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Wings-Penguins preseason wrap-up and overnight report: crossing Datsyukian fingers

I guess this might qualify as good news, per Pavel Datsyuk's Facebok page (via Kyle McIlmurray)...

Good game! Did you watch?

And the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dave Molinari...

Because the news after the Red Wings' exhibition-season-opening 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins read as this report from MLive's Brendan Savage does...

Datsyuk, who drew an assist on Tatar's goal, did not finish the game. He went to the dressing room under his own power late in the third period after taking a big hit from Rob Scuderi.

A Red Wings spokesman said Datsyuk had a shoulder injury and will be re-evaluated Tuesday.

Darren Helm also emerged from the game with a black eye and gauzed-up nostril due to a high stick, and somehow, Ryan Sproul wasn't injured in this hit from Robert Bortuzzo, as posted by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Seth Rorabaugh (and there was no penalty on the play):

Rorabaugh also provides us with the Scuderi-on-Datsyuk hit:

I'm trying to look on the bright side, so I'll cross my fingers here that no post-game mention of boo boos is good.

Piet Van Zant likely brought back a host of players wearing ice bags to Traverse City, where the Red Wings' game-day players will skate from 10:30-11:15 AM at Centre Ice Arena (and the non-game-day players will skate from 11:30-12:15).

The Wings' game-day players will fly to Chicago, where the Wings will play the Blackhawks on Tuesday night (8 PM EDT on CSN CH+/The Game Chicago 88.7 FM; the game is Chicago's preseason opener).

The rest of the team will return to Detroit, where the team will open the home portion of the team's 8-game preseason schedule against Hawks on Thursday (7:30 PM start, no TV).

My best guess as to the Wings-Hawks lineup, aside from knowing that Jonas Gustavsson will play 2 periods and that Petr Mrazek will play in the 3rd, is as follows:

The AP kept the Wings-Penguins recap brief...

Tomas Tatar and Pavel Datsyuk scored power-play goals to help the Detroit Red Wings beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Monday night.

Tatar scored 9:45 into the first period and Datsyuk with 3:55 remaining in the second, to take a one-goal lead into the third. Tatar scored his goal, assisted by Datsyuk, after Pittsburgh failed on several clearing attempts and allowed multiple passes through into the net front.

Penguins forward Beau Bennett evened the game at 1-1 with 7:04 left in the first when he snapped a shot past goalie Jimmy Howard's rising glove. Pittsburgh was without several key players, including forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz due to unspecified injuries.

And the Wings' press corps is also staying in Traverse City, so the closest we get to a Wings take is this from Molinari...

And this from Red Wings play-by-play announcer Ken Kal:

The same's actually true on the Penguins' side, at least in terms of the Penguins website's "Impressions From the Bench" and their post-game interviews, which I'd call...optional...

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Rorabaugh's recap was brief...

After an interference penalty on Penguins defenseman Simon Despres, the Red Wings scored first on a power play when center Tomas Tatar took a feed in the slot and snapped a wrister past the blocker of Marc-Andre Fleury at 9:45 of the first period.

The Penguins tied the score, 1-1, at 12:56 when right winger Beau Bennett whipped a wrister from the right point by a screen in front of the crease and behind the glove hand of goaltender Jimmy Howard on the near side.

Detroit regained the lead, 2-1, at 16:55 of the second when center Pavel Datsyuk collected a loose puck in the right circle and roofed a wrister past a scrambling Fleury for another power-play goal.

After making 18 of 20 saves, Fleury was replaced at the start of the third period by prospect Matt Murray. Murray stopped all seven shots he faced.

And his "Empty Netters" take was better:

-The first thing which stood out from a game-wide standpoint was the penalties the Penguins took. They put the Red Wings on the power-play six times and Detroit was able to score each of its goals with the man advantage. You can't put a team as skilled as the Red Wings, even with a preseason lineup, on the power play that often.

