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The Malik Report

Detroit’s Youngsters Get The Message

from Craig Custance of ESPN,

The message to him from the Red Wings is that he has an opportunity in training camp to make the team, a rarity for a club that rarely skips a step in the developmental cycle.

“Every player wants to rush the process,” Mantha said when we chatted after the camp. “It would be a lie telling you I want to play in Grand Rapids next year. For sure, I want to start in Detroit.”

And then there was 22-year-old Russian defenseman Alexey Marchenko, not on the ice but continuing his progress from the ankle injury that ended his AHL season. Detroit whiffed on adding a right-handed shot defensemen in free agency, with Dan Boyle and Matt Niskanen picking the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals over Detroit.

Unless Ken Holland pulls off a trade, which doesn’t happen often during Holland’s summers, Marchenko has a chance to take advantage of the lack of right-handed shots in the Detroit defense corps. He has the approval of Griffins coach Jeff Blashill, who ran the camp. Marchenko isn’t a great skater but he’s smart and makes good decisions.

“Before he got injured, I thought he was one of our best D, night in and night out in Grand Rapids,” said Blashill, who said he projected as a potential top-four NHL defenseman. “He’s an extremely efficient defenseman. He defends great, moves the puck great, creates offense without a lot of risk and to me those are the best kind of defensemen.” 

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Comments

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Heaton's avatar

I wish this were true, but it never is.  Ken Holland and Mike Babcock lie about this every season.  ‘Best players play’, not a chance.

Posted by Heaton on 07/23/14 at 10:58 AM ET

SK77's avatar

I wish this were true, but it never is.  Ken Holland and Mike Babcock lie about this every season.  ‘Best players play’, not a chance.

Posted by Heaton on 07/23/14 at 10:58 AM ET

Sorry you missed last season in its entirety.

Posted by SK77 on 07/23/14 at 11:02 AM ET

Heaton's avatar

Sorry you missed last season in its entirety.

Posted by SK77 on 07/23/14 at 11:02 AM ET

When Jurco, Sheahan, Tatar and Nyquist all made the team out of training camp?  Yeah, I guess I did miss that. 

Or when Babcock said ‘tie goes to the veteran’ and gave the nod to Samuelsson, Bertuzzi and Cleary over those guys? 

If Bertuzzi, Samuelsson and Cleary stay healthy - Jurco and Sheahan never see more than a handful of games.

Posted by Heaton on 07/23/14 at 11:06 AM ET

Avatar

If Mantha makes the team what do our lines look like? Who sits?

Posted by squints on 07/23/14 at 11:23 AM ET

SK77's avatar

Hey, buddy, it’s all on you if you want to be a bitter bitch and solely focus on the beginning of the season, ignoring the fact management learned their lesson and benched healthy veterans so the kids could play through the rest of the season and playoffs

Posted by SK77 on 07/23/14 at 11:24 AM ET

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If Bertuzzi, Samuelsson and Cleary stay healthy - Jurco and Sheahan never see more than a handful of games.

That’s absolutely correct (and I will even add Nyquist to that list) and Babcock himself admitted that he was surprised how NHL ready those young guys were.
Babcock played Cleary for 52 games last year (and in most of those games he was playing more minutes than Tatar as an example). Now Babcock says that “Cleary brought nothing last year and played on one leg”. So even if the veteran brings nothing and plays on one leg, he is still playing ahead of more deserving younger players.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/23/14 at 11:30 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

ignoring the fact management learned their lesson

With the re-signing of Cleary and Quincey, the jury is still out on whether or not they have learned their leason yet.  Only time and the training camp battles will tell.

Posted by Hootinani on 07/23/14 at 11:33 AM ET

Heaton's avatar

Posted by SK77 on 07/23/14 at 11:24 AM ET

Cleary wasn’t healthy last season, he ‘is’ now.  It’s not bitching, it’s a fact.  A waiver eligible kid has never made the team when he still had options (and stayed up the entire year).  So until it happens, I have no reason to believe it will.

