The Malik Report
from Mike Vogel of Dump 'n Chase,
Trotz started coaching in the NHL in 1998-99 and Babcock came into the league a few years later. Trotz says he gets up a little bit more for games against other elite coaches in the NHL, but that layer of competition is in the background.
“Yeah, you do a little bit,” answers Trotz when asked whether he relishes the competition against the league’s established, elite coaches like Babcock. “That’s probably further down the line a little bit than just trying to get the two points for our team tonight. But I enjoy talking to Babs and we talk over the summer sometimes, or there are situations that come up in the league, and we’ll talk about it and we’ll pick people’s brains.
“The one thing I’ve learned from Babs is he always wants to get better. He’s a teacher by trade, so he’s an educator. But he’s also looking at the next best thing; trying to look at the game in a different way, where it’s going, why it’s going that way and how can you use it to your advantage. That’s a good quality for any coach. You don’t just stand still, you look at different ways of doing things.”
Over the years, Trotz has a 29-26-7 record against Babcock in their 62 previous NHL meetings. Trotz was 4-3-1 against Babcock when the latter was in Anaheim, and he is 25-23-6 against him as the Detroit coach.
more on the Capitals...
From the Red Wings:
STATEMENT FROM THE HOWE FAMILY
The Howe family would like to thank friends, family and fans for your overwhelming well-wishes, prayers and support for Gordie. He suffered a significant stroke on Sunday morning while at his daughter's home in Lubbock, Texas. His condition remains guarded, although he is showing some signs of improvement. We acknowledge that there is a long road to recovery ahead, but Dad's spirits are good and his competitive attitude remains strong.
For those wishing to send cards or letters of support to Gordie, please send to:
c/o Texas Trailer Corral
12207 HWY 87
Lubbock, TX 79423
I tried to jam this stuff into the game-day entry, but it really deserves its own blog post.
The Windsor Star's Bob Duff asked several Wings to weigh in on Gordie Howe's status and his influence upon the team:
“It’s sad news of the stroke and the family is all in there and we’re praying and hoping for a speedy recovery,” Babcock said. “He’s part of the Red Wings’ family. He’s a special, special man.”
Babcock fondly recollected his first meeting with Howe, though he’s certain Gordie wouldn’t.
“The first time I met him was in Saskatoon, but he wouldn’t remember that,” Babcock said. “I was just a little kid and he came over to Bruce’s mom’s place – that’s his sister – and you were just one of those kids who came by to get a look at Gordie Howe. So that was a special thing. But once I got here and got to know him, you feel real privileged to build a relationship with him.”
“Just like Ted Lindsay, they’re part of the locker room almost,” Detroit defenceman Niklas Kronwall said. “You can’t say enough good things about him. Just an amazing person, the way he handles himself, carries himself. I think that’s something that trickles down for us younger guys, that’s something we look up to and we want to be like that as well, how he handles himself in all situations. He’s definitely a role model for many, many people.”
Updated 10x at 2:57 PM: The Red Wings face a stiff test in Barry Trotz's Washington Capitals this evening (7:30 PM, NBCSN/TVA Sports/Sportsnet One/97.1 FM), and Tomas Tatar pretty much summarized the Wings' goals going into this game while speaking with MLive's Brendan Savage:
Washington ranks third in the NHL on the power play with seven goals in 27 chances (25.9 percent) while the Red Wings are No.1 on the penalty kill with a 96.2-percent success rate after allowing just one goal in 26 power plays.
"All the years that I've seen Washington, their power play has been very good," said forward Tomas Tatar. "Their first line is very good with lots of shooters, who are very good playmakers too. So it will be a very big challenge for our PK guys to try to stop it. On the other side we've been working on our power play, shooting more pucks, trying to get more pucks to the net. So we have to challenge ourselves more. We want to score more goals on the power play and help ourselves out a little bit during the game."
The overnight report: Red Wings-Capitals set-up; assorted notes, prospect stuff and Quincey blingin’
The Washington Capitals have been a bundle of contradictions for a while now, at least from the outside looking in. It appears that Ted Leonsis is finally letting new GM Brian McLellan make his own personnel decisions and Barry Trotz coach after a complicated relationship with previous GM George McPhee and a set of coaches that most recently included Adam Oates...
