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Datsyuk Skating With Top 6 At Today’s Red wings Practice

Most recently updated at 2:59 PM...

added 10:23am, via Chuck Pleiness tweet,

From the looks of things, Pavel Datsyuk won't play Wednesday against Boston. He's on the bench as the team skates lines.

added 10:32am, via Khan tweets,

Lines: Nyquist-Legwand-Franzen, Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco, Andersson-Helm-Bertuzzi, Miller-Glendeniing-Abdelkader.

Datsyuk was skating alone at one end of the rink while top power-play unit practices at other end.

Legwand taking Alfredsson's place at point on first power play unit with Kronwall; Nyquist-Franzen-Bertuzzi up front.

Second power-play unit has Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco up front, DeKeyser-Kindl at points.

added 10:55am, via Roose tweet,

Pavel Datsyuk said he will be a "game time decision" to play for the #RedWings tomorrow

added 11:01am, Datsyuk talks after practice...

 

Update at 11:08: Here's the Free Press's Helene St. James in text form:

Breathe easier: Pavel Datsyuk is skating, shooting and stealing pucks from teammates.

Today marks Datsyuk’s second practice with the Detroit Red Wings since emerging from a three-week shutdown. He began his comeback Friday but didn't take the next step until today because the Wings don't want to push him, and because they didn't have a real practice the last three days because they played back-to-back games during the weekend and then took Monday off.

What's next? Seeing how Datsyuk feels Wednesday. The team doesn't expect him to be available for the Boston Bruins game that night (8 p.m., NBCSN), because it'd be a quick jump from two practices four days apart straight into a game.

If things continue to go well, a more realistic picture could develop with Datsyuk playing Friday, when the Wings host NHL bottom dweller Buffalo.

Update at 11:11: Tweet stuff:

Update at 11:20: This is good news, per Wakiji...

#RedWings Alfredsson did not practice as a maintenance day but will play Wednesday.

And Pleiness posted a video of Alfredsson speaking to the media:

 

Update at 11:22 AM: Oh, Babs, per Pleiness...

Wings coach Mike Babcock says he hearsDatsyuk could play Friday but he's just worried about the players that he knows are skating.

And Roose:

Mike Babcock said that he's under the impression that Pavel Datayuk will return to #RedWings lineup this Friday vs. @BuffaloSabres.

Update at 11:29 AM: Via RedWingsFeed, Fox Sports Detroit posted a video of Datsyuk speaking with the media:

Update at 11:33 AM: Here's Babcock after practice via Pleiness:

Update at 11:49 AM: Oy vey, Fox Sports Detroit posted a clip of Daniel Cleary talking about his knee:

Update at 12:18 PM: Here's Pleiness on Datsyuk, in text form:

Datsyuk could return as early as Wednesday against the Boston Bruins, or at the latest by Friday at home against the Buffalo Sabres.

“I’m going to assess him in the game,” Babcock said after practice Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena. “I think someone told me he’s playing Friday, I don’t know. I thought it was up to him (when he would start playing again),” Babcock continued. “I haven’t been involved in those things all year. I spend my time worrying about the players that are playing, so if I hear he’s in tomorrow, I’ll start worrying about him then.”

Datsyuk said he’s a game-time decision for Wednesday’s game.

“We’ll see tomorrow how I feel,” Datsyuk said. “It was (my) first full practice with team. I’m happy to be back with the team. I need a little more time to pick up the pace, pick up everything.”

...

“The whole thing is to understand it’s not about Pavel one bit, it’s about the Red Wings and the guys that are playing and we’ve just got to keep grinding. I don’t want to get caught up in that whatsoever, I want to have us keep on working.

Datsyuk has 15 goals and 18 assists in 39 games this season.

“We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing, keep grinding,” Babcock said. “The players that are here, we’re going to worry about the ones that are dressed. We’re not going to spend a whole bunch of time talking about the ones that aren’t. When they’re dressing then we’ll talk about them.”

Update at 12:22 PM: Here's St. James on Datsyuk in text form..

The time off helped, but pain remains and conditioning is a concern.

"Need little bit more time to pick up pace, pick up everything," he said.

Asked whether he'd play Wednesday, Datsyuk said, "Tomorrow is tomorrow. See how I feel."

Babcock said that "someone told me he's playing Friday. It's up to him. I haven't been involved in those things all year. I spend my time worrying about the players that are playing.

"The whole thing to understand is it's not about Pavel one bit. It's about the Red Wings and the guys that have been playing, and we've just got to keep grinding. I don't want to get caught up in that whatsoever. I want to just have us keep on working."

The Wings sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with seven games remaining in the regular season. They are two points up on eighth-place Columbus, but the Blue Jackets have a game in hand.

And on video:

Update at 12:25 PM: Fox Sports Detroit's Wakiji took note of Daniel Cleary's comments about having a reaction to a Synvisc injection:

#RedWings Cleary: I  had a reaction to the shot. It's kept me off the ice for a long time.

...

#RedWings Cleary: There's a 1% chance of getting a reaction & I was that 1%. Swelled up real bad, took 3 weeks for the swelling to go away.

...

#RedWings Cleary: I had to drain it numerous times. So now it's starting to feel better.

