The Malik Report
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Flat in the first period and facing an uphill climb all night, the Detroit Red Wings ratcheted up their desperation level in the final minutes of regulation and skated away with two points when it appeared they wouldn't get any.
Those who stayed witnessed a thrilling finish Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.
Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall scored in the final three minutes of the third period to erase a two-goal deficit before Justin Abdelkader delivered with 44 seconds to play in overtime as the Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3.
"Pretty exciting, wasn't it?" Abdelkader said. "We just hung around there and I think we got better as the game went on and found a way. That was a huge two points. I think those games can kind of bring momentum for your team.
"Didn't start out like you wanted to but we finished really well, played hard, battled for pucks, battled for ice. They're a good team. It was just a good team effort there."
With the Wings losing 3-1 with under 3 minutes to go in the 3rd period, you may be surprised by the final score...
Wings 4 Penguins 3 in OT.
Zetterberg scored at the 17:21 mark with Howard pulled to make it 3-2.
EJ Hradek and Steve Mears of the NHL Network debate the topic.
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
NHL coaches being hired are rarely in a position of power. They’re available because they’ve been fired and are looking for work. Or they’re available because they’re coaching outside the NHL. So when it comes time to attach a dollar amount to the job, it’s typically lopsided in favor of the person offering the job.
Mike Babcock is the exception.
His Detroit Red Wings have just one regulation loss in six games, and he’s again maximizing the talent he has on the roster. They return home tonight after a swing through Canada where fans in Toronto openly pined for Babcock. He was the focus of the media. His situation is being watched intensely by fans in Toronto, by fans in Detroit and even by fans in Pittsburgh who still wonder if he’ll be reunited with Team Canada star Sidney Crosby if things go sideways this season with the Penguins under new coach Mike Johnston.
About the only people watching the situation closer than fans that want him behind the bench of their teams are those already behind the bench of NHL teams. Babcock’s fellow coaches know this is a big negotiation as the Red Wings coach plays out the final year of his contract. His next deal could be a game-changer, and they’re following it every step of the way.
more (ESPN Insider subscription needed)
via Ansar Khan tweets,
Same lines: Abdelkader-Zetterberg-Datysuk, Tatar-Sheahan-Nyquist, Nestrasil-Helm-Jurco, Miller-Glendening-Andersson. Weiss. Cleary extras.
Same D pairs as last game: Kronwall-Ericsson, Quincey-DeKeyser, Smith-Kindl (Lashoff rotating in). Babcock said yesterday Howard starting.
Jurco working on first power play with Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Helm, Kronwall. Nyquist on 2nd PP with Sheahan, Tatar, Nestrasil, DeKeyser.
Khan also noted Franzen only player not skating and Howard starts tonight.
added 1:05pm, from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
It's been an offensive struggle so far for some of the Red Wings' young forwards.
Expected to take another step in their development this season, players such as Tomas Jurco, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar are struggling to get on the scoresheet. Through six games, combined, the three have three points. Tatar has a goal. And Sheahan and Jurco have one assist each.
For the Red Wings to be successful over the long haul, the trio must do more.
"It's hard to pinpoint," Sheahan said of the lack of offense. "If you look at the last game in Montreal, we played pretty well. We had a bunch of shots and spent a lot of time in the offensive zone.
"You can't pinpoint what's gone wrong. It's just a matter now of getting to the net. We have good chemistry. It's early in the season and there's no reason to get worried about point production."
from Kerry Fraser of TSN,
I have stated in previous columns that Carey Price is without question, the very best goalkeeper in the NHL at utilizing rule 69 to his advantage whenever an attacking player enters the blue paint. The snow from Abdelkader's stopping action was the first indicator for Price that his territory was about to become violated. Price immediately pushed forward with his left skate/pad toward the top of the right side crease where the Detroit forward was attacking. Abdelkader's forward momentum (stick and body) initiated contact with Price. The Habs' goalie reached and 'hugged' the leg of the crease violator that resulted in a positional 'turn' from the impending shot by Datsyuk.
Both of these actions and resulting contact between Abdelkader and Price violated the language of 69.3. When the puck slid past Price and into the net he was turned toward the referee with his hands raised; a clear indication to the referee that interference had been committed.
I would like to see the referees make this call on a consistent basis in the way that referee Kimmerly did. The onus is on the attacking player to stop short of the goal crease and not make contact with the goalkeeper; incidental or otherwise. In the case of Carey Price's crease, I would advise attacking players to stay well clear of his paint.
added 12:53pm, Mike Babcock talks about reasoning for the meeting today instead of practice.
Babcock also says Howard in goal tomorrow per numerous reports.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
There are times when Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland wonders whether this is it, if the trend-line for his team has finally started pointing downward.
“I think about it,” he said, standing in an empty Bell Centre on Tuesday afternoon, “but I’m going to battle against it. I want to compete against it.”
Gravity pulls objects relentlessly earthward, except for the Wings.
For 23 straight seasons, the men from Michigan have participated in the post-season. They could have been forgiven for packing their tent last spring, diminished as they were by injury. But they didn’t need yours or anyone else’s sympathy – the Wings made the playoffs because it’s what they do.
continue for a look at last night's game and the Wings' future...
Strong game by the Wings but the power play needs fixing and one goal is not going to win many games.
The Zetterberg goal is below along with the waived off goal by Datsyuk.
Game Recap from Ansar Khan,
Pavel Datsyuk's return to the lineup Tuesday dominated the headlines for the Detroit Red Wings.
But their team defense and goaltending continues to shine.
On Tuesday, it was good enough to earn them two points, but they had to settle for one after David Desharnais scored 56 seconds into overtime to give the Montreal Canadiens a 2-1 victory at Bell Centre.
Jimmy Howard was terrific, making 34 saves, but the Red Wings fell to 3-1-2. The Canadiens are 6-1-0.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Babcock will talk to you about a lot of things: his team, his life’s credo, probably his favourite haunts in the McGill Ghetto, around the school where he played four seasons for the Redmen three decades ago.
But the 51-year-old would not be travelling down the contract road Tuesday noon, following his team’s morning skate at the Bell Centre a few hours before the Red Wings’ game against the Canadiens....
“Last year, every time the Wings were playing on the road, you were forced to answer questions regarding Canadian teams. Are you afraid that this year is going to be the same with your contract negotiations?”
A few moments later, with a bit of a different approach:
“Mike, you’re a popular guy here, coming from McGill, obviously every time you come here, it’s an experience for fans and people that have known you. It took everybody by surprise here knowing that you’d go into the season without a contract. What can you tell hockey fans about the situation, your situation with the organization and…”
“I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you. See ya.”
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.