The Malik Report
Ted Lindsay isn’t the only Red Wings alumnus who frequents the team’s gym any more. According to the Wings’ players, Chris Chelios, who’s now mentoring the team’s defensive prospects, has been seen enjoying his daily sauna bike ride. While Chelios now works out with Bally’s founder Don Wildman and pro surfer Laird Hamilton in Malibu—with his sons, Jake and Dean—in the summer, his old trainer, T.R. Goodman, will subject a host of NHL’ers (including Wings forwards Danny Cleary and Jiri Hudler) to his famously torturous workouts, as he told the Montreal Gazette’s Stu Cowan:
“Work-ethic wise, they’re the best to work with,” Goodman, who has trained athletes from every major sport, as well as some celebrities, said this week over the phone from California. “I don’t even work with basketball players anymore, because they’re the worst,” added Goodman, a former college hockey player who has made The Hockey News’s list of 100 People of Power and Influence and is a contributor for Men’s Health Magazine. “Temperament-wise, hockey players are by far the best ... they work the hardest, they’re the most humble and the most down to Earth.”
Goodman has an interesting theory about why that is the case.
“I think honestly the reason they are that way is because of the fighting in the game,” he said. “Sometimes, if a guy decides he wants to get a little cocky or his head gets a little big, there’s somebody that’s always going to come along and give him an adjustment.”
A little over 24 hours after Red Bird II made its final hockey-player-ferrying landing of the season at Metro Airport, the Red Wings will gather at Joe Louis Arena today to take their team picture, reflect on their 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night and then begin the process of preparing for their off-seasons via exit interviews with the coaches, trainers and management.
What’s said during those meetings, by all four parties, will at least lay the groundwork for the determination of at least half a dozen players’ futures with the team, but we’re never made privy to what goes on during those meetings, but what the Wings’ players, coach Mike Babcock and GM Ken Holland will say today will linger in the sound recorders of the reporters who’ve either already penned final analyses (plural) or are about to write their final assessments of the Wings’ collective and individual performances, and while fans like you and me will linger upon them for a long time, the Detroit News’s John Niyo provided a reminder of the fact that, as far as the Wings’ press corps is concerned, after the Sunday night sports TV shows, Monday morning papers and afternoon’s worth of sports talk radio are through assessing what went right and what went wrong, the Wings are, to them, anyway, history:
The Dallas News’s Mike Heika spoke to both Red Wings forward Mike Modano and his mother, Karen, about the long-time Dallas Stars captain’s future, and Modano says that he’s both leaning toward retiring and would like to move back to Dallas, where he hopes to latch on with the Stars’ organization:
“Yeah, the fact that there is a high probability my playing days are over, it’s crossed my mind,” Modano said in a phone interview Friday after getting back from a Game 7 loss in San Jose. “But I need to take some time away and get my head straight and just figure out what the next step is. Honestly, it’s been so hectic that it hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
It has been a whirlwind year for Modano, the franchise leader in just about every offensive category for the Stars, and the leading scorer among players born in the United States. After being told he would not be offered a contract by the Stars last summer, Modano decided at age 40 that he wanted to give it a shot on another team. A native of the Detroit area, he picked his hometown squad, signed a one-year deal with the Red Wings, and had some personal highs and professional lows. The ending was darn near disastrous, as Modano watched Game 7 in a suit as a healthy scratch, the same way he did nine of Detroit’s 11 playoff games. After suffering a severely lacerated wrist mid-season, he missed 42 games and lost his place in the lineup.
“It was so frustrating, because I felt like I was starting to play pretty well in November,” Modano said. “And that was just something I never expected.”
When he came back, Modano was a step behind, and he’s…Noncommittal about his feelings on that particular subject…
Per Fox Sports Detroit:
FOX Sports Detroit attracted another record audience for Thursday’s Game 7 of the NHL Western Conference Semifinal series between the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks.
Based on data received from Nielsen Media Research, the 9:00-11:45 PM (Eastern) telecast registered a 22.5 household rating / 39 share in the Detroit metro area, an average of 423,855 homes tuned in throughout the telecast (one rating point equals approximately 18,838 households). Viewership peaked at a 26.2 rating / 45 share (493,556 HH) from 11:15-11:30, during the third period of the 3-2 loss that ended the Red Wings’ nearly-historic comeback from a 3-0 series deficit.
Updated 4x at 8:24 PM: Just as the Red Wings spent all night flying back to Detroit, I spent all night writing up the recap of their Game 7 loss to the San Jose Sharks, and afterward…Well, being a blogger is one thing. Being a fan is another. I was and still am pretty devastated by the fact that the Wings’ season is over, so I couldn’t sleep. No matter what I did, after watching footage of Red Bird II landing and Jimmy Howard walking to his car on WDIV’s morning telecast, I just…
My family vacations in the little town of Grand Marais, Michigan in the summer (yes, we actually swim in the lake, too), and we have a saying for what happens after too many days on the beach. You get “lake stare.” You’re zoned out and so comfortable and relaxed that you kind of space out. I’ve got the grieving version of “lake stare” today, because as hard as I work to pretend that I’m semi-objective, I’m an incredibly passionate Wings fan, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept that the team I love isn’t going to be playing again. So sleep came late and now I’m still rattled, but have some work to do.
