the 2011 NHL Awards two months away, the National Hockey League will begin announcing finalists for each of its regular-season awards over the next two weeks, beginning Tuesday, April 19 with the Calder Memorial Trophy.
Nominees will be announced each day at noon on NHL.com and through NHL news releases.
Updated 4x at 5:56 with miscellaneous news: According to the Red Wings’ resident, “It’s 85 where I am, and you have snow, ha ha!” correspondent, the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan, Johan Franzen is highly probable to play in tonight’s game between the Detroit Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes (10:30 PM EDT, FSD/FS Arizona/CBC/Versus/WXYT), but Babcock isn’t going to hedge his bets that Franzen’s 100% certain to play:
“His face seems to be fine. It’s a tough play,” explained coach Mike Babcock. “He got a stick in the face by (Eric) Belanger (Phoenix center) on the way down, that one got him on the lip, and his head hit in the end boards. For most people that would hurt. We’re lucky he’s the Mule and he should be fine.”
Babcock said he’ll have forwards ready (likely Mike Modano) just in case Franzen can’t play. But Babcock doesn’t expect to change his lineup from the first two games.
“That’s what my plan is at this point,” Babcock said. “I’ll have extras dress (for the pre-game skate) but that’s not in my plan (for any changes).”
Barring any surprises, we should expect no lineup changes or shockers from this afternoon’s “morning” (their time) skates as the Detroit Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes prepare for tonight’s game (10:30 PM EDT/FSD/FS Arizona/Versus/CBC/WXYT), which is good as I’ve got to head out to ferry the mom to yet another physician’s appointment. Alanah will substitute for a bit and cover anything big, and I’ll provide a “morning” skate set of updates when I return, but in the interim, here are a few Wings-related articles worth reading:
Spiffy news from DetroitRedWings.com’s Christy Hammond:
Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom has been selected by his teammates as the Red Wings’ 2010-11 King Clancy Memorial Trophy nominee. This honor is annually awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy contribution in his community. The winner will be announced at the NHL Awards Show on June 22nd.
Whether he is lending his image for a poster to support soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, meeting a sick child after a practice or game or making an appearance at a local school, Lidstrom is an active member in the Metro Detroit community.
The Detroit News’s Bob Wojnowski wrote a fantastic article about the Wings’ veterans serving as mentors for the Wings’ younger players (like Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Jimmy Howard, etc.) and, in the cases of Kris Draper and Chris Osgood, hoping to make strong cases to extend their careers as members of the Red Wings:
“When I’m on the ice in practice, I got a smile on my face, and I try to be one of the last guys out there,” Draper said. “I feel great. I’m loving what I’m doing, and I just want to keep doing it as long as I can.”
“I never envisioned going under the knife and then my career being over,” Osgood said. “I always envisioned playing my last game in Joe Louis and then saying goodbye. So it was frightening, because I was really, genuinely concerned about being able to come back. Now I definitely have all intention of playing next year. I don’t want to leave knowing I can still play, and I think Drapes is the same way.”
The Detroit Red Wings face off against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight (10:30 PM EDT, CBC/Versus/FS Arizona/FSD/WXYT) basically focusing upon the same things that the Coyotes will allow them to climb out of a 2-0 series deficit—better discipline, cutting down on traffic, controlling rebounds and ensuring that their efforts are sustained for a full sixty minutes.
The only differences for the Coyotes involve a bit of a fib and a simple truth. First and foremost, the Coyotes still seem to have the, “Nobody believes in us but us” chip on their shoulder that they did last year, which the Red Wings have insisted is simply not the case since last season, and the second involves the fact that the Coyotes haven’t been able to score at even strength, as Coyotes coach Dave Tippett suggested to the Arizona Republic’s Jim Gintonio;
Updated 3x at 1:18 AM on Monday: Mostly good news in this belated Red Wings-Coyotes off-day report: According to the Free Press’s Helene St. James, the Red Wings chose to hold Johan Franzen out of practice to rest his…face…but he’s going to play on Monday:
General manager Ken Holland said Franzen would be ready to play Monday when the Wings take a 2-0 lead up against Phoenix at Jobing.com Arena.
Franzen suffered multiple cuts to his face Saturday in Game 2 when he slid into the boards early in the first period, but he returned to play midway through the game.
When a reporter asked coach Mike Babcock if Franzen was kept out of practice as a precaution, Babcock replied, “should I do what happened to him to you and see if you’re here today?”
St. James also reports good news on the Zetterberg front…
While weighing in on the fact that Red Wings forward Johan Franzen, his coach, Mike Babcock, the player whose hit injured Franzen in Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan and Doan’s coach, Dave Tippett offered four very disparate takes as to whether an incident which resulted in 23 stitches to close multiple wounds and a chipped tooth…
Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner may have stumbled upon the formula which the NHL applies to every controversial play, rule, referee’s decision, or, in the case of Red Wings fans, enlistment of the City of Detroit in squelching a 59-year-old octopus-throwing tradition:
Doan feels bad that Franzen was hurt on the play, but it wasn’t his fault. Franzen believes that it was nothing short of premeditated thuggery. Tippett is convinced that Franzen injured himself and Babcock has witnessed too many 5 on 3’s against his team, that he never wants a penalty called ever again.
Welcome to the crazy inconsistent world of NHL officiating. Sometimes it’s a penalty, sometimes it’s not and sometimes we just don’t know! So, we make it up as the game rolls along.
And guess what hockey fans? It’s never going to change.
Note for readers: This is meant to be read in tandem with my recap of the Detroit Red Wings’ 4-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.
With Justin Abdelkader earning Saturday’s lion’s share of praise, Darren Helm earned a Sunday’s worth of attention from the Free Press’s Helene St. James...
Darren does a lot of little things out there that go unnoticed,” goalie Jimmy Howard said. “He uses his speed to his advantage. His shot has been night and day from the start of this season to now. It’s a testament to him and how hard he’s been working in practice and staying after and working with the goalies on his shot.”
“He dominate today,” Datsyuk said. “He does lots of skating and make D tired little bit. This is good for us.”
“He’s been great for us all year long, the work ethic of that guy and the shape he’s in, it’s unbelievable,” Johan Franzen said of Helm. “He comes out every night and just flies out there and makes it miserable for the other team.”
The Detroit Red Wings scored like nobody’s business early, to the course of 4 straight goals, and held on late to emerge from Saturday’s game with a 4-3 victory and 2-0 series lead over the Phoenix Coyotes, and while the Wings’ effort was anything but neat and tidy, but between Pavel Datsyuk’s four-point performance, Johan Franzen’s display of supreme grit in returning from 23 stitches’ worth of cuts and a probable broken nose (to Don Cherry’s delight), and the Wings’ simple sticktuitiveness in refusing to relinquish their lead as the Coyotes received five of the game’s last six power plays…
I don’t need to tell you that the Phoenix Coyotes believe that the team that’s out-scored, out-hit (41-38 on Saturday), out-battled in the faceoff circle and elsewhere and has plain old out-lasted a team the Wings will readily admit is a formidable opponent, is still the Detroit Red Wings team that the Coyotes failed to take advantage of their opportunities to defeat last season…
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.