...

#RedWings Cleary: It's been boring, it's been mentally trying. looking to get back on the ice in the next few days.

...

#RedWings Cleary: It's awesome. You're first-hand witnessing NHL players evolving in front of your eyes. That part of it's good.

...

#RedWings Cleary on react to shot: It's quite fitting, actually, how you see we've gone this year with injuries on the tm. It's like,really?

Update at 12:29 PM:

Update at 12:39 PM: Fox Sports Detroit's Wakiji took note of Datsyuk's teammates' takes on his recovery...

Gustav Nyquist, who has seen Datsyuk skate, thought he looked pretty good.

"To me, he always looks great," Nyquist said. "But I don't think he feels 100 percent shape-wise or anything like that. But he's so good out there, he's always good, I think, when he's on the ice. I'm sure he wants to see how it feels with a couple full skates, especially conditioning-wise when you've been out for a while, it's different to be on the bike here and then do some skates without the team. It's going to take some practice to get in game shape again."

Datsyuk admitted his conditioning is not where he'd like it to be.

"You can see, barely move," Datsyuk said. "I need more time for this one. But one game, short shifts will help a lot."

There's no question that even at less than 100 percent, Datsyuk could help the Wings down the final stretch.

"Teams key on him," Justin Abdelkader said. "They key on him on the power play and 5-on-5. He's usually going to take the best matchup from the (other team's) defensemen. He's a big part of this team. It'll be huge if he can come back. If he doesn't, we still have to plug away with the group that we have."

Said Nyquist: "He's one of the best players in the world so I think he's going to mean a lot for this team. Just a really good center man, both ends of the ice, obviously. I think he's going to be able to help us out in all areas on the ice and also with his leadership."

Datsyuk is looking forward to returning but he doesn't want to upset the good things that the young Wings are doing.

"Make sure I help team," Datsyuk said. "That's more important. We're in race to make playoffs. That's more important, they're playing well."

Update at 12:41 PM: Helene St. James offers a quip that Babcock made at the Detroit Economic Club luncheon:

Asked whether he would be to blame if the stock market crashes this afternoon, Babcock smiled and revealed another life lesson.

"This would be my tip for you, financially," he said. "My father-in-law once said to me, he said, your financial adviser, is he rich? And at the time, no, the guy, he wasn't rich. So he said, 'Why would you let a guy with no money invest your money?' I thought that was the best kind of farmer-type question I'd ever been asked. We go to all these advisers, do they even know what they're doing? I wonder. That's my financial advice."

Updated at 12:45: Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's practice report:

With seven games remaining and his club battling to earn one of two wild-card playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, Datsyuk feels a sense of urgency to return.

“Make sure I help team, that’s more important,” Datsyuk said. “We’re in race to make playoffs. That’s more important; they’re playing well.”

Datsyuk has appeared in only four games since the Jan. 1 Winter Classic. Even at less than 100 percent he could provide a huge lift.

“It’s great to see him out on the ice skating and being part of practices,” Daniel Alfredsson said. “We feel that we’re playing pretty consistent hockey right now and getting a guy with his experience and his offensive abilities, among other things, will be a big boost for this team.”

Datsyuk has 15 goals and 33 points in 39 games.

“He looks good, but it’s all about how he feels,” Justin Abdelkader said. “He could look good, but if his knee is bothering him … it depends how he feels on the ice, but he looks good.”

Said goaltender Jimmy Howard: “He’s one of the best two-way players in the game. We could definitely use him.”

Also:

Updated at 1:06 PM: For what it's worth, CBC's "If the Playoffs Started Today" spiel has the Red Wings playing the Penguins, and NHL.com's Dan Rosen took note of the Wings' status:

Detroit Red Wings (35-26-14, 84 points)

Standing: 1st wild card, 4th in Atlantic Division

Games remaining (7): vs. Boston, vs. Buffalo, at Montreal, at Buffalo, at Pittsburgh, vs. Carolina, at St. Louis

Skinny: The Red Wings are in position to go to the playoffs for a record 23rd straight season. They won back-to-back games this past weekend against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay to gain a three-point cushion on a playoff berth and a two-point lead on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Detroit plays four of its last five games on the road, but it has been a better road team (19-14-4) than home team (16-12-10) this season.

NHL.com's Matt Cubeta also praised Gustav Nyquist as a fantasy hockey player "delivering the goods," if you will...

In 50 games this season, the 24-year-old has 27 goals, 18 assists, a plus-14, eight penalty minutes, eight power-play points and 138 shots on goal. He currently ranks as the 176th player in Yahoo leagues. But most importantly he has 17 goals, 10 assists and a plus-11 rating in his past 21 games.

What surprises me most is that Nyquist has been this productive while averaging 16:44 of ice time per game. During this fantastic 30-day stretch he's exceeded the 20-minute mark once. It does help that 3:12 of his average ice time comes on the power play; however, his strong play shows that when he's on the ice, he's generating quality scoring chances. The center- and right wing-eligible forward primarily has been skating on a line with Johan Franzen and David Legwand and has recorded a minus rating just once in the past eight games; he's a plus-7 in that span.

