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Detroit Red Wings At Practice Before Facing Toronto Tonight

All via tweets from Ansar Khan,

Abdelkader (lower body injury) not skating today. Bertuzzi is skating. Oddly, Smith is wearing white jersey, skating with bottom 6 forwards.

Helm on the ice but not taking part in drills. Looks like Mrazek will back-up Howard tonight. Gustavsson spending much of practice on side.

Ferraro is here practicing.

Alfredsson skating with Legwand and Franzen. Nyquist skating with Sheahan and Tatar.

added 11:19am, Khan tweet again,

Babcock said Abdelkader out up to 2 weeks with cut in leg from skate.

Babcock said Bertuzzi game time decision. If he can't play Ferraro will make NHL debut and Smith will play at forward.

added 11:42am, Smith talks about moving to forward, watch it below...

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Comments

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alwaysaurie's avatar

Smith!?

hmm…

Posted by alwaysaurie on 03/18/14 at 11:14 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

either it’s genius or folly.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/18/14 at 11:26 AM ET

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Still no Callahan call up?  Smith at forward?

Posted by bababooey on 03/18/14 at 11:28 AM ET

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What the Hell, right?  It’s not like conservative personnel decisions are working.

Posted by captaineclectic on 03/18/14 at 11:28 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Smith and Ericsson are both D-men who play more like forwards anyway (although Ericsson is finally getting to be a lot more responsible).

So about that draft lottery…

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 03/18/14 at 11:30 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Two words: Brent Burns

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/18/14 at 11:31 AM ET

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I’m having trouble counting to 12 (forwards): IF Bertuzzi can’t play, then we need Ferarro and Smith to play forward? Who else is missing? I’m counting 12:

Franzen   Legwand   Alfredsson
Tatar     Sheahan   Nyquist
Tootoo   Glendenning   Miller
Pulkinnen   Emmerton   Ferraro/Bertuzzi/Smith

What am I missing?

Posted by AceDefender on 03/18/14 at 11:33 AM ET

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I have wanted to see Smith at forward before. I love seeing him on the rush on the offensive zone. Hate seeing him near our own net. Beng a d-man is not the best for that.

Posted by lancer on 03/18/14 at 11:34 AM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Abdelkader was cut?

Did anyone else notice that, I sure as feck didn’t… all of the supposition I saw was about a cramp or a groin.

Worse, tho’... out 2 weeks from a cut on the leg?

That sounds like it was an extremely deep cut.

G’luck, Abby!

Posted by alwaysaurie on 03/18/14 at 11:35 AM ET

peiz11's avatar

At least i’m never bored with this team.

Posted by peiz11 from Minneapolis on 03/18/14 at 11:36 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Hey, maybe it will rub off..

Cotsonika tweet,

Wings are so injured, desperate they are trying Brendan Smith at forward. Hasn’t played up front since 15, 16 on line with Tavares, Gagner.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/18/14 at 11:37 AM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

Never a dull moment this year.  It at least makes the game more interesting to watch.

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 03/18/14 at 11:43 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Besides the short video I just posted about Smith talking about his move to forward, also check out these videos from Pleiness- Smith talking about being surprised by the move and Ferraro interview.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/18/14 at 11:44 AM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

I’m having trouble counting to 12 (forwards): IF Bertuzzi can’t play, then we need Ferarro and Smith to play forward? Who else is missing? I’m counting 12:

Franzen   Legwand   Alfredsson
Tatar   Sheahan   Nyquist
Tootoo   Glendenning   Miller
Pulkinnen   Emmerton   Ferraro/Bertuzzi/Smith

Smith said he thinks he’s with Pulkinnen and Emmerton. Maybe TooToo is out?  Can you do that though with an emergency call up?

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 03/18/14 at 11:47 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Bob Duff says Tootoo is out

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/18/14 at 11:53 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

This is beyond Jobu’s doings…. jeebsus.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 03/18/14 at 11:59 AM ET

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Queue the Yakety Sax….

This team is cursed.

Although I am happy Smith is getting a crack at forward. I actually think if they moved him up there, he’d be a good forward after a little seasoning.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 03/18/14 at 11:59 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Yes, it looks like Tootoo is out, Wings posted lineup...

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/18/14 at 12:00 PM ET

Tracy from T-Town Hockey 's avatar

Poor Tootoo. We are moving someone over from Defense so you won’t play.  You can hear the nervousness in Smith’s voice.

Posted by Tracy from T-Town Hockey on 03/18/14 at 12:04 PM ET

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Have we literally lost a player every game since Montreal?  It’s close, right?

Ottawa—Datsyuk hasn’t played since this game.

New Jersey—although Helm was hurt against Ottawa, he dressed and played in this game, leaving between the second and third periods.

Colorado—I don’t think anyone was hurt here.

New Jersey again—Gustavsson played and got the win, but has been out since—this counts.

Rangers—Andersson broke his foot.

Columbus—Jurco broke his ribs.

Edmonton—lost Bertuzzi after this game.

Chicago—Abdelkader cut by skate.

Bets on tonight?  It’s about time for Franzen to go down again, don’t we think?  Or maybe Legwand for the season.

Posted by captaineclectic on 03/18/14 at 12:10 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

He cannot possibly be a worse forward than he is a defenseman.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 03/18/14 at 12:12 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Smith up front?  Hey, go for it.  He tries to play Forward every game anyways.

