The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/17/12 at 12:38 AM ET
Updated, of course, at 10:51 PM: Paul might wonder if I’m trying to take out a monopoly on the front page given today’s Red Wings-related activity, given the Shanban post, the Black Aces press release, the epic practice post (I actually put about eight hours of work into that one), news about the Red Wings’ uptick in revenues, the pre-game playoff festivities post, Brad Stuart’s take on the lack of respect between players and our first “Everybody panic about Nicklas Lidstrom!” story of the spring….
So one tends to tread carefully in the evening, especially given that what rolls in during the evening hours is either a) redundant, b) will likely find use in the game set-up thread or c) both. That being said, I can’t in good conscience allow these stories to “sit” until morning, so, in bullet point form, you should know that…
• The Tennessean’s Josh Cooper spoke to the Predators about their potential line changes and the high likelihood that Jordin Tootoo won’t play on Tuesday;
• Johan Franzen has regrets. NHL.com’s Brian Hedger says spearing David Legwand when legwand grabbed Franzen from the Predators’ bench is not one of them;
• The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness took note of the Wings’ line changes and their desire to have a strong start on Tuesday;
• Pleiness also reiterated Darren Helm’s comments from his press conference on Monday;
• Fellow Macomb Daily scribe Fred Costello filed a Predators notebook, mostly focusing upon Pekka Rinne’s dominant play;
• Shea Weber? Let’s all be surprised that MLive’s Brendan Savage reports that Mike Babcock still likes him;
• The Tennessean’s Cooper also filed a Red Wings notebook which appears on the CBC, discussing Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler’s scoring struggles;
• Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner touched upon the Wings’ desire to start faster, stay more discipline and Jimmy Howard‘s desire to match, if not exceed, Rinne’s play;
• The Grand Rapids Griffins filed a year-in-review press release, and if you missed it, the Grand Rapids Press’s Peter J. Wallner offered five reasons why Griffins coach Curt Fraser should retain his job;
From Red Wings TV producer @Will_Posthumus:
Today, Predators players were using the ping pong tables in the hallway outside of the locker rooms. Todd Bertuzzi saw this and then…
— Will Posthumus (@Will_Posthumus) April 17, 2012
…told them if they wanted to play they needed their own table, then folded up the table, and rolled it into the Wings locker room. #boom — Will Posthumus (@Will_Posthumus) April 17, 2012
• In more serious news, Kris Draper (who attended Monday’s practice, as you’ll see in the News and Freep’s galleries), spoke to the Flint Journal’s Rob Maghielse about the passing about Bob Perani;
• And in a similar vein, I need to let you know that I’m going to be gone from about 3 PM tomorrow until possibly game time—meaning many game-day stories will be missed—because a gentleman who was one of my mother’s and my physicians for the past 30 years passed away due to cancer, after a very long fight, and we’re going to be making a trek from here in South Lyon to the far, far East Side suburbs to attend his wake. The drive will be daunting in itself due to traffic and the fact that it’ll probably be 110 or 120 miles round trip, and while we knew that the doctor was going to pass away for…At least a year…Saying goodbye is never simple. That’s gonna be my priority on Tuesday afternoon and evening.
Update: Speaking of weighty issues, sometimes the problem with my burning out and depressive episodes involves serious things, like my mom’s skin cancer issue (she’s fine, and I made peace with her doc’s passing a while ago, so don’t worry about that), and sometimes the plain burnout part comes from the fact that information comes in almost incessantly in the playoffs, and I tend to not know how to allow myself to take a break and sleep, feeling very guilty if I dare step away from my post to rest or do anything else.
Amongst the stories that rolled in while I was writing the update you’ve just read:
• The New York Times’ Joanne C. Gerstner wants us to know that Shea Weeber is a really good player, even if Red Wings fans don’t like him very much (honestly, did Gary Bettman tell every member of the press that they had to write something nice about Shea Butter after daring to criticize his play and/or lack of a suspension?);
• Tomorrow morning, an article about Paul Gaustad and the various Predators storylines of note from Monday will appear in the Detroit Free Press, penned by George Sipple, but the Sacramento Bee provides an early version thereof, as well as a notebook in which Sipple and Helene St. James take note of Valtteri Filppula’s offensive struggles;
• And in all honesty, in the quest for quotes, I accidentally omitted the best part of the AP’s Larry Lage’s “Everybody Panic about Nick Lidstrom!” story, because the opening paragraphs, not the comments from Weber, Predators GM David Poile or anyone other than Lidstrom’s carpool partner, are the most revealing in a positive way:
Nicklas Lidstrom expects his next game-day trip to Joe Louis Arena to be like any other - even though it might be his last.
The Detroit Red Wings captain planned to carpool and have dinner with Tomas Holmstrom before Game 4 against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. While eating their usual meal of spaghetti - meat sauce on half and palmina sauce on the other - with chicken on the side, neither Swede plans to wonder if that will be their last supper in the Motor City as teammates.
If the Predators win and take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, though, it might be.
“I don’t try to think too much about it,” Holmstrom said Monday. “We have to enjoy this playoff and we have to win one game to get back in the series.”
Before the first-round series started, Lidstrom reiterated he hadn’t thought about whether this will be his last NHL season. How does he keep that topic off of his mind?
“I’ve gotten pretty good at it the last two years,” Lidstrom joked.
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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.