The one thing to be concerned with about Nyquist is that his shooting percentage is extremely high and probably unsustainable. Nyquist's 19.6 percentage ranks fourth in the NHL among players to skate in at least 50 games, but with seven regular-season games remaining on Detroit's schedule, there's a chance he can carry this hot streak for a little longer. I wouldn't expect his shooting percentage to remain so high next season.

Nyquist has seen his Yahoo ownership skyrocket to 62 percent, but it's actually a bit surprising it's not higher considering how dominant he's been recently. If he's still out there in your league make sure you grab him now. He could be the difference in you winning or losing your league.

In projections of a different kind, Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek penned a story about the Red Wings' last lease at Joe Louis Arena, which was approved by Detroit's City Council on Monday...

A City Council analysis found the deal will net Detroit a little more than $17 million over the term of the lease – about $3 million less than if the city had extended the prior lease arrangement. It includes money to “settle all claims” against lessee Olympia Development, including a dispute over unpaid cable revenues.

But Ilitch Holdings Vice President Mike McLaughlin, representing Red Wings’ owners Mike and Marian Ilitch, told Council the new lease terms are fair.

“There are a lot of issues that have been addressed since it was renegotiated,” McLaughlin said. “Frankly, we felt we went above and beyond our obligations.”

Some Council members and residents disagreed, arguing the deal is so one-sided in Olympia's favor it appears the city barely negotiated at all.

The Red Wings will likely keep playing at Joe Louis until 2017, when the new arena is scheduled for completion. The lease has a provision that the arena be demolished “promptly” once the team leaves.

But if that doesn’t happen, the deal also has a controversial non-compete clause – meaning the city can’t hold any revenue-generating events in a building it owns.

And, earlier this morning, MLive's Khan penned something of a "state of the Wings" article:

After a two-day break, the Red Wings host the league-leading Boston Bruins Wednesday (8 p.m., NBC Sports Network exclusive). The Bruins have opened a nine-point lead in the race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference by going 15-0-1 in their past 16 games.

The Red Wings are 2-1-0 vs. Boston, having won the past two meetings.

The Red Wings, with 84 points, lead a pack of six teams competing for two wild-card spots in the East. Columbus looks to be their toughest competition. The Blue Jackets have 82 points but have one game in hand and own the first tie-breaker (33 wins in regulation or overtime vs. 30 for Detroit).

But the Red Wings just need to stay ahead of Washington (81 points), Toronto (80), New Jersey (79) and Ottawa (78) and they’ll extend their playoff streak to 23 seasons.

“All the games are big right now,” goaltender Jonas Gustavsson said. “If you look at the standings it’s tight and it will be tight all the way, so all the points that you can get you’ve got to grab them. We can’t be satisfied with these two games; we’ve got to try to improve as a team and battle and we’ve got to get some more wins.”

The Red Wings have more regulation/OT wins than the Capitals (25) and Maple Leafs (27).

Also:

Update at 1:11 PM: Here's the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's practice report:

Datsyuk was on the ice for Tuesday's practice but largely spent time doing drills and stickhandling on his own.

He hasn't played since Feb. 27 and only resumed skating in the last week.

"Game time decision, we'll see how I feel, " said Datsyuk, who met briefly with reporters after Tuesday's practice. "Happy to be back (at practice). I need a little more time to pick up the pace.”

Datsyuk added he can do more things on the ice than three weeks ago when the team and doctors shut him down to rest the knee.

Some knee pain is continuing, but Datsyuk said, “I can handle it.”

...

Daniel Alfredsson didn't practice Tuesday, only calling it a "maintenance day" and said he's fine to play Wednesday.

…The Red Wings moved up practice, because of the scheduled annual luncheon at the Detroit Economic Club.

Update at 1:30 PM: The Sports Forecaster answered a fantasy hockey question about several Wings prospects...

Q: I've noticed the number of young Red Wings forwards that have been called up to the NHL this season, mostly because of their injury situation. Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar both seem to have earned a job in the NHL this year, but what about Tomas Jurco, Riley Sheahan, Luke Glendening, Landon Ferraro, Teemu Pulkkinen and Mitch Callahan? Which ones are fantasy-relevant?
Thanks in advance.
- Stevie L. (Windsor, ON)

Fantasy Inbox: Good stuff, Stevie. Jurco and Sheahan are probably next in line for the Wings. We believe they'll both be regulars for Detroit next season, and because of injury they'll likely finish this season in the lineup, as well. Jurco has quite a bit of upside, though perhaps not as much as Nyquist and Tatar. Sheahan could be the team's regular third-line center, and his fantasy value may rise if he continues to play with Tatar and Jurco. Beyond that, Pulkkinen has fantasy value but might not be good enough defensively to play for coach Mike Babcock in Motown. We could see him being dealt at some point. Ferraro may become a valuable role player in the NHL, so his fantasy value is a bit lower. Glendening and Callahan are not really on the fantasy radar at this point. They're bottom-six forwards.

Pulkkinen will be a Wing sooner than later, but "sooner" may be the year after next...

And SI's Allan Muir focused on the Red Wings in his latest set of power rankings:

It may be April 1, but this is no joke: Pavel Datsyuk was back on the ice Tuesday morning with the Detroit Red Wings. And his timing couldn't be better.