Maybe he can channel little brother Reilly’s scoring aptitude for this game…

Posted by TreKronor on 03/18/14 at 12:14 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Been hoping for this for a while.  A gritty offensive minded forward.  Less defensive responsibility should open up his game and maybe let him relax and play a bit more instinctively which I think is when he’s the best.  I’m excited for this move

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 03/18/14 at 12:20 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Everyday I says to myself “I really like this team!” 

Mainly because everyday it is a different team.

LGRW !!!!!

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, doing the pre-season shuffle.... on 03/18/14 at 01:28 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Everyday I says to myself “I really like this team!”

Mainly because everyday it is a different team.

LGRW !!!!!

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, enjoying a martini, or two….. on 03/18/14 at 01:28 PM ET

Sure hope you’re enjoying this season with a BACON martini, Rummer. 

Ah, hell.  With the way this season’s going, may even try Errorson on the forward ranks as well.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 03/18/14 at 01:32 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Smith worried that it might be a demotion (i.e., fewer minutes).  If it works, Abbey could have the same worry, cause there’s no way Smith could have worse hands then him.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/18/14 at 01:34 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

and Smith will play at forward.

And, win the Selke! wink (best defenseman/forward)

Whatever it takes to make the Playoffs!

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/18/14 at 01:55 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Smith worried that it might be a demotion

Probably more worried because if this doesn’t work, where do you go from there?

Posted by Hootinani on 03/18/14 at 02:03 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Note to self:

Stop reading fellow-fans comments on Smith, you just get covered in mud and the fellow-fans like it.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 03/18/14 at 02:16 PM ET

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Good job Bab’s. Scratch Tootoo even though he usually plays smart, isn’t known to turn the puck over, brings grit, speed, determination, and fists that are willing to stand up for our guys, and then put Smith in as a forward to replace him. Much as I predicted when I heard Tootoo was actually going to play the other day, he would get little to no ice time then be scratched the next game. Obviously Bab’s dislikes Toot’s. I guess at least when Smith turns the puck over tonight as a forward he will be more likely to do it in the other teams end of the rink rather than right in front of his own net, and then give the Wings a chance to recover from his marvelous giveaways instead of it leading to an instant goal for the other team. So right there I guess the Wings chances of winning are improved, right? Bab’s coached two teams full of all stars and future hall of fame players to gold medals so obviously he knows what he’s doing, right? One of the best coaches in the NHL, right? Yeah. 

Posted by Howdy Gordie on 03/18/14 at 02:17 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Probably more worried because if this doesn’t work, where do you go from there?

Smith 2.0: Sproul ?

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/18/14 at 02:30 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Obviously Bab’s dislikes Toot’s

Whatever Tootoo brings, he does bring it at 100%. I don’t get why Blabbles dislikes him.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/18/14 at 02:30 PM ET

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I don’t mind this at all. I think I even asked for something like this after his giveaway which caused the 1-1 goal the other night. He’s obviously played forward before. He skates well. Good shot. Not getting it defensively. I know it’s not like they have defensemen to burn, but this is something that might help the offense go.

Posted by teldar on 03/18/14 at 02:42 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I would be more ok with it if it was game 15 instead of 15 games to go.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/18/14 at 02:56 PM ET

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Good job Bab’s. Scratch Tootoo even though he usually plays smart, isn’t known to turn the puck over, brings grit, speed, determination, and fists that are willing to stand up for our guys, and then put Smith in as a forward to replace him.

I don’t get why Blabbles dislikes him.

I’m sure he’s a wonderful guy, but with all the injuries the Wings don’t need a guy who brings it 100% when the “it” he brings isn’t offense or defense.

If the choice is between a playing a forward who brings grit and fists but nothing else or having a defenseman who can bring grit, fighting and the ability to play offense, it seems like a pretty easy decision to me..

If you’ve got a stacked team and you want someone to keep the flies off, sure I can get dressing Tootoo, but when your team is decimated by injuries with a roster made up mostly of bottom six forwards and AHL callups and you’re desperately trying to score goals in order to keep your playoff hopes alove then there is really no sense in playing Tootoo.

Posted by Garth on 03/18/14 at 03:03 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Posted by Garth on 03/18/14 at 03:03 PM ET

Desperate times call for desperate measures. If the chance of Tootoo scoring are the same as Smith scoring, I would want,Tootoo. He is an experienced forward. I don’t think now is the time to experiment. 


Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/18/14 at 03:21 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Obviously Bab’s dislikes Toot’s

Right, and that would explain why Tootoo played the previous game for the Wings. 

I don’t think now is the time to experiment. 

High risk, but we don’t have a choice.  No turning back, and the only place we can truly go from here is up in the standings, because playing the same or worse still means being out of playoff contention.

Posted by TreKronor on 03/18/14 at 03:27 PM ET

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I don’t think now is the time to experiment. 

Jesus, really?  When is the time to experiment, then?

Posted by captaineclectic on 03/18/14 at 03:30 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

What makes anyone think that Smith is a going to be responsible up front if he can’t cut his only function on the team.  I truly hope it works.


As I have said before. Anything to make the Playoffs.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 03/18/14 at 03:38 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

What makes anyone think that Smith is a going to be responsible up front

In fairness to Smith, he played forward until he was 16 or 17 or whatever.  He has untimely tendencies to sneak up on the play, so maybe it will play out well. 

I don’t know, but honestly I’m a bit excited to see how it works out, and if they change it halfway through the game.

BUT, I have a feeling he is going to find himself out of position and take a bad penalty tonight.  Wait, he does that most nights anyways… :/

Posted by TreKronor on 03/18/14 at 03:50 PM 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.