The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/15/11 at 05:21 PM ET
The city of Novi plans to pay tribute to Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who resides in the Oakland County community during the hockey season, by renaming the stretch of road that leads up to Novi Ice Arena. Arena Drive, a short, winding road off of Novi Road, south of West 10 Mile Road, will be renamed Nick Lidstrom Drive.
“I’m truly honored to be recognized like that and to have a street named after me,” Lidstrom said. “I know where’s it’s going to be right near the Novi Ice Arena. … I’ve had all four of my kids play hockey through that association.”
The new street sign will be unveiled during a dedication ceremony on March 24. Lidstrom will join former teammate Steve Yzerman as the only Red Wings to be recognized with a local street name.
Continued with a bit of a playful jab from Lidstrom’s carpool driver, Tomas Holmstrom, and a bit about the man who has a rink named after him in Westland. And when is the Swedish Embassy officially relocating to Novi, anyway?
A completely unrelated update: Steve Yzerman, Ken Holland and Brian Burke, talking about GM’s responsibilities:
Update #2: Completely random stuff:
• The Grand Rapids Griffins posted their weekly release, which notes that the Griffins face an unusually heavy home schedule this weekend…
Wed., March 16 - Oklahoma City Barons at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m.
Fri., March 18 - Lake Erie Monsters at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m.
Sat., March 19 - Rochester Americans at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m.
Sun., March 20 - Rockford IceHogs at GRIFFINS - 4 p.m.
Moving On Up: Thanks to a 3-0-1-0 record during last week’s road trip, the Griffins slashed their deficit in the North Division playoff race in half, from six points to just three. Having climbed into fifth place for the first time since Jan. 18, the Griffins sit just six points behind first-place Manitoba, four behind second-place Toronto, three behind third-place Hamilton (and the final guaranteed playoff spot) and two behind fourth-place Lake Erie, whom they’ll host on Friday for the final time this season.
Rollin’ on the River: Grand Rapids is 6-0-1-0 in its last seven games – its longest point streak since a nine-game winning streak from Oct. 23-Nov. 13, 2009 – a league-best 8-1-1-0 in its last 10, 9-1-1-2 in its last 13, and 10-2-1-3 in its last 16…The Griffins’ record (32-25-2-8) is seven games over 0.500 for the first time since Dec. 19, 2009.
There’s No Place Like Home: With a season-high four-game winning streak and six-game point streak (5-0-0-1) at home, the Griffins will return to Van Andel Arena on Wednesday to battle Oklahoma City and start their first-ever 4-in-5 on home ice. Friday’s titanic tilt versus Lake Erie will commence just the seventh time ever that the Griffins will play three home games in as many nights, as they’ll also host Rochester on Saturday and Rockford on Sunday. Following the conclusion of the homestand on March 23 against Toronto – their fifth home game in eight nights – the Griffins will play seven of their final eight regular season games on the road.
• In the prospect department, the Everett Herald’s Nick Patterson reports that Landon Ferraro’s still sidelined by a post-sports-hernia-surgery groin injury;
• In the “possible past and future prospect” department, the Wings sent Spokane Chiefs defenseman Brenden Kitchton back home after he broke his hand on the second day of the Wings’ prospect tournament, and boy howdy, has he ever turned into a top-notch prospect—who’s still draft-eligible:
.Brenden Kichton has 10 goals and 13 assists in his last 14 games. His 78 points are the second most all-time by a Chiefs’ defenseman and his 23 goals are third all-time. He is the first Chief defenseman since ‘93-‘94 and just the fourth in franchise history to score 20 goals in a single season. Kichton is second in the league in scoring amongst defensemen. He also leads the league with a +56. Kichton has scored two goals in a game six times this season, the last time on February 19th at Tri-City. Kichton attended the Detroit Red Wings’ Prospect’s Camp. In 70 games last year he had 4-15-19 and was +14.
• Many thanks to DetroitRedWings.com’s Jake Duhaime for mentioning Herm 2 Hockeytown 2 in his latest Hockeytown Blog;
• And in the alumni department, the St. Petersburg Times’ Damian Cristodero reports that Mattias Ritola has put his inner ear issues behind him.
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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.