The Malik Report
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…
Just because Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk does this stuff all the time doesn’t mean that have yet to stop giggling like a little girl when he does it:
So right, the blogger’s nightmare:
Red Wings-Coyotes Game 2 quick take: Style points don’t count, but they could help my blood pressure
Updated with weird prospect news: The Detroit Red Wings stalked out a 4-0 lead against the Phoenix Coyotes before falling victim to some undisciplined play and referees rather obviously looking for some even-ups, and then gave up three power play goals but emerged with a 4-3 win over the Coyotes because the Wings held tough on yet another long 5-on-3 kill—a kill that happened amidst the 3 3rd-period penalties called against Detroit to none for Phoenix—and because the Wings’ players, for the most part, played as grittily as Johan Franzen’s stitched-up face looks.
The game wasn’t good for Wings fans’ blood pressure as we all had to hold on pretty tightly to the stress train, myself included, and yes, the Coyotes have some stuff to build on, but if you’re subjective like me and argue that the Wings earned half their penalties and were the subject of “even-ups” the other half of the time, and that you had to know the Coyotes were going to come and simply believe that the Wings have to play better over the course of 60 minutes—and have as many areas upon which they can say that they feel positive about their play and confident going into Phoenix as the Coyotes can say about going home down 0-2…
Red Wings forward Darren Helm did a great job of following Pavel Datsyuk’s rebound today:
Per NBC Sports’ Darren Pang, Johan Franzen is now “questionable” to return after having left the ice to get stitches for a new gash on his forehead and have a bloody nose looked at—and be evaluated for a concussion—after a similarly questionable hit by Shane Doan, who refused to let up on the off-balance Franzen.
Update 2:36 PM:
23 stitches and a probable broken nose later, FRANZEN IS BACK ON THE BENCH!!!!!!
Babcock was confused about the lack of a visor and Franzen shook his head. Nuh nuh.
Update 2:40 PM: Says the crowd: “Franzen! Franzen! Franzen!” Standing ovation!
Update 12:04 PM: George cannot count at 5 AM: Given that there’s a new law on the books in the City of Detroit, civil infraction 38-5-4, known between you and me as the octopus-throwing rule ($500 fine), it seems appropriate to set up Game 2 of the Red Wings-Phoenix Coyotes series (1 PM EDT, NBC/CBC) by suggesting that Detroit’s players have a difficult task on their hands in both besting the Phoenix Coyotes and the Wings’ tendency to “go splat” whenever they play before 7:30 PM local time.
Now if you followed Friday’s various press updates, you’ll know that you can buy the Production Line’s “Free the Octopi” t-shirt online, and after the Red Wings will lift an inflatable Al the Octopus to the rafters at Joe Louis Arena prior to the game, and the Wings will continue to sell Al the Octopus merchandise to you, but the threat of a $500 fine from the Detroit Police is very real, and, as the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness (and others) noted, the Red Wings have chosen to not stand in the way of what appears to be the NHL stamping out Detroit’s octopus-throwing tradition by encouraging the City of Detroit to go on a cash grab:
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.