Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Belated Red Wings-Sharks game-day updates: No lineup changes for Detroit

Updated 5x with Chris Chelios on WDFN at 6:09 PM: As the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks prepare to face off tonight (7 PM EDT, Versus/TSN/WXYT), MLive’s Ansar Khan reports that the Wings have chosen to stick with the lineup which Mike Babcock employed on Wednesday, which means that Mike Modano might spend the final game of his career as a healthy scratch:

“Lineup’s on the board every morning,’’ Modano said. “So you just take a peek at it on the way to having a coffee.’‘

Forward Johan Franzen (left ankle) and defenseman Brian Rafalski (knee) did not skate this morning but both will play. Coach Mike Babcock said there will be no lineup changes. So Drew Miller will be scratched for the second game in a row. Modano is coming to grips with the fact that he likely has played his final game.

“Each summer I think to myself that I could muster up one more year and try to have a nice, positive fun year, something I can be happy about and content with leaving at that point,’’ Modano said. “But I’m still trying to find it for three years. Maybe it’s not there.’‘

Babcock said it was a tough decision.

“I recruited him hard (in the summer),’’ Babcock said. “Our plan for Mike Modano and what ended up happening, that’s just the way it goes. If you go back to last summer at this time, we thought he was going to really be able to help our team. We didn’t plan on the skate hitting his wrist and the way things went (missing three months after surgery). Does that make you think any less of the guy? Absolutely not. Does it make it hard? Yes.’‘

The Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that the Wings attempted to stay Upbeat this morning…

“Now pride kicks in,” forward Kris Draper said. “We’re a proud group here, and we want to extend this series. We’ve got a great group of guys in here, and we believe in one another. We’re going to battle for one another. We’ll see what happens, but it all starts with winning that one game.”

The Wings came closest to winning Wednesday’s Game 3, which is why they’re going to field the same lineup. The hope is that, one of these games, they get some offense from their secondary guys, especially forward Johan Franzen. He has a sore ankle, but if he’s able to play, he should be more of a threat than he has been. A year ago in Game 4 against the Sharks, in a strikingly similar situation, he had four goals and two assists.

“The great thing about the Mule is he doesn’t need a whole lot of chances and a whole lot of room,” coach Mike Babcock said. “It’s harder for him to create room for himself, no question about it, just because he’s not skating like he normally does. Goal scorers still gotta be able to get open. But in saying that, who says he doesn’t get open tonight a little bit? The bottom line is you need everyone to make a contribution.”

The only ones who’ve made contributions offensively in this series are Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, plus the fourth line. Franzen has no points; ditto for Jiri Hudler, Danny Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi. Valtteri Filppula has been borderline invisible against the Sharks. Several Wings spoke today about staying calm and not getting caught up in the fact that they have to win four straight games to advance.

“There’s no reason for us not to go out and put it all on the line,” defenseman Brad Stuart said. “That’s all you can do. But there’s no need to press, really, because if you do that, you’re guaranteed to be out.”

Per the Wings’ website, here’s Babcock’s game-day presser…

And Ken Kal speaking with Jimmy Howard, Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader about tonight’s game:

 

Update: The Wings’ website confirms that the Wings will make no lineup changes...

“He’s playing tonight,” Babcock said of Franzen, who hasn’t recorded a point in this series. “The great thing about The Mule is he doesn’t need a whole lot of chances or a whole lot of room. It’s harder for him to create room for himself, no question about it, just because he’s not skating like he normally does. Goal scorers still got to be able to get open. But in saying that, who says he doesn’t get open tonight a little bit?”

It would help the Wings if names other than Franzen showed up on the stat sheet after Game 4. Thus far, the bulk of scoring’s been done by Datsyuk (goal, three points), Henrik Zetterberg (goal, three points) and captain Nicklas Lidstrom (two goals, three points). In the first round, the Red Wings got more balanced scoring from their forwards, including 1 goal and five points from third-line center Valtteri Filppula, who hasn’t scored a point against the Sharks.

“The bottom line, is you need everyone to make a contribution,” Babcock said. “The only guys besides (Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Lidstrom) with points are the (Kris Draper), (Patrick Eaves) and (Darren Helm) line. Yet, that’s the beauty of playing. You’ve got to keep on plugging, keep on playing. The more you play, the more balanced you get. So we’ve got to make sure we keep on playing.”

