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The Malik Report

On The Positive Side

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

They hope Howard’s 44-save performance in Saturday’s 5-1 victory at Dallas is a sign of things to come.

Fortunately, backup Jonas Gustavsson, though continuing to battle groin issues, has stepped up when healthy. He has been their savior, going 11-3-2, with a 2.39 GAA.

“Gustavsson’s been a great story on the positive side,” Holland said.

There are other positives:

They have flourished on the road (13-4-3). Their best players (Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall) have been strong. Alfredsson, at age 41, looks rejuvenated. Franzen, before his concussion, was displaying the kind of consistency he’s been lacking for several years. Young players like Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and DeKeyser have provided a spark.

“On one hand, I’m disappointed where we’re at from a points standpoint, but there are (39) games left,” Holland said. “A lot of things aren’t nearly as good as I expected when we built this team in the summer, but the good news is we’re not that far out.”

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Comments

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I just hope Franzen is the same when he gets back. And we’re completely healthy when the playoffs come around. And that we make the playoffs.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 01/06/14 at 09:50 AM ET

Zqto's avatar

Yeah, I feel I dont even know what this team is capable of, if we get healthy
I dont even know what our lineup would be, with all the cap and stuff

Posted by Zqto on 01/06/14 at 10:19 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

“we’re not that far out” is the new “I like our team” ?

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/06/14 at 10:32 AM ET

DocF's avatar

Well, if Howard is in fact healed up and playing good hockey, then the Red Wings are in fairly good shape.

Datsuyk, Helm, and DeKeyser need to get back soon.  Franzen needs to be completely healed before he is brought back.  He cannot be playing hurt and distracted.

The team can live and prosper without Weiss and certainly Samuelsson.  Cleary has been playing very good hockey recently and was actually one of the best players at Ann Arbor.  Perhaps this is because the ice conditions slowed everyone down to his speed.  Brendan Smith has been playing much better too.  When he keeps his game simple, he can be very effective.  Kindl seems to be emerging from his blue funk. 

I would be reluctant to send Glendenning back to Grand Rapids as he is doing a fine job as the fourth line center.    Among the forwards, Bertuzzi is showing signs of becoming Ballerina Bert once again.  When that happens, he is not only useless, he wastes the efforts of his line mates.

All in all, I am feeling better about the team’s prospects right now than I was in early December.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 01/06/14 at 12:23 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Tatar’s gorgeous goal obviously reminded people of Dangles’ deke against the Sharks, but I never thought someone would do this:

Frickin’ brilliant.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 01/06/14 at 03:12 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Holland said. “A lot of things aren’t nearly as good as I expected when we built this team in the summer…

And at the very tippy top of that “not as good as expected” list, Kenny, is your good buddy Dan Cleary. If he looks like he’s playing better now, it’s only because half the damn regulars are in the press box with injuries.

I think what Holland does next summer will go a long way toward determining his legacy as the Wings GM. And I have just about zero faith that he’ll be smarter then than he was last summer.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 01/06/14 at 03:59 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

Tatar’s gorgeous goal obviously reminded people of Dangles’ deke against the Sharks, but I never thought someone would do this:

syf
there is and always will be one “magic man”

Posted by Rdwings28 on 01/06/14 at 06:18 PM ET

RorSchach's avatar

That still makes me giggle when I see that.

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 01/06/14 at 06:52 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.