The Malik Report
Neither the Red Wings nor the Lightning skated ahead of today's early-evening match-up (6 PM EST on FSD/Sun/97.1 FM); the Lightning won their 5th straight game via a 7-4 win against Columbus on Saturday, and Wings head into their 5th game played over the last 8 nights tonight.
As I wrote, I was waiting waiting for pre-game comments from Lightning coach Jon Cooper and Wings coach Mike Babcock, and they popped up around 4 PM:
You might also want to know that Brad Meier and Mike Leggo are refereeing tonight's game, with Scott Driscoll and Greg Devorski working the lines.
In article form:
from Paul Harris at NHL.com,
The Detroit Red Wings want to continue to take advantage of tired teams.
Detroit plays the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday at Joe Louis Arena after Tampa Bay defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-4 in Columbus on Saturday.
It will be the Red Wings' sixth game against teams who have played the previous day. Detroit is 4-0-1 in those games.
"We've all been there ourselves; it's always tough to get the legs going in the beginning and we need to get better starts than we've had," Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall told MLive.com after practice Saturday. "If we can take care of that we'll be just fine."
Neither team skated Sunday morning. Detroit coach Mike Babcock and Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper are scheduled to meet with the media before the game.
Below, Ken Kal with a video preview of the game...
I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that Kyle Quincey will probably return to the Red Wings' lineup as they wrap up their stretch of 7 games in 12 nights (and 4 in 6) against the Tampa Bay Lightning early on Sunday evening (6 PM EST on FSD Plus/Sun/97.1 FM), the Wings get a 4-day break after today's game, and the Wings could very well have a team ripe for the picking as the Lightning come in on a winning streak.
The bad news is that the 7-3-and-4 Wings are hosting a 10-3-and-1 Lightning team that's won 5 straight and 7 of 8, including Saturday's 7-4 win over Columbus, and Evgeni Nabokov was very purposefully started on Saturday night so that Ben Bishop, who's 4-and-1 against the Wings, will start opposite Jimmy Howard today.
That Valtteri Filppula guy has 13 points (3 goals and 9 assists) in 14 games, too, so, uh...How about that whole maybe Stephen Weiss might play his first game since last December in a week or so thing ?
Prospect news: Griffins drop 6th straight game; Tvrdon helps Walleye win; Subway Super Series on tap
It may officially be time to worry in Grand Rapids.
The Griffins have undergone some pretty dramatic changes, welcoming 2 new assistant coaches, 6 turning-pro or turning-North-American-pro players and a total of 9 new faces, but Grand Rapids' 3-1 loss to the Rockford IceHogs represents their sixth straight defeat (0-5-and-1 since October 24th), and the Griffins are now 3-8-and-1 overall.
At the AHL level, assistant coaches certainly play a bigger role; last year's first line in Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan and Gustav Nyquist are in Detroit, as are Andrej Nestrasil and now Petr Mrazek, but the Griffins have surrendered 4 or more goals in 6 of their nine losses, so the Backmans, Jensens, Marchenkos, Ouellets and Sprouls aren't delivering, and while the Griffins haven't been able to get into a rhythm because they've only played weekend games (for the most part)...
Updated 4x at 3:34 PM: The Red Wings hope to build upon last night's 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils when the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are playing in Columbus tonight, come to town tomorrow (6 PM EST start on FSD Plus).
As home is definitely where the winning is, it would behoove the Wings to wrap up this nasty stretch of 7 games in 12 days (and what will be 4 games in their last 6 nights) with a win against a Lightning team that's won 4 straight games and 6 of their past 7 games. After Sunday's game, the Wings will receive an overdue 4-day break, but that precedes a stretch in which the Wings will play 13 games over the course of 3-and-a-half November and December weeks, so going into the "break" at 8-3-and-4 would give the Wings some margin for error.
Friday night's game involved a special set of warm-up jerseys that will be auctioned off for a good cause, as a certain Pavel Datsyuk noted on Twitter...
from Joe LaPointe of Mlive,
The Wings turned up the pressure with younger, fresher skating legs against an older team that had lost the night before in St. Louis. Detroit scored the next four goals and took a 4-2 victory in the first game of a four-game home stand that stretches for 10 days.
It is one of several schedule oddities that have helped the Red Wings get off to a strong start (7-3-4), despite the recent winless three-game road trip (0-1-2) of earlier this week. The Wings are now 5-1-1 at home and play the next three downtown on the riverfront.
