The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/25/14 at 08:18 PM ET
I've spent the past two days basically hibernating after two weeks' of 2-to-4-AM wake-up calls and Olympic work, absolutely exhausted by the time change and grind. The Nicklas Lidstrom of blogging (Paul) has kept at it, however, so I'm not necessarily surprised to find that, ahead of the Wings' back-to-back games in Montreal tomorrow and Ottawa on Thursday:
- Johan Franzen won't be sure whether he's bested his post-concussive headaches until he's played in a game, which is worrisome;
- Neither Jakub Kindl (knee) nor Stephen Weiss (abdominal issue) are quite ready to play (so Ryan Sproul will make his NHL debut);
- Pavel Datsyuk came back from the Olympics with his knee feeling just as badly as it did when he left;
- And we won't know whether Daniel Alfredsson, Jonathan Ericsson, Jonas Gustavsson, Niklas Kronwall or Gustav Nyquist came back from Sochi any worse for wear until Wednesday's morning skate.
- On top of all of that, Ken Holland informed Detroit Sports 105.1 FM that he's not going to move what might become a draft-lottery-eligible 1st round pick, nor any of the team's top prospects, in order to bolster his Henrik Zetterberg-less roster with the trade deadline a little less than eight days away (and you can be most certain that the first words that come out of his managerial counterparts' mouths when talking trade turkey involve Anthony and Mantha).
I don't believe in the hockey gods--I believe that the puck has no loyalty, nor sense of "fairness," but is instead a frozen, cylindrical and merciless vulcanized rubber disc--but I do believe in a higher power, and in the words of Bill Cosby, I believe that "God has a sense of humor."
Remember October, November and December, when you and I were both incredibly frustrated with Tomas Tatar sitting in Mikael Samuelsson's stead, Gustav Nyquist stuck in Grand Rapids due to salary cap issues, and when so many of you were asking whether this offensively-challenged Wings team might be better-served seeing what Tatar, Nyquist, and of course Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan could do instead of the Samuelssons, Tootoos, Clearys and Bertuzzis?
We kind of forgot to send our requests in to the hockey gods or whatever other higher hockey power we believe in without a, "While playing alongside a healthy Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk."
For the first half of this season, Wings fans, myself included, wanted to see what "the kids" could do.
Now we're about to find out whether "the kids" can extend the Wings' playoff streak to 23 seasons, and even if they aren't able to deliver one more playoff push, their performances all but ensure that, going forward, the biggest permanent changes we're going to see on the Wings' roster will involve permanent promotions for Jurco, Sheahan and Luke Glendening.
We're getting what we asked for, friends. We just kind of forgot to be specific when we asked to finally see the Wings be forced into embracing its youth movement with both arms.
Cross your fingers, folks, because "The kids," both up front and on defense (somebody has to step up and support Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson in the points-from-the-blueline department, and Brendan Smith, Danny DeKeyser, Kindl and even Brian Lashoff seem more likely to produce than a certain Mr. Quincey), are going to be the ones who will determine whether the Wings keep playing into late April.
[edit: I know what Pat Caputo had to say trade-wise, but realistically speaking, if the Wings aren't going to move their 1st rounder and top prospects are off limits, it's going to be incredibly hard for the team to make a move]
Update: While I'm at it, here's WXYZ's Brad Galli's practice report:
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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.