The superstar center has spent the past six weeks on the sidelines with recurring knee problems while his teammates battled to secure a place among the elite eight of the Eastern Conference. To their credit, they've hung in there, but the truth is the Datsyuk-less Wings don't scare anyone. Sure, they've gotten good mileage out of their kids, especially the red-hot Gustav Nyquist, but they're a shadow of the puck possession monsters they used to be. It's like they've forgotten how to enter the zone effectively. They wait for mistakes instead of forcing them.

That's not Red Wings hockey ... but that's about to change soon. No word yet on when Pasha will return to the lineup, but if Detroit can hold on to a spot, he'll certainly be ready for the playoffs. And that should make the Bruins and Penguins sit up and take notice.

For all their flaws, the Wings as a group are loaded with playoff experience, and they have a knack for knocking off higher seeds (Anaheim can provide a reference, if needed). And bringing Datsyuk back into the mix changes Detrot. He makes the Wings a more confident, and more dangerous, team. And with other players on the verge of returning -- Daniel Alfredsson, maybe Henrik Zetterberg -- they'll be a formidable first-round foe no matter where they're seeded.

...

15 Detroit Red Wings Last Week: 16

Big win for Mike Babcock and the Wings on Sunday against Tampa Bay. The victory was his 411th behind Detroit's bench, moving him one past Scotty Bowman into second place on the franchise's all-time list. Babcock could pass Jack Adams for the top spot with three wins this week. That would be an amazing mark, but given what's at stake, the points will be more meaningful to Babcock. With the Wings three points up on ninth-place Washington, it's critical that Detroit goes at least 4-2-1 over its final seven games. (Last week: 2-2-0)

Update at 2:03 PM: Fox Sports Detroit's Wakiji spoke with the Wings about playing the Bruins...

"Machine-like right now, for sure," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Since the Olympic break they've been outstanding. I don't know if anyone in the league is really surprised. We all think they got a good team. (Patrice) Bergeron I think is an elite player. He's like the conscience of the team, he does it right. He can drag the rest of the guys into battle. (David) Krejci is a real good player. That line with (Milan) Lucic and (Jarome) Iginla is going. Iggy is like he's got new life. He's energized and he looks that way when he plays. Not just that he's scoring but just in the hop in his step and the way he's playing. They got good deep and veterans in the third and fourth group that play real well.  They look like a good club to me, it should be a lot of fun.

The Wings can't afford to take penalties against the Bruins.

"One of the big things is their power play with (Zdeno) Chara there in front of it," goaltender Jimmy Howard said. "It's going to be tough. We're going to have to find a way to at least tie up his stick."

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask is likely to be a Vezina Trophy candidate with his 34-14-5 record, 2.02 goals-against average and .931 save percentage.

"They're a team that has had the core group together for awhile now," Daniel Alfredsson said. "They don't give up anything easy, and you know it's going to be a game where it will be close for awhile and then it seems like they pounce on one mistake and then score two goals late and win 5-2. Patience is extremely important against a team like that, in the neutral zone, and obviously in today's league if you can get the lead and force the other team to do something that they don't usually do that could be to our advantage. That first goal is huge (Wednesday)."

The Wings also realize that if they do make the playoffs, the Bruins are a potential first-round matchup.

"If we get in we're most likely playing them or Pittsburgh," Justin Abdelkader said. "You have to look it that way too. It's a good test for us and a good measuring stick."

And I believe this is a "right back at you":


DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose also spoke with the Wings regarding their forthcoming tangle against Boston:

[D]on’t count out the Wings, who were 5-1-2 at home last month.

Detroit has defeated the Bruins twice this season, just one of four teams to do so. The Red Wings have out-scored Boston, 10-7, including a 6-1 victory in November.

“I don’t know. We’ve played well,” forward Justin Abdelkader said. “I don’t know what it’s been. I think we play similar type systems. Babs and their coach (Claude Julien) are pretty good friends so that’s maybe why there is a similarity between the two teams.”

The red-hot Bruins haven’t lost in regulation on the road in 16 games (10-0-6), establishing a new point streak franchise record set during the 1940-41 season (9-0-6).

...

“They play a little bit different than most teams,” Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson said. “They forecheck hard when they can but if they don’t have good pressure they’re going to sit up in the neutral zone and they’re really good at it. They make it really tight in the neutral zone, and then in their end they’re tough to get a forecheck on because they use their D really well going from one side to the other. They kind of want you to commit and then they throw a cross-ice pass wide and open you up that way creating a lot of their offense from that. So spot the puck in good areas in their end and then get the forecheck from there. That’s going to be a key for our success.”

Should the Red Wings finish the regular season with the second wild-card spot, Wednesday’s game will be a preview of a first-round playoff series, though goalie Jimmy Howard doesn’t see it that way.

“It’s a totally different beast when it comes to the playoffs,” said Howard, who has a 3-1-0 record and 2.21 goals-against average in four career starts versus Boston. “I think everybody ratchets their game up. Something like that I don’t really believe.”

Update at 2:10 PM: Here's more Wings-B's stuff from the Boston Herald's Steve Conroy:

The Bruins could very well face their tomorrow night's opponent, the Red Wings, in the first round. The last time the B's went to Joe Louis Arena, the Wings crushed them 6-1.