"To be back home with this interesting schedule, I think it's beneficial," said defenseman Brendan Smith, who scored his first goal of the season in the final minute of the first period to break a 1-1 tie. "(Joe Louis) is definitely special. Everyone in the league knows it's special. It's Hockeytown. It's quite a thrill to play in front of them."
It was another packed house at The Joe with a raucous, payday crowd, the kind of beer-waving fans who sing along and act out Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Fat-Bottomed Girls" when the speaker system blares them before faceoffs.
Technically, it's a doomed arena, noted Jakub Kindl, who scored the first Detroit goal, on the power play.
"We don't have a lot of years left to play in front of this crowd," he said. "It feels good."
Anyone else notice the Wings are now 4-0-1 when facing a team which is on the 2nd game of back-to-back games and they host Tampa on Sunday after the Bolts play in Columbus tonight.
The Associated Press and even NHL.com insist that Niklas Kronwall either scored a "lucky goal" or carromed a "wild bounce" into the Red Wings' fourth goal in Friday's 4-2 win over New Jersey--and Kronwall told Aftonbladet's Per Bjurman that he was simply trying to get the puck on the net--but with Nicklas Lidstrom in the house, it's hard to believe that the Pavel Datsyuk-less Wings got anything less than a "Lidstrom bounce" off of Al Sobotka's bouncy boards here:
Playing their 4th game in 6 nights and 5th game in 8, the Wings weren't particularly sharp early, giving up a very early goal to Jonathan Bernier (all of 3:18 in), and there's no doubt that the Devils were coming into the game minus Ryane Clowe, Adam Henrique, Mike Cammalleri, Jon Merrill and Martin Havlat, but the Wings were winless in 3 games (0-1-and-2), it sure sounded like Mike Babcock's head cold had spread to at least Riley Sheahan, and Henrik Zetterberg "left the ice" twice after a hard hit (he still played 18:26, had an assist, 3 shots and went 11-and-5 on faceoffs)...
The Grand Rapids Griffins have 2 new assistant coaches, 5 turning-pro or turning-North-American-pro players in their lineup, and their starting goalie and last year's first line are in Detroit right now, so I'm not surprised that they've struggled early in their 2014-15 campaign, but I'm surprised that they've struggled to the extent that they have.
Grand Rapids dropped a fight-filled 4-0 decision to the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday, and the Griffins possess a 3-5-and-1 record going into tomorrow night's game against Rockford. The Griffins' website posted a recap of the game...
The Red Wings did something very important--and built upon an every-game tradtion for the team and Danny DeKeyser--in holding Military Appreciation Night at the Joe, and if you were wondering whether you could get your hands on the camouflage jerseys worn by the players and Mickey Redmond, the Wings posted the following press release:
AUCTION UNDERWAY FOR CAMO JERSEYS
… Jerseys Worn by Red Wings Players During Warmups on Military Appreciation Night Now Being Auctioned at NHL.com…
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Red Wings Foundation announced today that the camouflage jerseys worn by the players during tonight’s pregame warmups in honor of Military Appreciation Night at Joe Louis Arena are now being auctioned at http://www.DetroitRedWings.com/camojerseyauction with proceeds benefiting the Detroit Red Wings Foundation.
The online auction is currently underway and will run through Friday, Nov. 21.The authentic camouflage jerseys can be signed by the respective player or alumnus who wore the jersey at the discretion of the auction winner.
I saw this story Tweeted by RedWingsFeed and said, "Oh for *#$%@&'s sake." YOU THINK SO?
According to the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger, "Rumors [are] swirling [that] Red Wings' Babcock wants to be [the] NHL's highest-paid coach":
The financial bar, it seems, has been set in the Mike Babcock sweepstakes, especially if you believe the chatter around the league that he is looking to become the highest paid coach in the NHL.
The most recent member of the coaching fraternity to cash in on a successful run was Boston’s Claude Julien, who this past week was inked to a reported three-year contract extension said to be worth $2.5 million per season. That leaves him with the second highest annual salary among NHL bench bosses, trailing only the $2.75 million per being brought in by the Chicago Blackhawks’ Joel Quenneville.
Julien is second in tenure among all NHL coaches to Babcock who, as has been well publicized, is in the final year of his deal with the Detroit Red Wings and already being billed as the top potential free agent who might hit the market next summer.
Yes and he's going to get his money, probably in Detroit.
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.