Posted by Heaton on 07/23/14 at 11:34 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

I , like most other Wings fans, get frustrated when the young guys are ” over ripened ” in G.R.

However, I don’t believe for a second, that Holland & Babs sit back , twisting their mustaches and laughing, because they forced Tatar & Nyquist to play an extra year in the AHL.

Numerous examples of guys who got fast tracked to the NHL and were never heard from again, or are floundering on a 4th line somewhere else ( Fabian Brunstrom, Damian Brunner ???)

Mantha is a different animal altogether, ( 6’5 and is a pure sniper).  I suspect he gets a real chance to make the team in camp,  but even as gifted as he may be, I bet that he spends at least half the year in G.R. And I don’t have a problem with that.

Man!! the Wings may not have won the Cup in what?.........6 Years!!....GASP!!!!......but they aren’t the Oilers either.

sick

Posted by Down River Dan on 07/23/14 at 11:35 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I’m way more interested in how much time Marchenko, Sproul, Ouellet, and Backman will play with the big club than I am in trying to get Mantha more than a handful of games.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/23/14 at 11:45 AM ET

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ignoring the fact management learned their lesson

You really want to pretend they learned their lesson?  At the end of the previous season, Nyquist was playing regularly, yet he still started last season on GR and Tatar -graduating AHL-playoff MVP- started on the bench.

Then last season, Nyquist, Tatar, Sheahan and Jurco all proved they’re NHL-ready, yet there’s a good chance that Jurco starts the year in GR.  Nevermind that Callahan has to pass through waivers now, is there room for him to make the team?  If he hangs around then Jurco definitely starts in GR.

Oh, and are you pretending that the Cleary contract didn’t happen?

Yeah, it’s a “fact” that management learned their lesson.

However, I don’t believe for a second, that Holland & Babs sit back , twisting their mustaches and laughing, because they forced Tatar & Nyquist to play an extra year in the AHL.

Would you mind pointing to someone who said that’s what they do?

Accusing someone of making poor decisions isn’t the same as accusing someone of purposely making decisions that he knows will not benefit the team.

In fact, that’s kind of the point.  Not that they’re doing it on purpose, but that they honestly didn’t think that Tatar and Nyquist earned their places on the team at the beginning of last season.

Posted by Garth on 07/23/14 at 11:59 AM ET

SK77's avatar

Then last season, Nyquist, Tatar, Sheahan and Jurco all proved they’re NHL-ready, yet there’s a good chance that Jurco starts the year in GR. 

So they saw past their errors and realized all those kids could play. They sat some vets and buried others in the minors. One out of four might start the season in GR, but won’t be there for long if that does play out.

So, yeah, lesson learned. Definitely a different start than last season.

Posted by SK77 on 07/23/14 at 12:10 PM ET

Heaton's avatar

Posted by SK77 on 07/23/14 at 12:10 PM ET

Do you think Dan Cleary should play over Jurco?  Should Dan Cleary block Mantha from getting a spot?  If your answer is no, they haven’t learned their lesson.

Posted by Heaton on 07/23/14 at 12:15 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Dan Cleary blocking Mantha from getting a spot ???

Sorry, but I don’t think we’re going to be able to have a logical conversation here.

Posted by SK77 on 07/23/14 at 12:18 PM ET

Heaton's avatar

Posted by SK77 on 07/23/14 at 12:18 PM ET

A roster only allows for so many bodies, if Cleary isn’t blocking a spot, who is? 

Datsyuk
Zetterberg
Nyquist
Tatar
Sheahan
Jurco (?)
Helm
Franzen
Weiss
Alfredsson (?)
Abdelkader
Glendenning
Miller
Andersson
Cleary
Mantha

Pick 13 or 14 and tell me where Cleary fits and how he isn’t going to block Mantha.  They didn’t pay him 2.5m this season to not play.