Easier said than done, of course, especially when facing a possible sweep in front of the home fans. Only three teams in NHL history have overcome such a deficit to win a series, but one of those teams was last season’s Philadelphia Flyers. There is also what happened in this season’s conference quarterfinal round, when the Chicago Blackhawks took the Vancouver Canucks to overtime in Game 7 after falling down 0-3 in the series.

“The one thing is, it hasn’t been done a lot, but it’s not impossible,” said Draper, who played for the first time in this series in Game 3 and will be back in the lineup for Game 4. “It has been done. Are we capable of it? Yeah, why not? Why not us? Do we believe we can do it? Yeah, but the fact is we just want to win one game and create some momentum and go from there.”

• The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness confirms that Modano is out...

• Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner pondered the disappointing way in which Mike Modano’s career might end;

• Fox Sports Detroit’s John Keating penned an inspirational column;

• Ken Kal posted a game-day preview on WXYT;

• WXYT’s Jeff Riger posted a game-day update article which includes video comments from Mike Babcock, Henrik Zetterberg and Jimmy Howard:

• Amongst Jake Duhaime’s Tweets from this morning:

Nicklas Lidstrom’s 10 biggest playoff goals are broken down here. http://bit.ly/lLmkuW
...
The Wings are on the ice for their morning skate. http://t.co/UBjRa6D
...
Zetterberg: It’s not impossible. I mean, we’ve won four straight before. It is just a matter of taking them one at a time and playing well.
...
Lidstrom: You have to break it down. That’s the way we have to approach it. We know we have to win this game tonight, so that’s the focus.
...
Abby: We need to have a good start tonight. Ready to go from the first shift and take things one at a time.
...
The Black Aces have their own tee shirts. http://t.co/mqRqN2N
...
Babcock was asked about Modano during his daily press conference. Mentioned that similar situations arose with Hasek and Chelios.

• MLive’s James Schmehl posted a clip of Ken Kal speaking to WZAM AM and a morning game preview from ANsar Khan;

• And the Wings’ website also posted clips of the “Blackberry All Access” preview show’s take on the game…

And NHL on the Fly’s game preview:

 

And, per the NHL’s media website, Dan O’Halloran and Brad Watson are tonight’s refs, and Derek Amell and Pierre Racicot will work the lines.

Update #2: From the Sharks’ press corps:

• The Mercury News’s David Pollak reports that the Sharks will make no lineup changes...

Todd McLellan said he didn’t think there would be any lineup changes, but didn’t rule something out entirely.

“We want to make sure everybody’s healthy,” he said. “Dress a few extra for warm-up, then make some decisions after warm-up.”

And after offering a lighthearted exchange with Joe Thornton, he weighs in on the Modano situation as follows:

“Each summer I think to myself I could muster up one more year and try to have a nice, positive fun year, something I can be happy about and content with leaving at that point,” he began. “But I’ve been still trying to find it for three years and it’s not there.”

Yes, he said, signing with the Red Wings seemed like a great way to end things.

“Yeah, it was exciting. I was shocked to get the call from Kenny (Holland) and going through the process of thinking that through and deciding what to do. But I think it all comes back to the injury.”

That, of course, was the skate blade that sliced into Modano’s wrist last November.

“It’s a tough season to have when you’re out for three months,” he continued. “Then you come back and it takes another month to get back into shape and skating and everything. I think once that happened, it was pretty grim at that point.”

• The Sharks spoke to their website’s staff about their power play and the importance of closing out the Wings tonight:

“I don’t think there’s too much to gain from prolonging the series,” Dan Boyle said. “Momentum swings to their side, they start believing in themselves. Wear and tear on the body, you name it. They are a very good hockey team and believe they can beat us four straight. We can’t give them any of those ideas.”

“They’ll probably be loose which will work in their favor. I don’t want our team to be over tight,” Coach Todd McLellan said.
...
“We know what to expect. They’re not going to roll over and die,” Joe Pavelski said. “They have a lot of good players that want to keep playing. We have to establish our game. The start is going to be big. You saw what kind of start they had last year. We’re going to have to be better than last year.”

“Definitely some desperation. They’re pretty proud hockey club over there,” Devin Setoguchi said. “If there’s any team that can come back from 3-0, we know it’s them. They’re going to come out early and really put it on us hard. If we’re not ready to go, then it’s not going to be very pretty for us.”
...
“It’s a tough task,” McLellan said. “Just two good teams that are so close that a bounce here and a bounce there separates them. It’s as simple as that. We understand we have to be at the top of our game.”