"I'm not so much concerned that they beat us badly. We didn't play very well the last time we were in there and they actually had a real good good. So there was a big difference there," said coach Claude Julien. "But I think we have to recognize the fact that we could see them in the playoffs. It' s getting closer to being finalized here in these last few games. We need to go there with a purpose, continue to play well. As you said, it's not an absolute must-win, but we have to play better than we did the last time we were there."

Update at 2:59 PM: DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose penned a Datsyuk update:

When asked to critique Datsyuk’s improvement, Babcock said, “I’m going to assess him in the game.”

It’s clear that Datsyuk’s skating has improved over the last week, but he’s not where he needs to be, making an exact timeframe difficult to establish. Still, his teammates are anxious to get him back soon.

Without Datsyuk and captain Henrik Zetterberg, the Red Wings have heavily relied on youngsters like Gustav Nyquist, who on Tuesday was named the NHL’s Second Star of the Month for March.

Detroit has got balanced scoring from rookies and veterans with exactly half of the goals since the Olympic break coming from youngsters who were on Grand Rapids’ Calder Cup championship team last spring.

“It’s great to see him out on the ice skating and being part of practices,” Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson said. “We feel that we’re playing pretty consistent hockey right now and getting a guy with his experience and his offensive abilities, among other things, will be a big boost for this team.”

Whether Datsyuk returns Wednesday or later in the week, the Red Wings are just excited to know he’s coming back sooner than later.

“It would be huge to have Pav back,” goalie Jimmy Howard said. “He’s one of the best two-way players in the game. We could definitely use him.”

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Comments

Paul's avatar

In case you want to know, Bill Roose tweeted earlier saying Weiss skated before practice.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/01/14 at 10:43 AM ET

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Not a funny April Fools joke.

Posted by neffernin on 04/01/14 at 11:09 AM ET

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Hope he has healed up enough. Seems like he rushed back for the Olympics and was sidelined soon after. If there’s any time the Wings need him it’s now.

Posted by neffernin on 04/01/14 at 11:12 AM ET

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But I read in the comment section here—none too long ago—that Datsyuk was out for the year for sure!

Posted by captaineclectic on 04/01/14 at 11:22 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Hell, *I was pretty convinced* that Datsyuk was done for the year.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/01/14 at 11:23 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Game time decision.  WTF, let him play.  What could possibly go wrong?  Doh!

Posted by MoreShoot on 04/01/14 at 11:26 AM ET

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I can certainly understand WORRYING that Datsyuk was done for the year.  I was worried too.  But Mandingo told me I could “take it to the bank” that we wouldn’t see Datsyuk or Zetterberg the rest of the year, playoffs or no playoffs.

Must’ve been Lehman Brothers.

Posted by captaineclectic on 04/01/14 at 11:37 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Why have Datsyuk come back early and mess with what’s going on right now.  I mean, I fully believe he will be back this weekend at the absolute earliest, but I’d rather have him sit out a game (particularly Wednesday) or two extra to better his conditioning and leg strengthening this week, rather than risking a not-so-conditioned 13 who could rehash an injury.

Posted by TreKronor on 04/01/14 at 11:49 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Here’s a brief list of every player who has been injured this season that one person or another has written off for the entire year:

- All of them

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/01/14 at 11:50 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

Glad to see Pav is near coming back. I sure hope he doesnt rush it though, I dont care how much we need him. I’d be upset if the man had a serious set back.

And as for Wuuss skating, I hope that guy takes some magic medicine. But realistically, im not expecting much at all. I really do hope I’m proved wrong on this.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 04/01/14 at 11:51 AM ET

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Here’s a brief list of every player who has been injured this season that one person or another has written off for the entire year:

- All of them

True, but I think I’ve earned my gloat.  Being a good fan isn’t measured in how negative you’re capable of being about the team at any given time.  And remember that the inevitability that Datsyuk and Zetterberg would not return, no matter what, was also part of the criticism of the Legwand trade—the write-off-the-season/why-squeak-into-the-playoffs-just-to-lose-to-vastly-superior-Boston-or-Pittsburgh line.

I think a) that’s a loser attitude, and b) Holland’s personnel decisions should be judged on real world facts, not worst-case scenarios we’re capable of imagining.  Datsyuk, right now, looks like he’ll be back for our final five games or so, if not more.  That’s a good thing. 

 

Posted by captaineclectic on 04/01/14 at 11:54 AM ET

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Do not let datsyuk play against boston, for the love…. Please let him play the next 3 after that..

Posted by Pasha1277 on 04/01/14 at 11:59 AM ET

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Posted by captaineclectic on 04/01/14 at 11:54 AM ET

It’s not a loser’s attitude to say: “Is the possible upside of trading one of our best prospects worth fighting into the playoffs with slim chances of serious playoff success?” And answer that question with “No.”

There is a point in the argument where the price is too high. For me, Jarnkrok for Legwand is too high a price. By your “loser’s mentality” argument, would you have traded two of the top prospects for short-term help? Three? At what point is it worth it to sit tight? Is it a loser’s mentality to decide the price is too high to try to win?

