The Malik Report
Given the Red Wings' suddenly precarious standing as the 3rd-place team in the Atlantic Division, with the surging Ottawa Senators 4 points behind the Wings (who defeated San Jose 5-2 on Monday; Detroit has 1 game in hand on Ottawa, and Detroit hosts San Jose on Thursday), and the Boston Bruins 5 points behind (who are idle until Thursday, though Detroit has 2 games in hand on Boston)...
You'd think that tonight's game against the Arizona Coyotes (7:30 PM EDT, FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM) would constitute either a "gimme" game or a "trap" game, and in this case, the best answer to both suggestions is, "Yep."
The Coyotes sit in 29th place in the league and have lost 8 straight games, including Sunday's 3-1 loss to Vancouver. They're embarking on a 3-game road trip that will take them through Detroit, Buffalo for a Connor McDavid Derby showdown and then Pittsburgh, and the biggest news regarding a traveling Coyotes team on Monday involved the likely departure of goalie guru Sean Burke for greener pastures.
The "Awww factor" in this story from WDIV Local 4 Sports' Jamie Edmonds goes up to eleven:
It's Monday morning and Red Wings center Riley Sheahan is on the ice at his day job preparing for the NHL playoffs and talking business.
After work, Sheahan has a very important stop -- one that he's had on his schedule all season. The pro hockey player has a long-standing date with dogs at the Michigan Humane Society.
"It’s really cool. He comes out once a month. Sometimes he sneaks out here some other times as well. You can really tell he loves the animals here," said Ryan McTigue, of the Humane Society.
Sheahan's love for animals turned into an idea: he calls it "Riley's Rescues."
"I had the opportunity to help the Humane Society. I've always had a passion for dogs," said Sheahan.
DETROIT – The 11-time Stanley Cup® Champion Detroit Red Wings announced today that tickets for the 2015 Stanley Cup® Playoffs will go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 27 at 10:00 a.m. Red Wings fans will be able to purchase tickets for each of the team’s first two potential opening-round home contests against a to-be-determined opponent.
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
Justin Abdelkader violated rule 10.3 when he played the puck with a broken stick and knocked the puck into the net. Even though all goals are reviewed, this particular play is not presently listed in rule 38.4 (Situations Subject to Review). The use of a broken stick had to be detected by the referee(s) on the ice in real-time or through a conference of officials after the puck was played by Abdelkader and entered the net. The goal should have been disallowed and a penalty imposed against Abdelkader as per the letter of the law and contained in the rule.
The only way that this goal would be deemed legal is if Abdelkader's stick broke in the act of shooting and the puck then entered the net.
This was a missed call that resulted in the scoring of an illegal goal. The General Manager's need to expand their recommendations for referee video review to determine not just the presence of goalie interference but the legitimacy of all potential goals. The play in question should also be one for a "coach's challenge".
Let's examine the specifics of this play. While the integrity of Justin Abdelkader's stick may have been compromised previously, it is important to note that Alex Pietrangelo (or any Blues player) did NOT make contact with or slash Abdelkader's stick shaft which could have broken the stick. Had that occurred a slashing penalty would most likely have been assessed. Regardless as to how a stick is broken, there is no discretion for the referee to allow a player to continue playing with a broken stick. The player must drop the broken stick before participating in the play!
Video of the goal is below...
Updated 4x at 4:21 PM:
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
"I feel OK," Datsyuk said. "It's not ready to play. I think I need (to) skate more with team and I'll feel better."
He said he's not concerned about it.
"I (was) hoping I (would) play yesterday but it's like not really help team," Datsyuk said. "I hope I play tomorrow but I don't think so I play tomorrow. I have small chance. I skate tomorrow and we see."
Datsyuk didn't take part in three-on-three drills at the start of practice and didn't skate line rushes. He just joined in from time to time. He also didn't practice on the power play.
"It's a little bit bother me like three weeks," Datsyuk said. "Of course it feels better now but not 100 percent."
Update: The Free Press's George Sipple also posited a practice report, discussing the Wings-Coyotes match-up...
Wings filing onto ice for practice. Datsyuk is skating with team for first time since game at Pittsburgh 8 days ago.
more updates as they become available....
added 11:08am, via Khan....
Datsyuk not taking part in three-on-three drills at start of practice. Dangling the puck in the corner.
added 11:11am, Khan again,
Helm is not skating
Gustavsson was skating before practice but has left the ice.'
George taking over @ 11:25: DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose confirms:
Not everybody is quite done playing yet today--Dominic Turgeon's Portland Winterhawks are still skating in their regular season finale [Edit: Turgeon didn't register a point but Portland defeated Tri-City 5-3 /end edit]--but just about every Wings prospect save Axel Holmstrom (whose Skelleftea AIK are waiting for the SHL's first round to finish) and those skating for the Grand Rapids Griffins (who lost 4-1 to Adirondack today) and Walleye (who defeated Florida 2-1 in a shootout) know who they're going to be playing in the playoffs and/or the next round thereof, so:
In the KHL, starting this Thursday, March 26th Alexander Kadeikin and SKA St. Petersburg will battle CSKA Moscow in the KHL's Western Conference semifinal. As Sergei Fedorov GM's SKA, I may or may not be rooting against Kadeikin.
In NCAA hockey, Ben Marshall and the University of Minnesota will be battling Minnesota-Duluth in the Northeast Regional on Friday, March 27th at 5:30 PM, in Manchester, NH, and David Pope and the University of Nebraska-Omaha will be battling Harvard in the Southeast Regional on Saturday, March 28th at 7:30 PM, in South Bend, IN.
In Major Junior hockey:
Updated 2x at 12:05 AM:
The Detroit Red Wings' 2-1 OT win over the St. Louis Blues was a welcome occurrence and a breath of fresh air for a Wings team that remains 4-and-7-for-March, but the Red Wings aren't likely to earn much praise for the win outside of Detroit because many folks in the "hockey world" believe that Justin Abdelkader's game-winner shouldn't have counted:
Ken Hitchcock was one of them, of course...
But if you're a Red Wings fan, this Tweet from DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose is a thing of beauty...
The Red Wings faced an uphill climb against the St. Louis Blues, and with the Boston Bruins closing to within 4 points of the Wings and the Senators 5 points behind, Detroit also has Atlantic Division opponents breathing down their necks.
Minus Pavel Datsyuk, it looked like the Wings were going to drop their 8th game out of 11 March tilts...
And taking on a Blues team that had dropped a 6-3 decision to Minnesota on Saturday didn't make the winning equation seem to be any easier to accomplish.
It wasn't easy--given the even-ups, weird calls/non-calls and the intensity of the Blues' checking, forechecking and shooters' poise, the rope-a-doping Wings had their hands full and had their heads spinning due to not really knowing what was legal, but that was true for St. Louis, too, and the Wings slowly, slowly, very very very very slowly but surely rallied from a 1-0 deficit, scored a clutch game-tying even strength goal...
And Detroit may or may not have gotten a huge break as Justin Abdelkader's game-winning OT goal was scored with a broken stick, but given Detroit's now 4-and-7-for-January, and given how incredibly viciously (to their credit) the opponent played, "earning breaks" of their own included...To hell with St. Louis, let the controversy and complaining about Detroit "cheating"--Eddie Olczyk's theme for the day, as per usual--"stand."
Detroit needed the two points, the Blues got one, and not everybody needs to be happy here.
Also from Khan...
Holland said Gustavsson (concussion on March 8) has been on the ice a little but doesn't feel good and there's no telling when he'll return.
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.