But just as the Red Wings are starting to feel a little too "old-school" in terms of the ownership and management's stubbornness in the player personnel department, perhaps the Caps are the best American NHL example of a team whose coaching and personnel machinations always seemed to involve an owner overly concerned with public perception.
Tonight's "Rivalry Night" opponent (the Wings and Caps play at 7:30 PM on NBCSN/TVA Sports/Sportsnet One/97.1 FM) possesses the same record as the 4-2-and-2 Red Wings, but after dropping a 4-2 decision to Vancouver on Sunday, Barry Trotz told NHL.com's Dan Rosen that he plans on ensuring that the team plays a more traditional game this evening (see also: dump, chase):
Cotsonika profiles Jim Nill and his decision to leave Detroit for Dallas; so GM’s aren’t infallible?
Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned a fine profile of Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill and Nill's decision-making process in terms of turning down previous opportunities to leave the Red Wings before finding his "fit" in Dallas a year-and-a-half ago, and Cotsonika's article includes an absolutely wonderful exchange in which Nill's former employer and Nill himself admit that--gasp!--general managers are not infallible:
“I think Jimmy Nill was ready a long time ago,” Holland said. “Jimmy probably could have left a lot sooner. We benefited from that, but I also think he benefitted from more experiences, more experiences, more experiences. Not everything you do works, and when it doesn’t work, it’s also an opportunity to evaluate yourself and your decision – why something didn’t work the way you thought it should work.”
Nill led the Wings’ drafting and developing, helping unearth players like Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Jimmy Howard, Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg. The Wings’ general philosophy with prospects was to over-ripen them – to keep them in Europe or the minors not until they could play in the NHL, but until they were ready to help the Wings win. That kind of philosophy can work for executives, too.
“You think you’re ready, and you’re not,” Nill said. “You think you know all the players, and you think you’ve got it figured out. The more you’re in the business, the more you realize the less you know. When you’re in it real early, you see players, and you’re like, ‘Yeah, that guy’s going to play – bang, bang, bang.’ Well, the more you’re in it, the more of those bang-bang-bangs you see that don’t make it. Now that gets you thinking. When you go to make a decision, you’re like, ‘OK, I think that’s the guy, but I’ve also seen in my 15 years five guys that didn’t make it.’ It gives you a bigger scope.”
Cotsonika continues at extended length, and Nill is the nicest person I've met in the hockey business. I wish him all the best--except when the Wings play the Stars, of course...
And Nill's quote is very, very true for everyone in the hockey business, regardless of whether you're an exec or an amateur assessor of player talent.
From as clincial a perspective as I can muster, this is...Expected. Gordie Howe's battle with dementia is partially due to a set of "mini strokes" suffered while caring for an ailing Colleen, and at some point, "mini strokes" are going to yield a larger cardiopulmonary event. So the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa and Chris McCosky's news that Gordie Howe has suffered a serious stroke is not surprising.
He's also Gordie Howe, an absolute living Clydesdale of a man who's made it through so much, and Red Wings fans will tell you that he, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky and Steve Yzerman are the best hockey players to ever have played the game--but Gordie could do it all. He's someone that, until recently, we were not suprised to see in the stands at hockey games, patiently signing pictures he'd brought to the game to sign until the demand became too great, and he'd have to scoot to a suite so that the people in his section could watch the game (if he wasn't on the concourse signing books).
Only one Red Wings prospect has yet to play this evening. Joe Hicketts and the Victoria Royals will battle the Brandon Wheat Kings at 10:05 PM EDT, so:
In terms of the balance of today's game action, in Europe:
Tomas Holmstrom made an appearance at the Red Wings' practice today, but if you missed that little bit of news, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose noted that Holmstrom is in fact keeping himself quite busy after moving back to Pitea, Sweden this past summer...
Enjoying his retirement, the 41-year-old Holmstrom remains close to the sport, helping coach his two sons’ youth teams while also lending his knowledge to Sweden’s national development program.
“I’m on the ice pretty much every day, coaching the boys and then doing some national team assignments, U15, U16 and helping out the elite team in Lulea. So I keep myself busy,” Holmstrom said. “It’s fun to work with driven kids who want to make it and take the next step. They want it, so it’s fun.”
He offered oodles of praise for the Wings' current lineup after explaining why he was in town, as Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji noted (she also posted a non-embeddable video interview with Holmstrom)...
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.