The Malik Report
Audio from the last day of Red Wings training camp: Kronwall, Cleary, Babcock, Datsyuk and much more
by George Malik on 09/17/13 at 01:36 PM ET
The Red Wings will get a full day off after playing the Chicago Blackhawks this evening (8 PM EDT, no TV, WGN Radio), but the gents were hard at work in terms of both the players taking part in the game-day skate--minus Johan Franzen, who has a hip flexor issue--and the non-game-day guys, minus Brendan Smith, who has a wee groin tweak.
At this point in the exhibition season, the Wings just don't feel the need to aggravate any tweaks or twinges, so players are going to be sat out as preventative measures.
I haven't seen the Hawks' lineup yet, but here's what the Wings' lineup should look like based upon today's practice (and the rest of the team drove home immediately after practice ended at 12:15):
Miller-Emmerton-Eaves (Eaves will get some time on the PP as a net-front guy)
Nedomlel-Nicastro (for warm-ups)
Jonas Gustavsson (first 2 periods)
Jared Coreau (3rd period)
I spoke with as many players as I possibly could today, thus the delay in getting back to the "home, erm, I mean HOJO office."
Anyway, some of these interviews are very short because the guys were either catching a flight or packing up and heading back to the Joe.
I think I may have put Niklas Kronwall on guard by telling him I knew of him through a couple friends, but he was quite polite and talked about getting into game action against Chicago, getting ready to wear "skate fenders" and block shots, and the drills that Babcock emphasized during practice...
Teemu Pulkkinen talked about getting ready to play in his first exhibition game and playing against Hawks prospect Teuvo Teravainen, a former teammate with Jokerit, as well as adjusting to a narrower rink...
I spoke with Riley Sheahan about making a pre-season push after having recovered from the prospect tournament...
I spoke with Mitchell Callahan about riding the fine line between playing a strong grinding game and having to toss 'em...
Jared Coreau talked about heading into the "Madhouse on Madison"...
Johan Franzen is plain old a) easy-going to the point of, "Meh, shit happens" all the dang time, and b) he doesn't seem to enjoy talking to the media, so his discussion of his hip flexor issue was kind of like pulling teeth from a very patient man...
Brian Lashoff was ever-eloquent and determined in discussing his desire to try to use the exhibition season to push himself into the top six, and as I did with every player, I asked him about being up in Traverse City and the volunteers' work in making the players feel like every wish can be granted while they're up here...
And Jonathan Ericsson was headed out the door, so I got abou 40 seconds of chatter from him:
Ditto for Tomas Tatar in the other locker room...
Brendan Smith addressed his groin issue, and I asked him about the fact that he and Kyle Quincey seem to be switching off in the "who rushes and who stays home" department...
Daniel Cleary was incredibly polite in speaking to me while I waited for Pavel Datsyuk to get undressed, talking about his training camp, his first exhibition game and just knowing that he's going back to Detroit as a Wing, as well as the Traverse CIty experience...
I spoke with Joakim Andersson about not playing with Nyquist for the first time in ages, winning the Calder Cup and his short summer, what he's looking to accomplish this season and how he's changed from Reebok to Bauer gear--and he revealed that the "Joker" on his sticks was a joke from Brad "Dogg" Thompson, the Griffins' trainer...
MLive's Ansar Khan and I managed to squeeze three minutes out of the now-moustache-less Adam Almquist, who scored two goals against Pittsburgh. Almquist talked about his goals, what he needs to do to make the big club and what playing an exhibition game was like for him...
Wings coach Mike Babcock talked about his team's performance in Pittsburgh, the special teams battles, the performances of Mantha, Jarnkrok and Almquist, who he readily admits needs to gain weight, heading into Chicago tonight and managing injuries...
And Pavel "The Magic Man" (per Cleary) Datsyuk gave me five minutes of his time, talking about fishing, his stick, winning the Kharlamov trophy, his hockey school in Yekaterinburg, the Olympics and the "politics" (I came close but couldn't ask him THE question as he was getting edgy), spending time in Traverse City, the volunteers, and getting ready for the season. He was SUPER NICE and very funny:
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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.