The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/20/13 at 11:40 AM ET
Ugh. The Red Wings lost Mikael Samuelsson to a possibly broken left hand before yesterday night's loss to Nashville, and Jimmy Howard had to leave the game due to "blurry vision, yielding a boatload of worry for Red Wings fans. At this point, we'd all just like to learn what's going on with said players, but, via RedWingsFeed, MLive's Brendan Savage reports that Wings GM Ken Holland has no timeline in terms of finding out what ails both players:
"I don't even know when they're going to see the doctor. Some point in time today," Holland said. "The way it usually happens is if there's anything significant that happens, they usually call me. If it's not significant, I usually hear tomorrow morning. I don't know when I'm going to know."
Holland said if he hasn't heard anything by this afternoon he'll reach out to trainer Piet Van Zant to get an update. Samuelsson said after the game in Nashville that his hand was painful, more so when he moved it than when he did not.
"The hand ... with Mike Samuelsson, whatever it is today it is tomorrow," Holland said.
Two more Red Wings-related stories popped up this morning, and they might as well be squeezed into this entry. RedWingsCentral's Matthew Wuest took note of Landon Ferraro's resurgent play with the Grand Rapids Griffins in his weekly prospect report (which is big news given that the injuries Ferraro suffered as a junor-aged player reduced his status to something of an afterthought in many scouts' eyes)...
Second-year pro Landon Ferraro has been one of the driving forces behind the Griffins’ run to the top of the American Hockey League’s Midwest Division, playing in all situations while sitting third in team scoring with 16 goals and 17 assists for 33 points in 47 games.
Just 21, Ferraro — who has missed the past two games with an injury — is starting to look like the player who was ranked a consensus first-rounder back in his draft year back in 2009.
“Landon’s certainly been a big part of our team and any success we’ve had,” said Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill. “Landon plays in all situations — five-on-five, power play, penalty kill and last minute, up a goal and down a goal, and that speaks to the versatility in his game.”
“Landon has a great asset of speed and a great ability to shoot the puck,” Blashill said. “As he continues to build his game, and we’ll continue to talk about doing everything right every shift, I really believe he becomes an NHL prospect.”
Blashill said he has been impressed with Ferraro’s ability to “self-create” offense as well as play both centre and wing. Ferraro, who has always had good hockey sense, is also mastering the finer details of playing smart defensive hockey.
“He’s working hard to become that well-rounded player and understanding that that’s going to give him his best chance of playing in the NHL, to be somebody counted on offensively and defensively,” Blashill said.
Wuest offers some intriguing statistical updates and news about Rasmus Bodin as well...
And DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose offers a scouting report and/or "At a Glance" look at tomorrow night's Wings opponent, the Columbus Blue Jackets:
The Columbus Blue Jackets are scheduled to arrive in town today where they are expected to meet their new general manager. Hired on Feb. 13 as the third GM in club history, Jarmo Kekalainen, was to fly to the United States and rendezvous with his new team in the Motor City on Wednesday. The 46-year-old former GM of Jokerit in the Finnish Elite League is awaiting final approval on a work visa, which is expected to be completed soon.
Valtteri Filppula is very familiar with the Jackets’ new GM, who signed the Red Wings’ forward during the NHL lockout. Also on this year’s Jokerit team are Filppula’s brother, Ilari, and Red Wings’ top prospect Teemu Pulkkinen. Forward Ben Eaves, brother of Patrick Eaves, was also on the roster earlier in the year.
Plenty of work lies ahead for Kekalainen, who must sort out the Blue Jackets’ inconsistency this season. The worst team in the league, with a 4-10-2 record, Columbus, understandably so, is also near the bottom of the league’s power play efficiency list (13.3 percent), though they’re in middle of the road on the penalty kill (81.2 percent).
Only four Blue Jackets’ regulars – Jared Boll (+4), Nick Foligno (+2), Derek MacKenzie (+1) and Mark Letestu (+1) – are on the positive side of the plus/minus rating.
It’s the third of five meetings between these Central Division rivals, but the first at Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings and Blue Jackets battled twice in the first two weeks of the season. Detroit eked out a 4-3 shootout win on Jan. 21, and Columbus claimed a 4-2 victory on Feb. 2. Both games were at Nationwide Arena.
PLAYER TO WATCH D JAMES WISNIEWSKI – The Canton, Mich., native returned to the Blue Jackets’ lineup on Monday following the birth of his daughter last weekend. Wisniewski has three goals and seven points this season, where he’s mainly been partner with former Michigan defenseman Jack Johnson. However, the two offensive-minded partners were recently split up and aligned with more defensive-thinking defensemen, though the two will likely continue to work the point together on the power pay. Still, expect to see Wisniewski playing alongside John Moore, and Johnson with veteran Adrian Aucoin when the team is at full strength. … Thursday’s game at The Joe will be Wisniewski’s 25th career game against Detroit. He’s produced three goals and seven points against the Red Wings. He’s also collected 38 penalty minutes against his hometown team, his highest total among all NHL clubs.
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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.