Posted by Heaton on 07/23/14 at 12:24 PM ET

Avatar

Hey, buddy, it’s all on you if you want to be a bitter bitch and solely focus on the beginning of the season, ignoring the fact management learned their lesson and benched healthy veterans so the kids could play through the rest of the season and playoffs

Posted by SK77 on 07/23/14 at 11:24 AM ET

You forgot to account for the fact that only a horrendous season in terms of man-games lost - particularly to our “scoring” offensive players - facilitated the promotion of Sheahan, Jurco and Nyquist. You forgot to account for the fact that at the beginning of the year, this was the team’s judgment:
Emmerton > Sheahan
Cleary/Samuelsson > Nyquist/Jurco

I mean, how much more could someone’s judgment be wrong?

I’m way more interested in how much time Marchenko, Sproul, Ouellet, and Backman will play with the big club than I am in trying to get Mantha more than a handful of games.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/23/14 at 11:45 AM ET

As am I. Although Babcock continues to make the statement “we don’t score” so he may be more willing to roll the dice to add a scoring punch. Then again, Babcock also prefers low-talent players who rarely make mistakes but don’t do anything well over guys who are dynamic but make mistakes. That is, unless he has no choice.

 

Posted by VitoLambruski on 07/23/14 at 12:41 PM ET

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Forgot to add that the team judged at the beginning of the season that Tatar was also not good enough in the lineup that included Samuelsson and Cleary. You can even throw Bertuzzi in there as well, but Bert at least is a big dude and none of these guys bring that element.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 07/23/14 at 12:43 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The brass says Mantha is going to play in the top six or he’s not playing at all.  Take the best six of those names and tell me whether they block Mantha.  Then tell me if Cleary is in that list.

(Abdelkader is a different story)

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/23/14 at 12:59 PM ET

Avatar

The brass says Mantha is going to play in the top six or he’s not playing at all

I am perfectly fine with that. Jurco, on the other hand, proved that he should be in the lineup (he is better now and need to play in NHL to get better). Sending him to the minors just because he does not need to clear waivers will be another lack of judgment.

Waiving Callahan would be another mistake imo. We already know what Andersson, Cleary, Glendening, etc can do. We know their ceiling and all 3 can be very easily replaced by pretty much anybody. There is no risk in losing them to waivers. Callahan, on the other hand, can bring the element we lack and would be nice to see what he can do and give him 10-15 NHL games instead of 4-5 meaningless preseason games and then waive him.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/23/14 at 01:27 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by
     
    Garth
     
      on 07/23/14 at 11:59 AM ET

In agreement there.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/23/14 at 01:28 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Small point of contention: Marchenko’s in fact a pretty strong skater. He’s not fast but he’s very maneuverable. I’m not sure where Custance got that.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/23/14 at 01:29 PM ET

Avatar

So they saw past their errors and realized all those kids could play.

Or they had a near catastrophic amount of injuries and were forced to dress players who they didn’t feel earned a spot on the team.

And if they learned their lesson, why did they bring back Cleary instead of just giving him a PTO and making him earn his spot and why didn’t they leave a roster spot open for the young defensemen to battle for?

Remember last off-season when everyone was talking about Detroit embracing the youth movement?  What happened?  Oh yeah, Samuelsson played while Tatar sat and Nyquist rode the bus with the Griffins.

But yeah, the lipservice quotes of “Cleary will have to earn his spot” really mean that they’ve learned their lesson.

Also, I’ll be curious to see what Cleary has to do to “earn a spot”.  Last year he earned a spot despite being on one leg.  Will he have to be one of the worst forwards in pre-season?  Because he and Samuelsson both “earned” roster spots at the beginning of the season even though they were outplayed by Tatar and Nyquist.

If 2013-2014 Dan Cleary earned a spot then a supposedly healthier Dan Cleary is a virtual lock.

Posted by Garth on 07/23/14 at 01:34 PM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

The brass says Mantha is going to play in the top six or he’s not playing at all.  Take the best six of those names and tell me whether they block Mantha.  Then tell me if Cleary is in that list.