Posted by VitoLambruski on 04/01/14 at 12:06 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

Bound to be rusty..but a rusty Pav is still better than 90% of the league

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 04/01/14 at 12:08 PM ET

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It’s not a loser’s attitude to say: “Is the possible upside of trading one of our best prospects worth fighting into the playoffs with slim chances of serious playoff success?

Well, no, and that’s not what I’ve argued.  You’ve backed “slim chances of serious playoff success” into the question, when that’s actually the topic we should be discussing.  I think—and I think Holland thinks, and is right to think—that given that

1)  This team is more talented than last year’s incarnation, and

2)  Last year’s team actually did beat the #2 seed and then took the #1 seed to 7

we have a reasonable chance of serious playoff success, whatever that is.  This team could, of course, lose in the first round—as the 2006 team, with its 124 points, also did.  And it could upset a #2 seeded Penguins and suddenly find itself well-positioned against the Rangers or Flyers in round 2. 

Now, if one disagrees with point 1) above, on the grounds that Datsyuk and Zetterberg won’t be healthy for the playoffs, that’s one thing.  But don’t make up facts in pursuit of that argument.  You should be able to criticize Holland’s decision making without making up facts to support your case.  “You won’t see Datsyuk again this season” is a made up fact.  “Zetterberg is out until at least the Eastern Conference Finals” is a made up fact.  Holland had to act based on what he knew of the real timelines—which, as present developments are bearing out, were better than the worst-case scenarios people invented.

Posted by captaineclectic on 04/01/14 at 12:15 PM ET

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I would rather see Dats NOT play wednesday. The last thing we need is for him to rush and over do it and end up on the IR for the rest of the year. Not that that won’t happen if he doesn’t rush…

Posted by teldar on 04/01/14 at 12:26 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by captaineclectic on 04/01/14 at 11:54 AM ET

In all honesty, I’m on board with your thinking. I also don’t find need in writing things off before they happen just so I can get a head start on working through potential disappointment (not saying that’s what everybody does, but it feels like it to me).

It’s just that this:

Being a good fan isn’t measured in how negative you’re capable of being about the team at any given time.

Technically being a “good fan” isn’t measured at all… or there’s at least not a universally accepted definition of how to keep score on how one fan is a better fan than another. I mean, I know I’m a better fan than anybody who likes the Blues, but that’s just my estimation of what constitutes good taste (and also it’s true; Blues fans are goddamn awful).

 

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/01/14 at 12:36 PM ET

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Technically being a “good fan” isn’t measured at all… or there’s at least not a universally accepted definition of how to keep score on how one fan is a better fan than another. I mean, I know I’m a better fan than anybody who likes the Blues, but that’s just my estimation of what constitutes good taste (and also it’s true; Blues fans are goddamn awful).

I completely agree. 

 

Posted by captaineclectic on 04/01/14 at 12:43 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I would rather see Dats NOT play wednesday. The last thing we need is for him to rush and over do it and end up on the IR for the rest of the year. Not that that won’t happen if he doesn’t rush…

Posted by teldar on 04/01/14 at 12:26 PM ET

Agree.  Tre brings up the point of not messing with what’s working right now.  I remember the times when we’ve worried about whether Feds had the stomach to lead the Wings when Stevie Y was out for the majority of the ‘01-‘02 season.  An almost identical situation here with Zata and Dangles out for most of the post-Olympic break.

Posted by SYF from Ball's Hill on 04/01/14 at 12:50 PM ET

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You should be able to criticize Holland’s decision making without making up facts to support your case.

Posted by captaineclectic on 04/01/14 at 12:15 PM ET

Predicting the future success of a prospect cannot be based on “facts.” That’s half of my argument. Predicting the ability for Zetterberg and Datsyuk to return and be in top form is also not based on fact. So you’re saying we can’t base arguments or criticisms on predicting events based not on fact but on reasonable assumption and prediction based on circumstance and probability?

Your argument that this team is better than the team that took the eventual Cup winner to game 7 is also flawed. Here’s why: Last year’s team had Zetterberg and Datsyuk in top form. This year’s team has those guys in this circumstances - Datsyuk attempting to return after 3 weeks with admitted conditioning issues and no idea what percent he’ll be at. Zetterberg may return if the team can make it at least late in the first round. How effective will he be, after not having played for 2 months and missing time before that? How effective will Datsyuk be? On paper, the team is better this year - but that becoming reality is based on what I cannot use in my argument, apparently - conjecture. In your “this year’s team is better” argument, it requires the best case scenario to work out, that the team’s top 2 stars return in time to help the team and in at least the form they were in during last year’s playoffs. I see the probability of that happening as very limited.

I still fail to see how the only way Holland DOESN’T write off the season is to trade Calle Jarnkrok and a 2nd/3rd round pick for David Legwand. Your argument suggests the team would have effectively been throwing in the towel if they didn’t make this trade. They could have also brought up Jarnkrok (who, holy crap, appears to be NHL-ready) and stuck with the program of grinding it into the playoffs. I don’t think that would have been throwing in the towel or writing off the season. Yeah, they would have been taking a risk. But they took a risk that Legwand would lead them into the playoffs and possibly beyond.

