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Hello, Phoenix: Detroit Red Wings serve notice that they’re playoff ready via 4-3 win over Hawks

Updated 3x—it sounds like a Wednesday-Saturday start per the Freep/News/MLive, but Trevor Thompson from Fox Sports Detroit says the series will start on Thursday: The Detroit Red Wings played an absolutely fantastic, playoff-caliber game on Sunday, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3, earning a playoff date with the Phoenix Coyotes.

If the Dallas Stars defeat Minnesota in regulation or OT, the Hawks are out, but that doesn’t matter to the Red Wings. What matters to Detroit is that they finally matched the intensity, desperation, attention to detail and effort of a team playing for its playoff life, and the Wings served notice to themselves, more than the rest of the NHL and the Coyotes, that Detroit is not going away without a fight.

Datsyuk and Lidstrom were phenomenal, Jimmy Howard showed tremendous poise and the Wings got back to basics, playing zone-coverage defense instead of chasing the puck carrier, they were efficient in moving the puck through the neutral zone with speed and without as many turnovers as usual, and they sustained possession and control of the puck in the offensive zone, went to the front of the net like they meant it, retrieved rebounds and generated secondary scoring chances.  Yes, Howard was bumped a few times and yes, the Franzen non-call was cheap, but the Wings overcame the refereeing and, perhaps moreover, overcame themselves.

More in a real recap later.

Update: According to Versus’ Steve Lepore, NBC wants to air the second Wings-Coyotes game on Saturday at 1 PM EDT, so we should assume that the Wings and Yotes will open up on Thursday at the Joe.

Update #2: For your video-watching pleasure, here’s Bert’s big hit and Datsyuk’s deke-and-dangle goal via the Red Wings’ website:

Here’s Bert’s hit…

And here’s Pavel being Pavel:


Update #3: MLive’s Ansar Khan, the Free Press’s Helene St. James and the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan note that the Wings went 2-1-and-1 vs. Phoenix, and they say that the Wings expect to open on Wednesday, not Thursday;

And the Coyotes’ website says that the Yotes will being to prepare for their series against Detroit on Monday.

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edillac's avatar

will Abdelkader get suspended for a game or two?
from what I saw he elbowed Seabreeze in the chin

Posted by edillac from isolation on 04/10/11 at 05:06 PM ET

EDJ's avatar

I don’t know if you can get suspended for something the referees didn’t call, but I hope it just gets left as hockey karma alongside the Keith high-sticking on Franzen non-call.

Posted by EDJ on 04/10/11 at 05:11 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Nothing will bring me more joy if the Wings have served as the prelude to Dallas eliminating the hipster’s choice, rent-a-hawks from the playoffs.

Chicago fan fact #1, 95% of them like a band that you probably havent heard of.

Anyway, I think Detroit matches up well against Phoenix, and I look forward to wiping that stupid look off of Shane Doan’s face two years in a row.

I am pumped about todays game!  Its good to see the Wings rounding into shape.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/10/11 at 05:15 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

Ola BITCHES.  (blatant attempt at ruffling whatshisnuts’ feathers from Chief’s post)

I missed the game but have read through the threads.  Looks like a I missed a doozy.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 04/10/11 at 05:26 PM ET

cowboycoffee's avatar

great game

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 04/10/11 at 05:35 PM ET

EDJ's avatar

Maybe the Red Wing swagger is back.

Posted by EDJ on 04/10/11 at 05:43 PM ET

hockeychic's avatar

Woo…I needed a glass of wine after that game. 

For the first (and hopefully last) time, I will actually be rooting for Dallas tonight.  Two hours to game time…must do homework.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 04/10/11 at 06:04 PM ET


great game by the wings… but wtf do hipsters have to do with hockey? and whats wrong with liking lesser known music? i bet you think the april in the d songs rule.

anyways cleary looked great tonight, like he did earlier in the season before the injury. an awesome effort by the boys, and hopefully the blackfaux lose their playoff spot with a win by dallas…. LETS GO… stars?!

Posted by lgrweh from mi on 04/10/11 at 06:06 PM ET

datsyukdanglesyou's avatar

Hopefully someone will post a link to a feed of the Dallas-Minne game later on…

Posted by datsyukdanglesyou on 04/10/11 at 06:06 PM ET


Totally different team when Datsyuk can get up to Ludicrous speed.

Forecheck = ‘On Switch?’

Posted by Wizard of Corsica on 04/10/11 at 06:25 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

I am just giddy over this ... the Gods must have wanted to save my blood pressure because just after Holmer tied the game 1-1 our freaking electricity went out and didn’t come back on till after the game was long OVER.  ...so I finally get to log on and see CHIEFS LUVLY thread   grin    and see the league tried their best to hand the game to the Squawks again ...

WAY TO GO RedWings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :::doin the snoopy dance:::  cheese

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michgian on 04/10/11 at 06:26 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

but wtf do hipsters have to do with hockey? and whats wrong with liking lesser known music? i bet you think the april in the d songs rule.

I just notice whenever the Hawks come to town their fans are usually people under thirty wearing wallet chains with bad tattoos and hairdos.  And their goal song?  Puke.  I’ll take good old blue collar Detroit myself.

I can’t wait to see all the Hawks fans jump off of the bandwagon like its a house of fire if they lose.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/10/11 at 06:34 PM ET

SpaceCityHockey's avatar

Ridiculous game.  In many different ways.  Pavs looked incredible today.  Hope to see plenty more of that going forward. 

I am a little concerned about Abbie missing a couple of games for that hit.  All hits to the head are reviewable after the fact by the league whether or not they were called on the ice.  It was not a good hit on his part.  Not the worst thing I have ever seen by far but exactly the kind of hit that they are trying to get out of the league. 

Really hope Dallas follows through tonight.

Posted by SpaceCityHockey from Houston, TX on 04/10/11 at 07:11 PM ET

Gabriel's avatar

Rummy, beverages Saturday morning?

Posted by Gabriel from San Diego, CA on 04/10/11 at 07:22 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

A huge *#$%@& win.

Rinne scares the hell outta me.  Let ANA have at him.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 04/10/11 at 07:31 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Datsyuk and Lidstrom were phenomenal

Homer was no slouch either.  cool smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 04/10/11 at 08:09 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

As for Abby, nothing happened when he got an elbow in the chin during that one Nashville game…

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 04/10/11 at 08:12 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.