The Sharks want to avoid the comparison to last year when Detroit completely dominated Game 4. However with every other similarity between the two series, the Game 4 comparisons keep popping up.

“It’s hard to avoid it,” McLellan said. “Their minds are going back to it. They’re well aware of what happened last year. As far as us addressing it, we’ve approached it by telling (the players) we’ve been in this situation before, not necessarily with Detroit, but we’ve been here before and we need to take advantage of the opportunity that presents itself tonight and make sure we’re ready to go.”

• The Sharks’ website also posted clips of Dan Rusanowsky speaking to Kyle Wellwood…

Dan Boyle’s morning skate media availability…

 

And Todd McLellan’s presser:

 

• Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area’s Ray Ratto offered a few notes...

Logan Couture’s parents got their expired passport issues resolved so that they can attend tonight’s game. “My dad was pretty fired up,’’ Couture said after the morning skate. “My parents, my brother and some of their friends will be here tonight.’’

If there is a fifth game, every indication is that it will remain on Versus at 5 p.m., rather than be moved to noon for NBC. The issue has come up because Boston could finish off Philadelphia tonight, leaving a potential fifth game in San Jose as the only game on the schedule.

Historical Note: If the Sharks win tonight and complete the sweep, Detroit will be the first team to win a series 4-0 and lose the subsequent series 4-0 since the 1993 Buffalo Sabres swept Boston and were swept by Montreal. Six of the eight games the Sabres played were decided in overtime.

And he then got down to the business of spewing rhetoric:

This happens every year when one team has a knee on the other’s throat, and there is time to kill and a beast to feed before game time. In short, the Sharks have nothing more to offer except that they seem united in their opposition to playing a fifth game in this Western Conference semifinal series with Detroit, and the medioids have nothing to ask.

Detroit head coach Mike Babcock reiterated that his lineup would stay the same, which means that Mike Modano is certain to end his career as a healthy scratch, either tonight or in a subsequent game. “I’ve had Steve Yzerman at the end, Brendan Shanahan at the end, Kris Draper, Chris Chelios at the end,” he said. “They’re great people, they’re first-ballot Hall of Famers, and it’s been a privilege to be around them.”

In other words, Babcock has experience making tough choices on great players whose tanks have hit “E,” and Johan Franzen will still play with Tomas Holmstrom and Pavel Datsyuk tonight at 4 p.m PDT. Thus, no Modano.

There was some talk about the high number of faceoff ejections in this series, to which Todd McLellan said, “We’re like Nos. 2 and 3 in faceoffs in the regular season, we both like to think we’re puck possession teams, and we’re both very competitive in the circle, so sometimes you’ll see guys jumping quicker, and you’ll see some battles before the puck hits the ice. The linesmen have done a good job keeping that sorted out.” San Jose is still first in the postseason, at 54.5 percent, and Detroit is seventh at 50.2. In the series, the Sharks are winning 52.4 percent of the draws, and the two best faceoff men have been, as expected, Datsyuk and Joe Thornton.

Update #3: From the out-of-town press:

• Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski and Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien weighed in on Modano’s status as a healthy scratch;

• SI’s Stu Hackel and Sportsline’s AJ Perez weighed in on the Wings’ precarious position, and Wyshynski

praised the Sharks’ depth;

• The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch took note of the Wings’ mindset going into tonight’s game…

“The mindset is: Win one game. Take it to San Jose and go from there,” said Detroit veteran Kris Draper. “We’re living game-by-game. That’s how it is. We know it. It hasn’t been done a lot, but it’s not impossible. It has been done. All you want to do is win one game, create some momentum and see what happens. (Chicago) forced a Game 7. Are we capable of it? Yeah. Why not? Why not us? We just want to win one game, play right and create some momentum. That’s all we can control.”

The Wings aren’t going to make any changes. That means veteran Mike Modano will be a healthy scratch and he may have suited up for his final NHL game.

“We’ve won four straight before and we have to do it again,” said Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg. “We’ve got to go out, play a solid home game and move on.”

• As did ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, who also took note of Babcock’s comments about Modano…

“That’s the hard, hard thing,” Babcock said. “I’ve had Steve Yzerman here. I’ve had Brendan Shanahan. I’ve had Dominik Hasek. Dom at the end. I had Cheli [Chris Chelios] at the end. These are great people. First-ballot Hall of Famers. It’s a privilege to be around them and talk to them.