(Abdelkader is a different story)

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/23/14 at 12:59 PM ET

I agree that Cleary certainly isn’t one of the Wings’ top 6 forwards, but given the way they’ve utilized Cleary in the very recent past, I don’t think it’s absurd to wonder if they actually are going to put him in the top 6 and on the PP again.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 07/23/14 at 01:39 PM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

Posted by Garth on 07/23/14 at 01:34 PM ET

Yup.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 07/23/14 at 01:40 PM ET

awould's avatar

The player I’m most interested in is Weiss. If he’s healthy, time for the rubber to hit the road - that dude has a ton of pressure to perform.

Hey, buddy, it’s all on you if you want to be a bitter bitch and solely focus on the beginning of the season, ignoring the fact management learned their lesson and benched healthy veterans so the kids could play through the rest of the season and playoffs

Posted by SK77 on 07/23/14 at 11:24 AM ET

Soley focus on the beginning of the season? When else? The beginning of the season is when they decide who makes the roster. The better player or just the veteran player? This is when they get to make that decision with no other factors influencing the call. Last year it was Nyquist or Cleary. They chose Cleary. Later in the season it was “decided” to bring Nyquist to the roster because they had no choice because of injuries. Later, when they may have had a choice whether to keep him or send him back, Nyquist had made the decision for them by scoring goals in bunches. He had 7 pts in his first 10 games. Cleary had 8 pts all season.

If Babcock/Holland truly believed they were putting the best player on the ice in making that decision at the beginning of the season, it showed woefully poor judgment of talent and ability. That call was questioned at the time by many fans as being dead wrong. In the end, those fans were proven right. Now the same scenario is about to unfold. The fact that Cleary was even given a new contract is reason enough to doubt.

Posted by awould on 07/23/14 at 01:42 PM ET

Avatar

Later, when they may have had a choice whether to keep him or send him back, Nyquist had made the decision for them by scoring goals in bunches. He had 7 pts in his first 10 games. Cleary had 8 pts all season.

Actually, Nyquist was not waiver exempt after playing something like 3 games. So after that they had no choice but to keep him in Detroit.

Posted by George0211 on 07/23/14 at 02:01 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

That was a day that many Wings fans cheered. “Now you’re stuck with Nyquist, Kenny!” wink

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/23/14 at 02:09 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I am perfectly fine with that. Jurco, on the other hand, proved that he should be in the lineup (he is better now and need to play in NHL to get better). Sending him to the minors just because he does not need to clear waivers will be another lack of judgment.

I do agree with this, but at the point where we haven’t gotten to training camp where we see where everybody is, I’m not ready to cement it in my mind that if Jurco is sent down that it’s entirely about his waiver exempt status.

Last year, Nyquist had absolutely nothing left to learn at the AHL level in my estimation. Keeping him down because they had too many guys on the roster was a mistake and he should have been up over guys who were not going to bring as much as he did.  With Jurco, I think he’s ready for the every day ups and downs of the NHL, but I’m less convinced about whether he could use a bit more AHL time. I’m willing to be open to the idea that Jurco might get sent down because it’s actually in the best interest of the team (as a note, this involves Cleary proving that his knees are healthy and actually doing well).

Waiving Callahan would be another mistake imo. We already know what Andersson, Cleary, Glendening, etc can do. We know their ceiling and all 3 can be very easily replaced by pretty much anybody. There is no risk in losing them to waivers.

Again, I’ll argue that training camp will have a lot to say about my opinion on this, but I’m not nearly as convinced that Callahan brings something to his game that’s actually more beneficial than Joakim Andersson and I’m entirely unconvinced that losing Callahan to waivers is any more risky than losing Andersson. At the AHL level, Andersson has consistently put up more points than Callahan. I don’t know if whatever intangibles Callahan brings actually translate that well at the AHL level and I’m willing to trust that the decisions made in camp on that kind of positional battle will be fine regardless.

