The Malik Report
Red Wings fans have more or less figured out that the reason Brad Stuart’s family hasn’t moved to Detroit with him involves his step-daughter’s custody issues. Mrs. Stuart’s daughter from her previous marriage is 17 and, as far as those familiar with California law can surmise, the Stuarts would have to give up custody of said daughter, depending on the legalities involved, if Mrs. Stuart were to move out of either the State of California or just plain old move out of Ciera’s school district. That’s why Stuart has spent the last four years away from his wife, step-daughter and two young sons, and it’s why Stuart seems to be on the fence about re-signing with the Wings. The San Jose Mercury News’s David Pollak spoke to Stuart about his family situation while wondering aloud whether Stuart will return to the Sharks this summer:
One last thing from the Red Wing side of things — or at least something that starts there and could end up on the Sharks side of things. Brad Stuart let it be known several weeks ago that it was very unlikely he’d be back in Detroit next season after his contract expires. That’s because his wife and their three children have stayed in their Los Gatos home the last three seasons and that’s too much distance. I talked with him today and nothing’s changed on that front.
“It’s always going to be important,” he said of the need to play closer to the Bay Area. “It’s obviously something we’ve discussed, not just recently but for the last few years.”
The Red Wings didn’t win the Stanley Cup during the spring of 1996, but their playoff runs to the Cup Finals in 95 and their three-round run into the brick wall that was the Colorado Avalanche after they’d defeated the St. Louis Blues gave the Wings both the resolve,determination, playoff experience and especially the personnel changes necessary to capture the Cup in 1997, and the CBC’s “It Happened on Hockey Night” series revisits one of the best goals in Red Wings history today:
Many thanks to Paul for the link.
Updated 6x at 5:40 PM: As the Detroit Red Wings prepare to face off against the San Jose Sharks tonight (10:30 PM EDT, FSD/CSN Bay Area/ NBC Sports Network airing the Sharks’ feed/97.1 FM), the Red Wings’ website provides good news and bad news from a very late morning skate:
From DRW PR: The Red Wings are 19-13-1 all-time on St. Patrick’s Day.
Wings are on the ice for their morning skate in San Jose. Johan Franzen (back) is not out there at the moment.
Here is your look in at today’s morning skate at HP Pavilion. http://twitvid.com/ISXDK
According to Mike Babcock, Pavel Datsyuk will play tonight. Johan Franzen will not
Given that the Detroit Red Wings have amassed a 3-7-and-1 record since defeating tonight’s opponent, the San Jose Sharks (10:30 PM EDT, FSD, probably without a pre-game due to the CCHA final between WMU and Michigan at 7:30 PM/CSN Bay Area/97.1 FM) way back on February 17th, it would seem appropriate for Detroit to bookend its worst stretch of hockey this season by finishing up the last game of their last West Coast swing of the regular season by putting a Pavel Datsyuk-sized dent in the Sharks’ playoff hopes.
But that’s where the problem regarding tonight’s game lies.
Updated 6x at 5:56 PM: Good news-bad news from the Red Wings’ practice on Friday in San Jose, per the Free Press’s Helene St. James on Twitter:
Datsyuk says he’s playing against Sharks
In locker room after practice, Cleary asks, “Where’s Mule?” Kronwall supplies his answer “food court”
Babcock said Franzen has back spasms, doesn’t know status for tomorrow
Here’s the entirety of St. James’ Twitter quips...
Every indication suggests that as soon as Nicklas Lidstrom is able to return from the bone bruise troubling his left ankle, he’ll be back on the Wings’ blueline, maybe as soon as next Wednesday or Friday…But the Wings’ struggles without Lidstrom have the Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek suggesting that the Red Wings would be in serious trouble should Lidstrom retire after this season*:
There isn’t panic in the Motor City exactly, but with the news that team captain Nicklas Lidstrom has gone home to have his injured ankle (diagnosed as a deep bone bruise re-evaluated), there has to be concern at the very least. The Red Wings were wiped out in both Los Angeles and Anaheim on the first two games of a short California road trip that wraps up Saturday in San Jose. The good news is centre Pavel Datsyuk is supposed to return for that game, which should give the slumbering offence a boost. The bad news is that without Lidstrom, the defence looks a little thread-bare.