“Mike is a guy who’s ... I mean, I recruited him hard. Our plan for Mike Modano and what ended up happening, that’s just the way it goes. If you go back to last summer at this time, we thought he was really going to be able to help our team. We didn’t plan on the skate hitting his wrist and the way things went. So does that make you think any less of the guy? Absolutely not. Is this what he wanted or we wanted? No. Does it make it hard? Yes.

“I actually read, I did, I read your article [he pointed to yours truly] today. It makes you think for a second, whoof, you want to do the right thing. We’re going to try and do the right thing every day. I tell my kids that every day and I expect to do the same thing when I come to work.”

Brian Rafalski once again missed the morning skate, but is expected to play. Johan Franzen, who is battling an ankle problem, also skipped the skate.

“Well, he’s playing tonight, so let’s go,” Babcock said. “The great thing about The Mule is he doesn’t need a whole lot of chances or a whole lot of room. It’s harder for him to create room for himself, no question about it, just because he’s not skating like he normally does. ... He passed the puck last game, it came right back to him, he just missed the net. It’s just one of those things and it’s a fine line in these games; as you can tell, it’s one goal here and there.”

LeBrun also posted a video preview which is embedded in his article, as well as a video preview for the CBC…

• Whose series blogger took note of particularly ugly stats...

One historical note on the way out: If the Sharks complete their-ever series sweep (they beat Nashville four straight after losing Game 1 in 2006), the Red Wings will become the first team in 18 years to sweep one series and lose the next in four straight since the 1993 Sabres beat Boston and lost to Montreal in the minimum eight games. Six of the eight games went to overtime.
...
They talk bravely, but when the Wings fall behind 3-0 in a playoff series, history has not proven kind to them. The Wings came close to rallying once, during the 1945 Stanley Cup final, which the Wings took to seven games after losing the first three against Toronto, falling 2-1 in Game 7. On 10 previous occasions when Detroit has trailed a best-of-seven series 3-0, the club has been swept eight times. Last season’s five-game loss to the Sharks was the only other time the Wings avoided going out in four straight.

“You’ve got to keep these things away from your head, go out and play, and win a hockey game,” Detroit forward Jiri Hudler said. “Win one hockey game. That’s all that matters now. Win tonight.”

• TSN’s game preview includes a game-day update from TSN’s Jermain Franklin;

• NHL.com’s Dave Lozo spoke to the Sharks about their desire to close out the series while avoiding the 7-1 blowout they suffered at the hands of the Wings a year ago…

“It’s hard to avoid. It really is,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “We want to separate the series, but their minds are going back to it. They’re well aware of what happened last year. As far as us addressing it, we’ve approached it by telling them we’ve been in this situation before. We need to take advantage of the opportunity that presents itself tonight and make sure that we’re ready to go.”
...
“I think maybe we just got a little too confident in the position that we were in,” Setoguchi said. “It didn’t work out very well. We’ve prepped for this game and know what to expect. Now it’s just going to be a matter of executing our game plan well and basically, it’s just going to be a man’s game, as Todd would say.”

The Red Wings made it a point of emphasis to crash the crease of Antti Niemi during Game 3. Nicklas Lidstrom’s first-period goal was a result of that philosophy, as was the goal scored by Patrick Eaves in the second period. According to Boyle, playing a “man’s game” is simply preventing the Red Wings from running them over and matching their intensity.

“They feel they got to us a little bit more in the third game as far as getting the puck to the net and getting guys to the net,” Boyle said. “We just have to be strong and firm and play good D. And that’s not just the defensemen. It’s forwards coming back helping out. It’s just everybody being desperate.”
...
“They’ll probably be loose, which will work in their favor,” McLellan said. “I don’t want our team to be overtight. You don’t win that many Stanley Cups and don’t have that many Hall of Famers walking around the building without pride and commitment to each other. They’ll play. Without a doubt, they’ll play.”

“If there’s any team that can come back from 3-0, we know it’s them,” Setoguchi said. “If we’re not ready to go, it’s not going to be very pretty for us.”

• Brian Hedger also took note of Babcock’s decision to stick with his present lineup, pointing out that the Wings hope to receive some contributions from their secondary scorers tonight…

It would help the Wings if names other than Franzen showed up on the stat sheet after Game 4. Thus far, the bulk of scoring’s been done by Datsyuk (1 goal, 3 points), Henrik Zetterberg (1 goal, 3 points) and captain Nicklas Lidstrom (2 goals, 3 points). In the first round, the Red Wings got more balanced scoring from their forwards, including 1 goal and 5 points from third-line center Valtteri Filppula, who hasn’t scored a point against the Sharks.