I know with Callahan I’m stuck on the concept of “he hasn’t proven himself” versus “he hasn’t been given a chance to prove himself!”, but I’m not terribly in love with his potential outside of knowing that the bottom of the lineup last year wasn’t good enough. Something new gives a chance of improvement, but there’s also a chance that it makes them worse.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/23/14 at 02:28 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

actually translate that well at the AHL level

should read “at the NHL level”

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/23/14 at 02:30 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

So even if the veteran brings nothing and plays on one leg, he is still playing ahead of more deserving younger players.
Posted by VPalmer on 07/23/14 at 11:30 AM ET

Babcock has said that if Cleary is still on one leg he is not playing for this team.  It’s a fair question to ask if you believe it or not.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 07/23/14 at 02:35 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

given the way they’ve utilized Cleary in the very recent past, I don’t think it’s absurd to wonder if they actually are going to put him in the top 6 and on the PP again.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 07/23/14 at 01:39 PM ET

It’s not only not absurd, I’d say it’s bordering on likely.

They’re going to give him every chance to prove that they didn’t make a mistake by signing him. And he’s not going to prove anything playing 9 minutes a night on the 4th line.

I don’t know if he’ll get Top 6 time, but I’d actually be surprised if he wasn’t used on the PP (assuming he makes the team).

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 07/23/14 at 03:32 PM ET

Avatar

Actually, Nyquist was not waiver exempt after playing something like 3 games

Actually 2 games, but who is counting:)

Posted by VPalmer on 07/23/14 at 03:39 PM ET

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Mandingo
You’re putting out all the pessimistic crap my brain wants to believe of Holland and Babcock. I haven’t been sold on Abdelkader for years and him doing nothing with Pavel giving him the puck didn’t do anything to help him in my opinion. Now you’re talking about Cleary on the pp… and I could see it happening. The management showed terrible obstinate misjudgment last year and I can see it happening again this year.

Posted by teldar on 07/23/14 at 03:40 PM ET

Avatar

Babcock has said that if Cleary is still on one leg he is not playing for this team.  It’s a fair question to ask if you believe it or not.

But Cleary was on one leg last year and brought nothing (according to Babcock) and played 52 games (and even a newcomer to this game saw he was a liability on the ice for about 51 of those games), so how are we supposed to trust Babcock and KH that the best players will play?

Posted by VPalmer on 07/23/14 at 03:41 PM ET

Avatar

I haven’t been sold on Abdelkader for years and him doing nothing with Pavel giving him the puck didn’t do anything to help him in my opinion

That’s just one of those instances where we can see Babcock’s stubbornness. He thinks something will work (Q-Smith pairing, Abby on Dats line, Franzen on Dats line, Cleary on a PP, forward at a point) and it takes him sometimes 75% of the season to admit he was wrong although everybody (including him) can see it.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/23/14 at 03:45 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I said this the other day, I don’t believe Dan Cleary dictates whether Jurco plays or not, Jurco’s spot in this lineup depends on whether Alfredson resigns IMO. If Alfie is back, he bumps Jurco out of the top nine, and back to GR. I also don’t think he factors into Callahan getting ice time either, though he could likely directly impact him being waived.

With Hank and Pav getting older, and their injuries, there’s no reason to have them on the PK anymore. Either way, the 4th line has to be all guys who are first over the boards on the PK unit IMO.  I only watched a select handful of GR games, unsure if he handled spot PK duties, but I don’t think Jurco’s best use is on a defensive line with PK duties.

Hank/Pav/Abby
Mule/Weiss/Alfie
Gus/Shehan/Tatar
Miller/Helm/  Pick your fringe bench player… Glenny/Anderson/Cleary/Callahan

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 07/23/14 at 05:27 PM ET

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I think what it all comes down to is they need to let go of some of the third and fourth liners and fill their spots with younger guys on the way up who have more skill. Or the third line… which means the second line. If Weiss isn’t able to play well this year, they need to file a grievance with the league about the groin issues. Abdelkader should be a guy who is a prime candidate to be replaced by Mantha or someone else from GR with more skill and offensive upside. Abdelkader should be fighting for a 4th line spot since that seems to be about where his hands level is. And he makes too much for a 4th liner. Like Cleary.

Posted by teldar on 07/23/14 at 05:53 PM ET

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Murray, I would just put players in the position where they belong IMO and in that case both Jurco and Alfy wil be in the lineup.