-The Penguins got four power plays, including one with less than three minutes left in regulation, and they looked fairly confused most of the evening. With so many of their best players - Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang - out of the lineup tonight, it was bound to look off, especially with a new scheme being installed by assistant coach Rick Tocchet.

-After being outshot 15-8 in the first period, the Penguins led in shots, 28-10 in the final two periods combined. Overall, they attempted 55 shots while the Red Wings had 48.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Jason Mackey's recap includes an embedded photo gallery and more spartan commentary...

Tomas Tatar gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead at 9:45 of the first period when he received a feed from Datsyuk, stationed along the right-wing boards, on Detroit's first power play and beat Fleury from the slot.

Bennett tied the score with a long wrist shot from above the right circle a few minutes later at 12:56. If there's any concern about the health of his wrist, Bennett showed he could still get plenty on the puck while scoring gliding slowly backward from long range.

Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo delivered the game's hardest checks by riding Ryan Sproul into the boards with about five minutes to go in the second period. Sproul stayed down for nearly a minute before heading to the dressing room. Bortuzzo was not penalized.

Datsyuk made another spectacular play at 16:05 of the second period, gathering a loose puck near bottom of the right circle and lifting a shot over Fleury.

The Penguins outshot the Red Wings, 36-27.

And the Sporting News's Sean Gentille went for the "Nobody gives a shit about exhibition season hockey" angle:

8:28 — Pavel Datsyuk apparently scored at some point. I've only just noticed it.

8:32 — They still light mups before Penguins power plays. That song is already nearly two years old. Life is passing quickly.

8:35 — Second intermission. Still no sign of the Camry. The coupon-dropping blimp is a holdover, though.

The Dairy Queen "Dance For A Dilly Bar" content passes without someone doing "Gangnam Style." This may not have happened at all last season, and makes me feel great. The finalists are two groups of little girls, which seems mean. Why make the crowd choose? My good feeling disappears.

8:40 — After spending several minutes catching up on my "writing," I see that Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo seems to have made a borderline hit. It will be the first of 10,000 leaguewide over the next several months. I am preemptively tired of talking about them.

So that's swell.

Anyway, in the multimedia department, NHL.com offers a 4:33 highlight clip...

And statistically speaking:

Shots: Detroit out-shot Pittsburgh 15-8 in the 1st period, but was out-shot 18-5 in the 2nd period and 10-7 in the 3rd period, so Detroit was out-shot 36-27;

Special teams: Detroit went 2-for-6 in 9:02 of PP time; Pittsburgh went 0-for-4 in 8:00.

Goaltending: Jimmy Howard stopped 25 of 26 shots, and Petr Mrazek stopped 10 of 10; Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 18 of 20 shots and Matthew Murray stopped 7 of 7.

The 3 stars were picked by the "Consol Energy Center Media," and they picked Tomas Tatar, Beau Bennett and Pavel Datsyuk.

The Wings' goals: Tatar (1) from Datsyuk (1), PPG at 9:45 of the 1st;

Datsyuk (1) from Kronwall (1) and Helm (1), PPG at 16:05 of the 2nd.

Faceoffs 28-19 Pittsburgh (Detroit won 40%);

Blocked shots 9-9;

Missed shots 12-10 Detroit (total attempts 55-48 Pittsburgh);

Hits 36-21 Pittsburgh;

Giveaways 6-5 Pittsburgh;

Takeaways 5-2 Detroit.

Individual Stats:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 9-and-13 (41%); Andersson went 1-and-10 (9%); Sheahan went 6-and-4 (60%); Athanasiou went 3-and-1 (75%).

Shots: Campbell and Helm co-led the team with 4; Ouellet had 3; Tatar, Jurco, Frk and Ericsson had 2; Datsyuk, Andersson, Miller, Backman, Sproul, Kronwall, Athanasiou and Hoggan had 1.