Overall, the trade for Legwand improves my idea of the probability of the team making it to the playoffs by about 10-20%. The trade for Legwand improves the chances of winning the first round only slightly. Beyond that, the Legwand trade makes for only marginally-better chances of winning the 2nd/3rd/4th rounds. Is that worth a guy with the upside of Jarnkrok? I don’t think so.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 04/01/14 at 01:16 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Oh, boy. It’s one of those days in the comments section…Please refrain from personal attacks, though I know it’s a fine line. You can assail arguments, but assailing the person behind them is not cool.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/01/14 at 01:17 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Please refrain from personal attacks
Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/01/14 at 01:17 PM ET

What are you referring to? I don’t see any; or maybe did you post this in the wrong thread?

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 04/01/14 at 01:25 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 04/01/14 at 01:25 PM ET

Sorry. Took a few minutes to sink in for me to realize that your comment was most likely intended to be preemptive.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 04/01/14 at 01:32 PM ET

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The team is playing well now, so you really do not want to mess with this too much. You obviously welcome Dats back, even at 75% he will help as long as there is no risk to aggrevate the injury. Even at 50% he will help the PP.
I also prefer him to come back against the Sabres, rather than Boston tomorrow.
As to Weiss, I would not play him now even if he is ready. He was not doing anything even when healthy and I cannot imagine him being better than anybody on the roster now after 3 months layoff.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/01/14 at 01:37 PM ET

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Your argument suggests the team would have effectively been throwing in the towel if they didn’t make this trade.

I don’t think so.  My argument is that people who argued for throwing in the towel because they *knew* that we wouldn’t see Datsyuk or Zetterberg again were making things up.  Whether the Legwand trade was a good one or not—not actually part of my posts in this thread, although I’ve defended it elsewhere—should simply be evaluated on real facts, not speculation.

Predicting the future success of a prospect cannot be based on “facts.” That’s half of my argument. Predicting the ability for Zetterberg and Datsyuk to return and be in top form is also not based on fact. So you’re saying we can’t base arguments or criticisms on predicting events based not on fact but on reasonable assumption and prediction based on circumstance and probability?

No, I’m saying that when we don’t know we should say “We don’t know.”  Not “We traded our second line center for the next ten years” [we don’t know that] “for the chance to get swept by a vastly superior team” [we don’t know that] “when Datsyuk and Zetterberg are out for the year” [we don’t know that.]

Posted by captaineclectic on 04/01/14 at 01:39 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

I can certainly understand WORRYING that Datsyuk was done for the year.  I was worried too.  But Mandingo told me I could “take it to the bank” that we wouldn’t see Datsyuk or Zetterberg the rest of the year, playoffs or no playoffs.

Must’ve been Lehman Brothers.

Posted by captaineclectic on 04/01/14 at 11:37 AM ET

You’re allowed to gloat about that. I was wrong.

I basically use this message board as an outlet for the unhealthy side of my Wings obsession, a side that is perennially fearful, childish, and overly emotional.

I find it’s better to show stupidity and weakness anonymously rather than in front of friends and family. Unfortunately that means you all have to bear the brunt of it.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 04/01/14 at 01:49 PM ET

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Fair enough. But I don’t think anyone advocated for the team not to try to win and give up on the season. The point is: what is the maximum benefit to be obtained by getting Legwand at the price of a high-upside prospect and what is the probability of obtaining the maximum benefit? Would that maximum benefit be worth it if it occurred?

I just don’t think the team inherently gives up if it doesn’t go trade for Legwand (or anyone, for that matter). The team has endured significant injuries all year. Legwand has helped the team and that’s good. But I’m not convinced, even if the team makes the playoffs, that he is worth trading Jarnkrok.

I can’t yet say at what point I would be happy with the trade, unless Jarnkrok doesn’t amount to much or returns to Sweden. If he ends up being a good NHLer, this Legwand trade will not make me happy, unless the team makes it to at least the ECF, Legwand resigns, and the team is able to acquire a top-pair defenseman.

Why do I mention the defenseman as part of the equation? Because Jarnkrok could’ve been used to get the defenseman the team really needs.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 04/01/14 at 01:54 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Overall, the trade for Legwand improves my idea of the probability of the team making it to the playoffs by about 10-20%. The trade for Legwand improves the chances of winning the first round only slightly.

I think you’re vastly underselling the effects of having a guy who can at least pretend to look like a serviceable 1C in the lineup. Calle Jarnkrok has performed well in a very sheltered role. Bringing him up might have helped on the fourth line, but the battle for the team’s 1C being between Joakim Andersson and Riley Sheahan sure would have looked like pulling the chute on the season to a lot of people.

The Red Wings are a much better team with David Legwand in their lineup than they would have been with Calle Jarnkrok there.

I find it’s better to show stupidity and weakness anonymously rather than in front of friends and family. Unfortunately that means you all have to bear the brunt of it.

I appreciate that outlook.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/01/14 at 02:14 PM ET

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I noticed Alfredsson played under 10 minutes on Sunday and didn’t practice today. Is he injured?

