The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/23/11 at 05:52 PM ET
As we and the Red Wings still stew over last night’s 4-3 loss to the Calgary Flames and the media continues to discuss Jimmy Howard’s beef with goalie-running and/or Niklas Kronwall’s non-suspension for a hit with still drew the ire of both Ryan Kesler and Canucks GM Mike Gillis, who insisted that Kesler had to do nothing less than try to fight Kronwall in retaliation…
Two comments regarding the Wings’ possible deficiencies popped up, starting with a ramble/reminisce from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun about the Canucks’ “puck luck” and Detroit’s subsequent loss in Calgary...
I mentioned this on air at TSN here in Canada on Thursday night, but Terry Gregson, the NHL’s director of officiating, told me that Alexander Edler’s goal Wednesday night against Detroit, upon further review, should not have counted. Gregson’s feeling is that Wings goalie Jimmy Howard did not have a chance to make a save after Jannik Hansen crashed into him.
Gregson discussed it with the on-ice officials from that game. In the end, Gregson (and I agree with him) said it should have been no penalty, no goal—just a faceoff. That’s little solace to the Wings, of course, since it doesn’t change the 4-2 score from that night. Even worse, Detroit followed that up with a 3-2 loss at Calgary last night with backup Ty Conklin in net. Conklin barely has played this season, and I don’t think head coach Mike Babcock has a whole lot of confidence in him. My suspicion is that GM Ken Holland might look at who’s out there closer to the Feb. 27 trade deadline to see if there’s an upgrade available.
And MLive’s Ansar Khan tends not to delve into discussion of potential roster changes, but he added an intriguing comment given the Wings’ $5-plus million of remaining cap space and their lack of size up front:
Scoring winger at top of list, most likely. But what (roster player, prospect, draft pick) will they give up?
Ken Holland tends not to make those kinds of trades, and I still believe that he’s going to act very conservatively at the trade deadline, first waiting to see how Ty Conklin shakes out and then determining whether the Wings have enough scoring depth and/or tenacity on defense, and, after Jan Mursak, Chris Conner and Patrick Eaves return, whether the Wings’ speed among their “bottom six” forwards allows their forecheckers to compensate for their lack of size in, say, a rematch in triplicate with the big-bodied forwards of the San Jose Sharks, but he’s not going to sit on his cap space for the sake of doing so if there are players available in February who can help the team.
I’m not a fan of rumor-mongering, but for discussion’s sake as opposed to dreaming up trades in which the Wings fleece their partners or adding the umpteenth, “I swear, that dude who charges money for people to read his rumors says the Wings want Alex Semin!” quip to the mix, I’m genuinely curious as to what elements you feel the Wings are lacking, and what kinds of players (as opposed to specific identities) you feel the Wings could or should add, even taking the presences of Joey MacDonald, Brendan Smith, Mike Commodore, Mursak, Conner, Eaves and Fabian Brunnstrom “waiting in the wings” into account?
And if you feel that the Wings should part with more than a draft pick to add the kind of player you’re looking for, which players would you deem expendable?
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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.