Blocked attempts: Sproul fired 3 shots into Penguins players; Ericsson had 2 attempts blocked; Datsyuk, Tatar, Helm and Kronwall had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Jurco and Ouellet missed the net 2 times; Sheahan, Backman, Frk, Helm, Campbell, Marchenko, Ericsson and Athanasiou missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Campbell had 4 hits; Andersson, Miller, Helm, Ericsson, Kronwall and Hoggan had 2; Frk, Sproul, Ouellet and Athanasiou had 1.

Giveaways: Datsyuk, Frk, Helm, Ericsson and Athanasiou had 1 giveaway.

Takeaways: Datsyuk and Kronwall had takeaways.

Blocked opponent shots: Miller and Sproul blocked 2 shots; Sheahan, Marchenko, Ericsson, Ouellet and Athanasiou blocked 1 shot.

Penalties taken: Marchenko and Hoggan took 2 minor penalties; Tatar and Backman took 1 minor penalty.

Plus-minus: The Wings finished at -5. Sheahan, Cleary, Jurco, Ericsson and Kronwall finished at -1.

Points: Datsyuk had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Tatar had a goal; Helm and Kronwall had assists.

Ice time: Kronwall led the team with 22:55 played; Ouellet played 22:08; Sproul played 21:45;

Backman played 19:08; Ericsson played 18:22; Andersson played 18:04;

Datsyuk played 17:27; Miller played 17:13; Tatar played 17:01;

Marchenko played 16:25; Sheahan played 15:55; Cleary played 15:43;

Helm played 13:09; Jurco played 12:47; Campbell played 11:59;

Athanasiou played 11:19; Frk played 10:52; Hoggan played 9:48.



In terms of tonight's game, Comcast Sportsnet Chicago's Tracey Myers lets you know all you need to know about the Hawks' activities on Monday evening save the stitches Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp are sporting,

Marcus Kruger scored twice in the third period and Jonathan Toews added another as Team White beat Team Red 5-1 in the Chicago Blackhawks’ training camp festival on Monday night.

Jeremy Morin and Mark McNeill (empty netter) also scored for Team White. Former Blackhawks defenseman Cam Barker, here as a camp invitee, scored the lone goal for Team Red.

The Blackhawks play their first preseason game on Tuesday night when they host the Detroit Red Wings. Corey Crawford and Scott Darling are expected to split goaltending duties.

And ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers may give us all the line notes that we might find...

The scrimmage was another opportunity for [Brad] Richards to get to know his new linemates, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad. None of them scored, but they created a number of chances. Richards did feel bad about catching Kane with a stick to the face.


The White Team defeated the Red Team 5-1 in the scrimmage. Goals were scored by Marcus Kruger (two), Jeremy Morin, Jonathan Toews, Cam Barker and Mark McNeill. Morin and Ben Smith each had two assists.

The most productive line of the game was Morin, Kruger and Smith. Kruger and Smith played together throughout last season on the fourth line. Morin is vying for a spot on that line.

Save this from the Chicago Sun-Times' Brandon Sandalow:

Rookie forward Teuvo Teravainen didn’t play in the scrimmage. He sat out the skate Sunday at Notre Dame with an upper-body injury suffered on a clean hit Saturday by defenseman Cam Barker, but Quenneville said Teravainen is fine and is expected on the ice Tuesday.

Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Kris Versteeg, Joakim Nordstrom and Michal Rozsival also didn’t take part in the scrimmage but should skate Tuesday.



Otherwise, the Wings' beat writers did the vast majority of their work after the Wings' skated this morning, and Monday evening's articles and videos mostly discussed the task that the Wings began in Pittsburgh.

Up North Live's Harrison Beeby posited a video discussing the end of training camp and the start of the exhibition season...

DetroitRedWings.com's Craig Peterson wrote an article about Mike Babcock's hopes for the exhibition season...