Oh, there’s panic in the Motor City, and the fact that Jakub Kindl and Jonathan Ericsson are sidelined as well are highly “underrated” in terms of hobbling the Wings’ defensive corps…
The Red Wings won’t practice till 12 or 1 PM PDT today, so we’re kind of in a holding pattern in terms of learning whether the Wings will be able to “dig out “of the hole they’ve dug for themselves while employing Pavel Datsyuk’s services against the San Jose Sharks, but a few stories/videos popped up which are worth noting this morning:
At least the San Jose Sharks did the Red Wings a favor on Thursday night. After an “off-day” which was anything but a day of rest and relaxation for Red Wings’ fans nerves, Saturday night’s opponent defeated the Nashville Predators 2-1 in a shootout with, according to the Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa, Mike Babcock watching the Predators climb to within a point of Detroit in the Central Division standings.
That’s particularly important given the Wings’ 3-8-and-1 record of late, and while we’re all hoping that the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2-0 win over the St. Louis Blues at least kept the gap between Detroit and St. Louis to a theoretically closeable 8 points, the reality of the situation is that when the Red Wings get back to work today, they’re going to be hoping to preserve home-ice advantage over an incredibly highly likely first-round opponent in Nashville, and given the fact that the Wings had to shut down and send home Nicklas Lidstrom on Thursday and then Continue Reading »
Updated 3x at 6:07 PM w/ confirmation of Pearce’s recall: Thought MLive’s Ansar Khan’s report about Nicklas Lidstrom being shut down for the weekend was bad? Well it’s not exactly shocking news that the Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that Lidstrom will head back to Detroit, but here comes the crapola: Joey MacDonald tweaked his back, sooo…per St. James...
While the rest of the team flew from Los Angeles to San Jose, where they play Saturday, Lidstrom flew back to Detroit. Goaltender Jordan Pearce flew in the other direction, called up to serve as the team’s backup while Joey MacDonald recovers from back spasms suffered in Wednesday’s 4-0 loss at Anaheim. Lidstrom has missed a career-high eight straight games since suffering a bone bruise when he was hit on the outside of his right ankle by a puck Feb. 25 against the Colorado Avalanche.
“We’re discouraged and frustrated,” general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press. “We thought he’d be back playing by now. He had a hard time putting his foot in the boot yesterday, so we decided to bring him home. He’ll be reassessed Monday morning.”
Updated with an odd “Tweet” at 5:35 PM: No surprise here: MLive’s Ansar Khan reports that the Red Wings’ trainers and medical staff have chosen to keep Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom off the ice Friday and Saturday, and after a “travel day” on Sunday, the Wings will reconvene for a morning skate prior to Monday’s home game against Washington, and that’s where and when Lidstrom will give a slightly rested bone bruise in his left ankle an on-ice test:
“We’re giving him a few days off to see how it responds,’’ Holland said. “(Trainer) Piet Van Zant told him to shut it down until we get home on Monday, keep him off ice 3-4 days to do more healing.’‘
Holland, who returned to Detroit today from the NHL’s general managers meetings in Florida, said Lidstrom was given the option of flying home today, but he’s not sure if he took that option. Lidstrom has not skated for more than a couple of minutes since getting hit with a puck that rimmed along the boards on Feb. 25. After sitting out Saturday in San Jose and Monday at home against Washington, he will have missed 10 consecutive games, four more than his previous career-high (2008).
“I talked to Piet yesterday. Based on information from Nick, he’s a little discouraged, a little frustrated. It’s not healing as fast as he thought,’’ Holland said. “The doctors really felt a couple of weeks was going to be sufficient enough to get him up and running. But he’s not ready. There’s no time frame.’’ He’s better, but not to the point he needs to be to practice full out.’‘
Holland also provides injury updates regarding Pavel Datsyuk (knee)...
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