“The bottom line, is you need everyone to make a contribution,” Babcock said. “The only guys besides (Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Lidstrom) with points are the (Kris Draper), (Patrick Eaves) and (Darren Helm) line. Yet, that’s the beauty of playing. You’ve got to keep on plugging, keep on playing. The more you play, the more balanced you get. So we’ve got to make sure we keep on playing.”

Easier said than done, of course, especially when facing a possible sweep in front of the home fans. Only three teams in NHL history have overcome such a deficit to win a series, but one of those teams was last season’s Philadelphia Flyers. There is also what happened in this season’s conference quarterfinal round, when the Chicago Blackhawks took the Vancouver Canucks to overtime in Game 7 after falling down 3-0 in the series.

“The one thing is, it hasn’t been done a lot, but it’s not impossible,” said Draper, who played for the first time in this series in Game 3 and will be back in the lineup for Game 4. “It has been done. Are we capable of it? Yeah, why not? Why not us? Do we believe we can do it? Yeah, but the fact is we just want to win one game and create some momentum and go from there.”

• And Hedger also noted the Wings’ takes regarding high sticking calls...

Detroit has been called for five high-sticking infractions in the first three games and the Sharks have scored power-play goals on two of them. The Sharks also won Game 1 in overtime on Benn Ferriero’s goal just 20 seconds after Justin Abdelkader got out of the penalty box for a high-sticking double minor.

A high-sticking minor called on Darren Helm in Game 3 led to the first goal of the game, a power-play goal by Devin Setoguchi.

“We’ve just got to keep our sticks down,” said Henrik Zetterberg, who was called for a high stick in Game 2. “Soon as it’s up there, you have a chance to (get penalized) for four minutes or two. It can happen very easily if you have the sticks up high.”

As well as getting tossed out of faceoffs too regularly:

There have been a number of players kicked out of the faceoff circle before draws in this series and the Red Wings have taken notice—especially when it comes to their own players getting the boot. It especially was noticeable in Game 3 at Joe Louis Arena, when the Sharks won 53 percent of the faceoffs taken.

“It is tough for both teams to know what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “One time you get kicked out and next time you’re not getting kicked out. It’s a fine line there, but we’ve just got to adjust.”

Kris Draper said the best way to deal with the issue is to make sure, if possible, there is more than one center on as many forward lines as possible.

“A lot of guys have been tossed out, probably the most I’ve seen in a while, in Game 3,” Draper said. “It puts an onus on the importance of faceoffs. Both teams want to start with the puck, especially on the (penalty kill). Collectively, as a group, we have to be better.”

• Finally, NHL.com posted morning skate clips of comments by Henrik Zetterberg…

Kris Draper…

 

And Modano:

 


Update #4: Of course, Aftonbladet’s Emil Karlsson reports that Team Sweden coach Per Marts hopes that every Wing not named Johan Franzen and/or Henrik Zetterberg will come to Slovakia for Sweden’s World Championship games this weekend, but that’s not going to happen even if the Wings lose as the team will probably wait until Monday to gather for exit interviews and their locker room clean-out;

• This is cute;

• Amongst ESPN’s “points to watch”:

No. 2 San Jose Sharks at No. 3 Detroit Red Wings (Sharks lead 3-0), 7 p.m. ET

  * The Sharks are trying to advance to the conference finals for the second straight year. Prior to last year, San Jose had made one conference finals appearance in 17 years.
  * The Red Wings have not been swept since the 2003 conference quarterfinals against the Mighty Ducks, while the Sharks have never swept a series in franchise history.
  * Just like last year’s series, the Sharks won the first three games against the Red Wings by one goal with Game 3’s victory coming in overtime.
  * Devin Setoguchi had a hat trick in Game 3 after scoring one goal in his first eight postseason games this year.
  * Pavel Datsyuk has at least one point in six of seven postseason games this year.
  * Antti Niemi has not allowed a goal off a rebound in this series after allowing six against the Kings.