"I think most guys came to camp in real good shape,” coach Mike Babcock said. “We got two teams. We think we got two reasonable teams. Everyone gets an opportunity and we’re just going to watch them.”

The 55-man roster released Monday morning is split into two teams that the Wings will use to divvy up minutes in preseason action. One major area of focus is on special teams. Coaches will look to see what players are able to pick up on the new power play and penalty kill systems put in place by Babcock’s new staff that includes Jim Hiller and former Penguins assistant Tony Granato.

“We’re going to give lots of guys a chance on the power play,” Babcock said. “We basically have 12 D and we’re playing, and we’re just going to let them play and they can figure it all out.”

The preseason gives both players and coaches a chance to figure out a lot about the NHL level and caliber of play that is expected.

“If you’re a top-six forward you got to play 200 feet and you got to do it every night and you got to be mentally tough," Babcock said. "If you’re a bottom-six forward maybe you don’t have to be dialed in as much. But those guys, even in the bottom six, they’re working, so it’s a tough game.”

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan discussed Gustav Nyquist and his coach's hope that Nyquist remains a meaningful contributor after a 28-goal "rookie" campaign...

"I don't know if he's going to score that many goals, but he's going to get that many points (48)," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "It's great he was able to get that many goals last year. But we're all about this year."

Knowing he'll be a marked man, Nyquist spent the summer attempting to get stronger. At 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, Nyquist isn't a big player, but can get stronger.

"Of course I want to improve on some things," Nyquist said. "As a hockey player you feel you can always improve. I spent the summer working hard in the gym. I worked to get heavier on the puck and improve my shot."

And both Luke Glendening...

Luke Glendening found a home on the fourth line toward the end of last season, but he's fighting to keep that spot. Glendening's agitating ways, grit and energy are positives, but one goal (seven points) in 56 games is a concern.

"You can't stay in the lineup and score one goal a year," Glendening said. "I'm going to be battling for a spot all year."

And Danny DeKeyser hope to post more points as well:

"I can add more offense," said DeKeyser, who had 23 points (four goals) in 65 games last season. "I just try to keep improving every year."

MLive's Ansar Khan discussed Teemu Pulkkinen's battle for a roster spot...

"Teemu's a competitor, Teemu wants to do things it takes to win," Griffins coach Jeff Blashill said. "He's got a great shot. He can score on any goalie in the world. When you have that weapon you have an opportunity to be an NHL player. I thought his defensive game was very average early and I thought it got way better, because he cares."

Pulkkinen is expected to play in the Red Wings' second preseason game, Tuesday at Chicago (8:30 p.m., no local TV). That's where he made his inauspicious NHL preseason debut a year ago. He was ejected from the game during his first shift after boarding Blackhawks defenseman Michael Kostka at 2:16 of the first period. It earned Pulkkinen a four-game suspension in the preseason.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Pulkkinen is not that kind of player. He's a sniper, with a tremendous one-timer and a knack for finding open areas in the offensive zone. His style has been compared to a couple of Hall of Famers, former Red Wing Brett Hull and Finnish legend Jari Kurri.

"Last year at camp wasn't so good for me, so this year I want to be better and play good hockey right away," Pulkkinen said. "I want to be ready and I want to build my confidence. I want to score goals and do the things that I'm good at. You're playing great hockey when you have good confidence."

And the Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau discussed the dental situation of one of Pulkkinen's competitors in Mitch Callahan. It's still scary:

Since the injury, Callahan has had his jaw wired shut and had multiple oral surgeries including one last week to place three posts  in his lower jaw. The 23 year-old will need to wait six months for his jaw to heal before he can have a more permanent dental solution than his current set of dentures. Despite all the pain and discomfort, the worst part for Callahan was missing part of the AHL season.

“The pain and everything that didn’t bother me at all,” he said. “Even when I went to the dentist and left with more pain than when I started. The worst part was that I was sidelined for about six weeks which is the ultimate punishment for getting injured.”

Going forward...

