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The Malik Report

Ken Holland gives the Red Wings a first-round assessment

Updated 2x at 10:45 PM: Amongst the “Wings return home” stuff, nothing necessarily stood out per se, but the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff delivers and off-day knockout by speaking to Red Wings GM Ken Holland about the team’s first-round performance and hopes going forward:

“We’re a veteran team,” Holland said. “We’ve been through the playoff battles and we know what it’s all about. You look at Game 1. We’re down 1-0 two minutes in, and then they get a five-on-three. I thought we did a great job of staying in the game and then turning the game in our favour in the second period. When you talk about the elements needed to win, patience is one of them, and I thought our team was patient in Game 1, and that was one of the reasons why we were able to win.”

With a few days to rest and relax before launching into second-round play, Holland is confident that his team will be ready to go when the call comes, indicating that both of Detroit’s injured forwards, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen, will be game-ready by then. “Obviously, the guys have got to feel good about themselves,” he said. “We’ve played good hockey and we’ve gotten better and better as we’ve gone along, but I still think our team can play better. We’re going to get some important pieces back, and I think our confidence is really starting to build.”

Holland insisted he wasn’t worried by his club’s second-half slump, citing numerous injuries for greasing the skids. “We’ve got a veteran group,” Holland said. “The good thing about a veteran group is that they don’t get too high, they don’t get too low. You lose 10-3 to St. Louis, then we had a big game in Nashville and we go in and win. When you have successes, you but them behind you. When you have failures, you put them behind you. Every game has got a lot of roller coasters in it and every series has got a lot of roller coasters in it. The veteran players have been through that so many times, that they know to continue to stick to the same things that got them here.

“We played really good hockey up until Christmas, then we got hit with a lot of injuries. We hung in there and for whatever reason, coming out of the all-star break, we got really inconsistent.”

Quick update: NHL.com’s Jerry Brown posted a belated set of quotes from the Wings’ locker room after last night’s game, all discussing rest, rebounding from the 2-1 and 3-2 deficits and Mike Modano’s return to the lineup as a last-minute injury replacement for Johan Franzen.

Quick update #2: Via the Red Wings’ Facebook page, here’s Patrick Eaves, Nicklas Lidstrom, Jimmy Howard and coach Mike Babcock talking about coming home with the first round behind them:

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About The Malik Report

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.