• And the Free Press’s Jamie Samuelssen believes that blowing up the Wings serves no purpose:

So what do you do if you’re general manager Ken Holland? More important, what can you do? On one hand, the Wings lost to the Sharks last season in five games and are on the verge of another early exit this spring. The fact is that the Sharks are the better team and have proved that in the last year. On the other hand, the Wings very easily could be up, 2-1, in this series. They could have won the series last year with another day of rest or one fewer questionable call. So do you overhaul this talented team? Of course not. Do you tweak the roster a bit? Of course you try—but what are the Red Wings lacking? What is it that San Jose has that the Red Wings don’t?

The answer: not much.

The Red Wings pretty much are stuck with their roster for the foreseeable future. Barring a major trade, they have Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen signed for the long term. Nicklas Lidstrom is year-to-year and will command a good chunk of the salary cap (more on him in a second). Brian Rafalski has a year remaining, as well, in the NHL’s upper class. So there’s your core. Do you really want to change any of that? The Sharks haven’t neutralized the Wings’ top players, but they have limited them enough that it has forced the games down to the younger, lesser-paid, role players. And San Jose has dominated that matchup. Devin Setoguchi makes $1.8 million but played the other night like an $8-million player. Logan Couture is a rookie making less than a million per year and has been one of the very best players in the series. The Sharks have their superstars, just like the Red Wings do. The difference is that the Sharks’ lesser players are playing like superstars, too. The Red Wings’ aren’t.

And the scary thing is the Sharks are set up for a nice little run here. They have Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau under contract for the foreseeable future. They seem to have their goaltender in place for the foreseeable future in Antti Niemi. And they have a core of young players with really, really bright futures. That’s where the difference comes with the Red Wings. Guys like Valtteri Filppula, Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves are fine, young players who have come through with big moments. But do they share the same sustained excellence as a guy such as Couture? Nope. Not yet.

Then, of course, there’s the Lidstrom factor. There’s nothing more than I can say about Lidstrom and his impact on this franchise. He’s the best defenseman of his generation, and even saying that, he’s still underrated and underappreciated. The Wings have made the playoffs 20 straight years, and he has been there for all but one. Coincidence? Nope. So who knows what becomes of this “core” when he finally decides to retire. I see no reason he would call it quits after this year. He’s not what he was five years ago, but he’s still one of the most valuable players in the sport and one of the best defensemen.

So as long as Lidstrom is playing and the cap is in place, you have to let this core keep going. There is no obvious weakness, other than shoring up the defense a bit. There’s no team that is leaps and bounds better than the Red Wings. Holland is great at his job and is a proven winner. So in no way am I suggesting he’ll put his feet up this summer and claim that his team is fine. He’ll do everything possible to add that extra piece or make a calculated trade to make the Wings better.

The Red Wings are consistently the best franchise in hockey, but right now, they don’t have a better team than the Sharks. A bounce here or a break there, and they might. I’ll take my chances with that knowledge.

Update #5: The Score’s Rick Moldovayni recalls the last time the Wings were swept;

• And WDFN’s Sean Baligian spoke to USA Today’s Kevin Allen….


Download file

And Chris Chelios this afternoon:


Download file

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

MsRedWinger's avatar

George, I had a busy day, but I’ve been reading your posts.  Thanks for everything.

Right now I’m nervous, hopeful, and prepared for the outcome no matter what happens.

Why shouldn’t the Wings win?  Seems to me we have just as much of a chance as the other team.  That’s all that matters right now.

LET’S GO RED WINGS !!!!!

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 05/06/11 at 06:27 PM ET

Avatar

Babcock should have put Modano in.  Let the horse play if it could be his last playoff game.  Take Hudler out… Put Modano in. 

People complain that Modano’s heart isn’t in it?  How can he get into it when he’s being held back like this.  I know its a tough decision and all, but Hudler hasn’t done crap.  Modano had jump in his Game 4 vs. Phoenix.

Posted by kC from Livonia on 05/06/11 at 06:34 PM ET

sloaner's avatar

Hudler played well games one and three.  I still think Modano should be in.

Posted by sloaner from Los Angeles, CA on 05/06/11 at 06:58 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Sometimes there’s something to be said for having hope, even if it’s false hope. :/

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/06/11 at 08:31 PM ET

Avatar

Don’t get me wrong, I love Babcock as a coach and think he is easily one of the top 5 coaches in the league, but I miss Scotty.  That guy had no qualms about shuffling his lineups when he won and always seemed to get goals from the guys he put in.

Babcock seems like he has to lose 2 games with a group before he will make changes.  I hope it works, but it just seems like doubling down on failure.

Posted by Sabby from Stuck in Shark Territory on 05/06/11 at 08:50 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

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.