“It’s tough to show my full game in camp,” he said. The physical side is what separates me from most guys here is the way I play but I am saving that for the preseason. My style of play isn’t flashy and I am not going to make super nice moves, but I am a guy who is going to be physical and win puck battles and play strong in the corners. I think I could bring something to the team.”

With limited roster slots available in Detroit, the deck is stacked against Callahan. He also faces stiff competition from Tomas Jurco, who played in 36 NHL games last season among others.

“No one wants to be sent down, so initially I would be disappointed if it happened,” Callahan said. “But then again you have to have a positive attitude and I love the city of Grand Rapids and Jeff Blashill is a great coach and can teach me a lot. It would be a kick in the butt if I go down, but at the same time I have to make the most of it and try to work my way back up.”

At the other end of the developmental spectrum, The Sports Forecaster praised Wings prospect Dylan Larkin...

Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings), freshman C, University of Michigan (Big 10)

The Wings love Larkin, a Michigan native who figures to spend most of his hockey-playing days in his home state if it all works out. The 18-year old has great two-way upside--which is a staple of Detroit's game.

And at another developental level still, Sergei Fedorov made some intriguing comments to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman regarding his role as CSKA Moscow's general manager:

14. Why did CSKA Moscow GM Sergei Fedorov reach out to make sure it was known he did not offer Ryan Johansen a contract? “I like to be a responsible manager that doesn’t interfere too much with NHL business,” he said. “Whenever I’m thinking of signing someone, I call two NHL GMs. I ask them if an NHL team is going to sign that player or not; we want to see if he really wants to play in the KHL.” Fedorov believes Johansen is not really interested in going to Russia, something confirmed by his agent, Kurt Overhardt.

15. Fedorov also pointed out the NHL/KHL transfer agreement is up at the end of the season. “In my opinion, I’d like to see the (two leagues) start making conversation. But we don’t have agreement (in Russia) in that regard, between people who can bring that bridge together.” This is always a tricky negotiation, as it forces both leagues to honour each other’s contracts.

In very literal news regarding building an organization, the Free Press's John Gallagher reports that the Ilitch organization will break ground on the Red Wings' follow-on rink this Thursday:

The Ilitch family's Olympia Development plans to launch construction of its $450-million arena Thursday afternoon with ceremonies to celebrate the project.

Olympia has said its site work and excavation will begin later this fall, with major work to start by sometime next year. The arena is to open for the Detroit Red Wings season beginning in late 2017.

The hour-long event will take place within the planned arena district site west of Woodward between Sibley and Sproat Street.

Seating begins at 1 p.m.; the program begins at 1:30 p.m.

And finally, the king of Red Wings prospect news announced that he's stepping away from his website on Monday evening--and I'm stunned by the news:


It has been a great pleasure over the past 16 years providing you with exclusive, in-depth coverage of Detroit Red Wings prospects.

Whether it was future stars such as Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg or Niklas Kronwall or a prospect who never made it such as Igor Grigorenko, Christofer Lofberg or Alexander Seluyanov — I loved the weekly tradition of keeping you informed with news, notes, stats and the inside scoop straight from the mouths of scouts.

However, there comes a time to move on — even from a good thing — and while Red Wings Central is not completely shutting down and going dark, there will be no new content posted as of September 2014. That means the end of traditional coverage including weekly RWC Reports, prospect rankings, draft coverage and maintenance of prospect scouting profiles.

The site will remain up indefinitely for reference purposes and the message board will remain open indefinitely. Regular, long-time users are encouraged to continue posting if they wish so the online community remains alive and well.

Thank you for visiting and supporting the site through the years. And a special thank you to Jim Nill, Hakan Andersson, Jiri Fischer, Joe McDonnell, Mark Leach, David Kolb and the Detroit Red Wings scouting staff — past and present — for returning countless calls and being so accommodating.


Matthew Wuest

It ain't my gig...Is it yours?

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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.