Hank/Pav/Nyquist
Mule/Weiss/Alfie
Jurco/Sheahan/Tatar (best line last year, why separate them)
Miller/Helm/Abby

Nyquist could be switched with Franzen or Alfy.

And you have your penalty killers (4th line plus Weiss or Franzen). Weiss was killing penalties in Florida, but if he is not healthy enough, Franzen can do it (and the more responsibility you give to the guy, the better).

Posted by VPalmer on 07/23/14 at 06:28 PM ET

Avatar

The top tier young guys came up very quickly and had significant roles quickly. The second tier young guys came up more slowly and it took them longer to have established, significant roles… and in some cases (Emmerton, for example) they never got them.

The problem isn’t with Wings management in not bringing up young players, it’s in the vast majority of those who can’t distinguish between first tier and second tier prospects, how they should be treated differently, and how truly few first-tier prospects Detroit actually has.

Further, vets were soundly passed over for roles by much younger players all over the place during Babcock’s tenure, which gives the lie to the position that he doesn’t move kids up quickly enough.  Ericsson was playing big playoff minutes immediately.  Smith and Kindl were playing over Colaiacovo, and others.  Howard passed Osgood.  Dekeyser passed Quincey and nearly even Ericsson.  Brunner off the plane had a 16 minute a night gig in the top 6 (until he lost it).  Andersson had a strong role on the team very quickly as well.  Helm had a big role early.

In the opposite direction, vet players like Cleary (17+ to 13:54), Bert (16:46 to <15), Sammy (15+ to a healthy scratch), Eaves (13:26 to a scratch), Osgood (starter to 15 game a year backup), White (23 minutes a night to a scratch), and others all saw their roles reduced to accommodate the larger responsibilities that younger players earned.  Not had given to them.  Earned.  Other vets the team got never traction on the roster in the first place (Commodore, Huskins, etc.).

The narrative that Holland and Babcock somehow deny young talent in order to just play vets is absurd to those who know the history.  For example, look at the commentary building around Jurco, who was unimpressive last year.  Fans are now trying to build momentum around the narrative that if Jurco isn’t on the opening day roster, why, it’s strike number 400 against Babcock and Holland as they deny yet another obviously NHL-ready forward his ‘due’.

Jurco wasn’t very good last year.  Not at all.  Another full year in the AHL wouldn’t hurt him one little bit.

Finally, at some point, in order for this ‘Babcock and Holland don’t like or play youth’ narrative to not sound ridiculous there’s going to have to be some young players Detroit doesn’t play who go elsewhere and don’t suck there too.

but I’d actually be surprised if he wasn’t used on the PP (assuming he makes the team).

Cleary was 13th in PP TOI/g last year.  Behind Jurco and Sheahan.  I think he’ll be ‘used’ on the PP, but barring injury ahead of him he’ll be used similarly to last year.  Little.

Last year, Nyquist had absolutely nothing left to learn at the AHL level in my estimation.

The obvious problem here being that in his first 40 NHL games over the course of two years Nyquist was, like Jurco, unimpressive.  Yes, after a third year into the NHL Nyquist caught fire and had a crazy year, but if anything that supports the position Jurco may not be ready to be a full time NHLer yet.

Lastly, the consistent flaw people bake into their accusations of mishandling the Nyquist roster situation is in presuming that had he been up day 1 he’d have played like he did when he was called up later, as opposed to how he played over his previous 40 NHL games… or, say, his final dozen games to end the season.  Or the 8 or 10 game goal droughts he had last year as well.  Heck, had he ‘made’ the team out of camp he’d have started off the year buried on a third line, at best, with limited to no PP time behind D, Z, Franzen, Alfredsson, Weiss… being called up and immediately used in a higher-profile role later in the season after getting on a role in the AHL to start the season may have been a more beneficial use of him over that time.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/23/14 at 08:10 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

*Looks at “rules of hockey”*

*Looks to find out whether players must be absolutely dominant to justify being called up, or whether they’re allowed to have hiccups and show flashes of brilliance and sometimes be “not very good”*

*Finds no evidence for the former rule*

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/23/14 at 08:58 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.