The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings’ 5-4 win over the Dallas Stars represented two very badly needed points, a very badly needed road win…And it was a game that the Wings made far, far too hard on themselves due to a second shaky performance out of Jimmy Howard over the past three games, a disturbing willingness by the Wings’ defenders to stand and stare as teams loop, whirl, deke and dangle the puck in Detroit’s defensive zone before finding players left unattended or picking corners, and in terms of attention to detail, attention span and consistency of effort…
This game was a [expletive deleted]ing mess, and the Wings made it far, far, far too hard on themselves while attempting to beat an injury-depleted team (convenient that, like the Chicago game, the Wings couldn’t earn a power play, eh?) because they simply couldn’t or wouldn’t emerge from the defensive funk they’ve been in for a while now. The Wings can obviously out-score just about anybody, but it’s worrisome when they seem to feel that that’s all they need to do.
ESPN’s Craig Custance reports good news regarding Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber:
Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber took a major step forward in his recovery from a concussion Tuesday, practicing without contact for the first time since suffering the injury on Dec. 23.
Weber skated Tuesday with the Predators in a public practice in Franklin, but Nashville coach Barry Trotz says there is still no timetable for when the Norris Trophy finalist will return to game action.
Weber didn’t speak to reporters after practice Tuesday.
The Red Wings are offering quite the promotion on their website. Here are the details of the “Miller Lite Red Wing For a Day” contest:
Miller Lite Red Wing for a Day
Hey fans! Ever wonder what it’s like to be a Detroit Red Wing? Miller Lite, the official domestic beer of the Detroit Red Wings, wants to give you the opportunity to be an honorary Red Wing for a day!
One winner will have the opportunity to:
-Meet with Wings GM Ken Holland and receive an honorary Red Wing for a day certificate
-Watch the Red Wings practice
-Run drills on and off the ice with coaching staff
-Meet with team trainers, coaches and players
-Tour the Red Wings locker room
-Watch that evening’s game from the Miller Lite Party Deck and receive other great prizes!
Updated 5x at 7:54 PM (argh): As the Detroit Red Wings prepare to face off against the Dallas Stars tonight (8 PM EST, FSD/NBC Sports Network outside Michigan/WXYT), a certain blogger has to run a major errand for a currently jittery family member, so I’m going to leave you with some Wings-Stars tidbits to tide you over until I can file a real morning skate update:
From the Stars’ side of things, here’s Darryl Reaugh’s game preview…
Update: Reuters posted a Winter Classic spiel, and the Maple Leafs are entering the mix as a “we want to be part of one” club: I’m somewhat surprised that the media’s all but assuring that the Red Wings will host the 2013 Winter Classic when the NHL really doesn’t have to make up its mind about its next venue until early September, but Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski’s the latest to suggest that Red Wings/Olympia Entertainment CEO Tom Wilson’s presence at the Flyers’ Winter Classic equals no doubt whatsoever as to anything but the details of game in Detroit or Ann Arbor. Wyshynski delves into the possibilities related to a Detroit Winter Classic:
Winter Classic 2013: Detroit Red Wings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs/St. Louis Blues/California-Based Team: The NHL is keen on having this game at The Big House in Ann Arbor, with the probability of attracting over 100,000 fans to a game if the tickets are priced favorably. But having it at the University of Michigan’s stadium means sharing the wealth with someone outside the family.
Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch, meanwhile, is in the family. He also owns and operates Comerica Park, home to the Detroit Tigers. So if it’s not in the Big House, it’ll be at that house.
As the Detroit Red Wings embark upon a 4-game road trip (albeit one that will involve a trip back to Detroit to practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) with a game against the Dallas Stars tonight (8 PM EST, FSD/Vers…I mean the NBC Sports Network outside Michigan/WXYT), they face something of a puzzling opponent. While the Wings hope to better their 49 points and climb to within two of the Western Conference-leading Blackhawks—and maintain their 2-point lead over the Blues—the up-and-down Stars have 43 points, but ESPN Dallas’s Richard Durrett points out that the Stars could vault over the fourth-place Wings into third in the West as they trail the Pacific Division leaders, the Sharks, by one…Despite having gone a rather pedestrian 7-and-6 in December.
A little confused? Good. Me, too, but the Western Conference standings are a bit wacky.
Very briefly: Two of the five Red Wings prospects who took part in the World Junior Championships have games left to play tomorrow.
Teemu Pulkkinen registered a goal and an assist in Finland’s wild 8-4 win over Slovakia, and while Marek Tvrdon scored a goal and an injured Tomas Jurco played through a hip flexor injury and added an assist, the Slovaks couldn’t handle the Finns’ offensive power.
In the other quarterfinal, Petr Mrazek stopped 43 of the 45 shots he faced, but the Russians dropped the Czech Republic 2-1 in overtime.
The Finns will face off against Wings prospect Mattias Backman and Sweden in the first quarterfinal at 5 PM EST on Tuesday, and the Russians will face Canada at 9 PM. Both games will air on the NHL Network in the U.S. and TSN in Canada.
ESPN’s Craig Custance breaks down ten potential Winter Classic destinations, and while the ESPN Insider blog is one of those things I can’t share in its entirety, here’s what he says about the #1 choice as of January 2nd, 2011:
The Detroit Red Wings have emerged as the lock to host the next Winter Classic but it’s certainly not from a lack of options. Every NHL team has expressed interest in either hosting or playing in the game and the interest extends beyond NHL cities.
“Every club has been in touch with the commish,” said NHL COO John Collins.“There have been a number of neutral sites, non-NHL markets who have proposed a vision for what they think the game could be. Right now our focus is on trying to maximize it for us, for our clubs.”
Updated 5x with Wings-Stars talk at 3:51 PM: The Detroit Red Wings have already taken to the ice at Joe Louis Arena for their first practice since Saturday’s very optional morning skate, and MLive’s Ansar Khan fired off a pair of Twitter updates which need not wait for a full-fledged off-day report to be shared:
[Tomas] Holmstrom and [Darren] Helm not skating today at Wings practice. Safe to assume they wont play Tues at Dallas
Practice lines for Wings: 93-13-44, 51-40-26, 20-8-11, 14/41-48-63; 5-18, 55-23, 52-22, 4; 35, 29
We’ll find out whether #41 playing on the fourth line equals Chris Conner being ready to return or whether he’s simply starting to get his skating legs back.
Updated 2x at 4:10 PM: The NHL suspended St. Louis Blues defenseman Ian Cole for three games due to a hit to the head of Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader, and the St. Louis Blues’ response, a statement from Blues GM Doug Armstrong to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford, sums up the ways in which teams tend to respond to suspensions for hits to the head umder Brendan Shanahan’s watch:
I don’t think it was a reckless play…I think it was a hockey play that was legal 12 months ago that’s not legal today,” he said. “I understand the sensitivity on hits to the head and we respect that, but I support Ian in the sense that it was a play that (Abdelkader) coming across the middle has to be aware, and unfortunately he wasn’t.
“We accept the decision because we understand the importance of player safety. I respect the league because I sit in on those meetings and we do say that we want to (eliminate these types of hits), so you have to live with the ramifications. But I don’t think it was an intentful play, or a wreckless play. I just think it was a hockey play that went awry. I understand the league’s position, but I also understand Ian’s position.”
Abdelkader dodged a bullet and was able to return to play on Saturday, scoring a goal in the Wings’ 3-0 victory, and offered a strikingly similar comment regarding the hit to DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose (via RedWingsFeed):
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.