Here’s a belated attempt to survey the local press’s post-mortems as we await Saturday’s locker-room clean-out and Nicklas Lidstrom watch, with the Macomb Daily’s Pat Caputo leading us off by pointing out that the Wings did some really good things, and were led by two spectacular players (among others):
Of course, of course, on the day that the Detroit Red Wings were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, the man whose $500 ticket launched a t-shirt and an online phenomenon will get his day in court, as reported by WXYZ:
A Red Wing fan spent Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Jose Sharks preparing to go to court. Attorney David Gorcyca will represent Tom Balish of Canton in 36th District Court Friday morning.
Balish is the octopus throwing hockey fan who was ticketed and kicked out of one of the playoff games between the Red Wings and the Phoenix Coyotes after he tossed an octopus on the ice. It’s something fans have been doing for years. But security grabbed him and took him to lock-up, slapped him with a ticket and kicked him out of the game.
The Detroit Red Wings chose to take an overnight flight back to Detroit after dropping a 3-2 decision to the San Jose Sharks in the seventh and deciding game of their second round series, and it’s the kind of loss that the Wings, and quite possibly their fans, will probably lose sleep over. The Wings surrendered the game’s first two gaols and lost two players to concussions in Danny Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi, and while the Wings tried to mount a furious comeback but couldn’t manage to tie the Sharks in no small part due to the fact that the shorthanded team went 0-for-4 on the power play, and via another classically “fluky bounce,” a third goal early in the third period. That goal, scored by Patrick Marleau, wound up being the game-winner, and, put simply…
Injuries, the law of averages, bad ice, bad bounces and giving a team four opportunities to knock you off added up to a handshake line and the status of a historical footnote for a team that never dreamed it would be defeated by the same opponent in back-to-back playoff meetings for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. The WIngs quite literally played in the tightest playoff series ever, according to the Elias Sports Bureau—six of seven games were decided by one goal and both teams scored a total of 16 goals—but the Wings will have to gather at Joe Louis Arena on either Saturday or Monday to clean out their lockers, engage in exit interviews and start to ponder the futures of Kris Draper, Mike Modano, Ruslan Salei, Chris Osgood, Drew Miller, Patrick Eaves, Jonathan Ericsson and of course Nicklas Lidstrom as the Wings’ management spends a long summer making tweaks to the roster, hoping for a better result a calendar year from now.
Updated with LeBrun at 2:06 AM:
The Red Wings appear to be staying in San Jose tonight based on Flightaware’s status of Red Bird II as still in California, and as that means the Wings will probably fly home in the morning
Make that the Detroit Red Wings are flying home from San Jose but won’t arrive at Metro Airport until nearly 6 AM, which means that they’ll either engage in their locker room clean-out on Saturday or Monday. After the Wings clean out their lockers and speak to the media one last time, they’ll continue to come down to the Joe for medical treatment (see: Johan Franzen, Danny Cleary, Todd Bertuzzi) and engage in exit interviews with the coaches and management, but after their interviews, most of the players who don’t have kids will head to their summer homes, and the ones who do have children will stick around until the school year ends.
The latter group includes Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who told the Associated Press that he’s not planning on doing anything less than the usual in taking his time and speaking to the Wings’ coaches, management and, most importantly, his family before deciding whether he’s going to continue playing:
“I’m going to take my time before making a decision,” Lidstrom said. “We’ll have our meetings and go from there. I’m going to take the whole year into account. I’ll take about as much time as last year. I’ll meet with the coaching staff. It’s been tough the last couple of years.”
Update: ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun weighs in:
Updated with the handshake line: The Detroit Red Wings simply ran out of time, dropping a 3-2 decision to the San Jose Sharks because the Wings’ power play came up empty, because the Wings made too many un-forced errors and because the Wings were plain old worn down and worn out by attempting to rally without Todd Bertuzzi or Danny Cleary—or the injured Johan Franzen, who the Wings missed so very much.
The Wings did their best, but on their fourth try, the Sharks knocked them off. Full credit to the Sharks, but I am damn proud of my Wings, historical footnote status or not, for rallying and pushing the Sharks as far as they did.
Now we face an off-season that’s come too early for Hockeytown’s liking and a summer full of questions about Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Osgood, Kris Draper, Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller, Mike Modano, Jonathan Ericsson and probably Jiri Hudler’s futures…
Thank you, Red Wings, thank you for all you gave us. We wish you could have given us a little more, but we’re still very proud of you.
Update: FSD reports that both Cleary and Bertuzzi suffered concussions.
Updated 4x at 8:22 PM FSD’s John Keating says that Franzen is out, Modano is out and Draper is in, and CSN bay Area reports that Clowe is in for the Sharks: After a day spent posting oodles of game-day updates, I find myself getting edgy and jittery an hour-and-a-half before puck drop, but unlike Paul, I think I’ll keep the eating to a minimum till after the Red Wings and Sharks tangle tonight (don’t forget that both Fox Sports Detroit and Versus will air one-hour pre-game shows leading up to the 9 PM faceoff, and the game will also air on CSN Bay Area, TSN and WXYT). All that either team could possibly have said either substantively or in the cliche department has been said, and aside from updating you on the statuses of Johan Franzen and Ryane Clowe (which I’ll post here), RedWingsFeed provides the perfect NHL-produced Game 7 teaser to tide us over until the game begins:
Updated 2x at 7:59 PM with a great Jimmy Howard story: Of rather random note for your pre-game reading enjoyment:
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.