The Malik Report
by George Malik on 11/02/11 at 02:18 PM ET
As Paul noted this morning, a certain Red Wings defenseman who tends to knock his opponents into next week was picked Minnesota Wild captain Niklas Kronwall prior to getting near the puck via a shoulder to the head, directly resulting in the Wild’s game-winning goal, but MLive’s Ansar Khan thankfully reports that the only reason Kronwall was unavailable to the media after the game had more to do with the NHL’s concussion protocol than anything else:
Quick update from the start of today’s Detroit Red Wings practice at Joe Louis Arena: Defenseman Niklas Kronwall is skating and general manager Ken Holland said he is fine and will play Thursday against Calgary (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net Detroit).
Kronwall was shaken up in Tuesday’s 2-1 overtime loss to Minnesota, when he took a shoulder or elbow to the head from Mikko Koivu seconds before Devin Setoguchi’s overtime goal.
I’m not sure that I’d call Koivu’s hit on Kronwall an intentional head shot—maybe it was a gratuitous hit that didn’t need to be so high—but I do think it was a penalty as Koivu prevented Kronwall from getting to the puck by bumping #55 prior to the puck entering the players’ respective vicinities. The fact that Devin Setoguchi got tied up with Jimmy Howard by running him prior to scoring the game-winning goal didn’t help, either…
Update: One more thing, via a press release: Gustav Nyquist’s first go-round with the Wings was a short stint:
RED WINGS REASSIGN GUSTAV NYQUIST TO AHL
… Rookie Center Made NHL Debut Last Night Versus Minnesota …
Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings today announced that 22-year-old forward Gustav Nyquist has been reassigned the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL). After being recalled from Grand Rapids on Monday, Nyquist made his NHL debut at Joe Louis Arena last night, logging 11:07 worth of ice time during a 2-1 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild.
Currently 5-4-1 on the season, Detroit is back in action tomorrow night when the Calgary Flames pay a visit to the Motor City for a 7:30 p.m. showdown at The Joe. The first 7,500 fans in attendance for this ‘Bobblehead Thursday’ contest will receive a free Henrik Zetterberg bobblehead compliments of the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), home of the Red Wings’ team doctors. Five (5) of the bobbleheads given away at this game will be brandished with a distinct marking on the inside of the box lid. Fans receiving these specially-marked bobbleheads will win a post-game meet-and-greet with Zetterberg outside of the Red Wings’ locker room.
Nyquist looked pretty good for a player engaging in his first NHL action, and in addition to having a very bright future at the NHL level down the line (though he does need to earn oodles of ice time while adjusting to a 70+-game season grind against bigger, stronger and older players in the AHL first), he’s certainly serving notice to players like Tomas Tatar that there’s a new forward at the top of the Wings’ AHL depth chart, and the rest of ‘em, rookies included, have to step up big time if they expect to join the big club before Nyquist becomes a full-time NHL’er sooner than later.
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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.