Posted by VitoLambruski on 04/01/14 at 02:42 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

See: Dana Wakiji’s Tweet:

#RedWings Alfredsson did not practice as a maintenance day but will play Wednesday.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/01/14 at 02:45 PM ET

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I just don’t think the team inherently gives up if it doesn’t go trade for Legwand

This isn’t about whether the team gives up, it’s about whether Holland would have been givng up, and he absolutely would have.

Can you think of any team that has made the playoffs without a single NHL centre in their lineup?  Because with Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Weiss, Helm and Andersson all injured that’s what Detroit would’ve had in their lineup: zero NHL centres.  Unless you count Emmerton, and come on…

Yes, it’s possible that not just Nyquist and Tatar but also Glendening, Sheahan, Ferraro and Jarnkrok would also prove to be capable NHL centres, with two of them being bonafide top six centres, and that this group of centres would be good enough to lead Detroit to the post-season, but what kind of GM would bet on that?

By acquiring a real, actual NHL top-six centre Holland showed faith that his team, without Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Weiss and Helm, was not far from being a playof team.  and by acquiring a real, actual NHL top-six centre Holland showed that he was not going to put everything on the shoulders of a bunch of guys like Sheahan, Glendening and Ferraro, three guys who, between them, had a combined two NHL games under their belts before this year.

As much as some might think that trading one undersized forward who made waves about going back to Sweden after this year is somehow selling off the future, I tend to think that with the way that the Griffins who have played in Detroit this year have performed, and the fact that the Wings are going to already have to make some tough decisions about guys who may be NHL ready but the team has no space for, the Red Wings’ future looks pretty OK.

Posted by Garth on 04/01/14 at 03:26 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Well.. just read through a long Datsyuk Skating With Top 6… article and then all of these posts has left me… well… kind of surly, to be honest.

And what made me surliest was nobody scratched the itch that was bothering me. Jarnkrok/Legwand… I feel I’ve heard and assimilated everything there already… got a little bit confused alone the way… and decided that George’s opinion was my opinion…

What I found really annoying in the thread was… (maybe I should ask forgiveness prematurely for being an ass?)... was a bunch of people saying,

* Datsyuk shouldn’t play against Boston,
* Datsyuk should play against Buffalo,
* Datsyuk shouldn’t be rushing back,
* I don’t want Datsyuk rushing back and having a set back
* Why are we rushing Datsyuk back.

1. This hasn’t been a quick return.
2. Datsyuk probably knows more about hockey generally than anyone posting here.
3. Datsyuk certainly knows more about Datsyuk than anyone posting here.
4. I’ll take Datsyuk’s opinion of when he should play over any of yours.

hmm… sure, it’s a little bit assholerish but not as bad as I thought it’d be.

I deserve a macaroon as a reward for sociability.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 04/01/14 at 05:28 PM ET

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2. Datsyuk probably knows more about hockey generally than anyone posting here.
3. Datsyuk certainly knows more about Datsyuk than anyone posting here.
4. I’ll take Datsyuk’s opinion of when he should play over any of yours.

hmm… sure, it’s a little bit assholerish but not as bad as I thought it’d be.

I deserve a macaroon as a reward for sociability.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 04/01/14 at 05:28 PM ET

For the record, I don’t really care either way if he plays. But if Datsyuk’s judgment of his health was so astute, he wouldn’t have played in the Olympics. He could’ve gotten several week’s rest (he didn’t play all of January and not until the final 2 games before the Olympics). Had he stayed out from January onward without attempting to return, he most likely would have returned already, since he’d have had a chance to significantly rest and rehab his knee without intermittently playing as he did.

Just a thought.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 04/01/14 at 06:20 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Hell, *I was pretty convinced* that Datsyuk was done for the year.

Datsyuk is still not 100% whether he plays or not. More than likely he will require surgery on his knee after the season ends for the Red Wings.

Posted by bigfrog on 04/01/14 at 10:13 PM ET

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Datsyuk is still not 100% whether he plays or not. More than likely he will require surgery on his knee after the season ends for the Red Wings.

Source?

Posted by captaineclectic on 04/01/14 at 10:42 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Speculation. We’re all guessing right now.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/01/14 at 10:47 PM ET

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Speculation. We’re all guessing right now.

Is it that difficult to write “I think Datsyuk might need knee surgery this offseason regardless” rather than making a factual claim that, as those of us paying attention know, is the opposite of what three doctors have said according to Holland?

Posted by captaineclectic on 04/01/14 at 10:49 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Let’s try this:

At least according to everything that I have read, over the past 3 weeks, Datsyuk was “shut down” save aggressive physical therapy on his knee and working out. In theory, this PT was supposed to both prepare him for an early-April return and it was supposed to stave off surgery.

We still don’t know what is exactly wrong with his knee, and as surgery has only been ruled out for the present moment, and he’s had knee problems in the past, it seems logical to suggest that he may need to have some goop or debris cleaned out of his knee after the season.

However, at this point, that is not based on any factual statements regarding his knee issues. We don’t know if he will play tomorrow or whether he will play on Friday, at what percentage he’s at, or how well he’s kept up his physical conditioning, though we all know that hockey players tell us that there’s nothing like being in a game, so it would be wise to keep our expectations realistic.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/02/14 at 12:07 AM ET

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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.