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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Avalanche game-day updates: Wings hope to snap the Avs’ streak with Gusto (Gustavsson)

Updated 12x at 4:21 PM: As the Detroit Red Wings prepare to tangle with the unbeaten (6-and-0) Colorado Avalanche tonight (9 PM, FSD/Altitude/1270 AM), it looks like it's going to be one of those hype-filled days...

Dater's referring to his story about the Avalanche's hopes of setting a team record while Roy takes what Dater describes as his "first swing" at Detroit while coaching the Avs, and the Denver Post suggested that the city's pro sports teams are without real rivals, necessitating a little old-rivalry-drumming-up for the sake of stirring the hornet's nest.

USA Today's Mike Brehm's predicting that the Avalanche will set their team record this evening...

For 18 years, the names Patrick Roy and Mario Tremblay have been tied together because of the above incident in which Roy demanded a trade after the Montreal Canadiens coach left him in too long during a blowout loss.

Now, they are tied together by early coaching success.

Tremblay won his first six games in 1995-96 (with Roy in net) as an early-season coaching replacement and Roy has won his first six this season as a rookie coach for the Colorado Avalanche. That’s an NHL record for best career start by a coach.

And Roy can break that record tonight with a home win against the Detroit Red Wings. A 7-0 mark would also tie the franchise record for best start to a season.

Throw away his opening-night glass rattling and Roy has been composed and has a young team playing over its head.

That night in December 1995 was good for Roy. He won two more Stanley Cups with the Avalanche and had a ready home waiting for him when he was looking to get back to the NHL as a coach.

We say Roy will be a record-setting coach after tonight.

Our prediction: The Avalanche win 3-1.

Cue the Wings-Avs brawl clip!

NHL.com's John Kreiser's "Daily Primer" focused on tonight's matchup as well:

Patrick Roy was a record-setter during a playing career that earned him a berth in the Hockey Hall of Fame. He'll try to add another record to his resume Wednesday, this time as a coach.

Roy has led the Colorado Avalanche to victory in each of his first six games as coach, matching the mark for consecutive wins at the start of a coaching career set by former teammate Mario Tremblay with the 1995-96 Montreal Canadiens. Ironically, Roy was in goal for all six of those games.

To break the mark he shares with his old teammate, Roy's current team will have to beat an old nemesis -- the Detroit Red Wings, who had one of the NHL's fiercest rivalries with the Avalanche from 1995 through 2003. The Red Wings come to Pepsi Center with a three-game winning streak of their own.

...

Detroit Red Wings at Colorado Avalanche -- In the absence of injured starter Jimmy Howard (bruised left hand), Jonas Gustavsson stepped up and stopped 64 of 67 shots in back-to-back victories against Boston and Columbus. Howard is questionable, but the Red Wings have to feel a lot better after Gustavsson's performance against the Bruins and Blue Jackets. Colorado allowed 41 shots in back-to-back games but won both of them thanks to Roy-esque goaltending by Semyon Varlamov, who has allowed six goals while winning all five of his starts. Still, the Avalanche are allowing an average of 35.3 shots and being outshot by five per game; like Toronto, that's not a formula for season-long success.

The Red Wings' Game Day Blog also posited something of a game set-up...

A decade ago, a 'Red Wings vs. Avalanche' matchup was a date fans would circle on their calendars from Day 1.

Since then, the two teams have taken very paths; the Wings maintained their status quo, reaching the playoffs every year and winning another Stanley Cup. The Avs, on the other hand, experienced a roller-coaster ride that eventually took them from contenders to cellar dwellers, including a last-place finish in 2013. But after a complete overhaul upstairs, behind the bench, and on the ice, the undefeated Avalanche have re-set the bar in Denver a mile high. Welcome back, old friends.

While many are wondering whether Colorado's early rise back to relevance is real or just smoke and mirrors, tonight will be a real test for them when a hot Detroit team comes to town riding a three-game winning streak. Led by Patrick Roy, this time as head coach, the Avalanche battling the Wings will be must-see TV once again.

Welcome to the Detroit Red Wings Game Day Blog, where you can get behind-the-scenes information, thoughts from players and staff, and up-to-date news on anything and everything Red Wings on game day.

You can tune in to tonight's 9:00 PM ET game on Fox Sports Detroit or listen in on AM 1270.

And this historical note makes me a little verklempt:

On This Day in Red Wings' History...On October 17, 1991

Defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov records his first NHL point in the Wings’ 6-3 win over St. Louis.

I can't remember whether this was the game that Konstantinov got tossed from for flipping off the crowd with his glove on, but I know that the Wings just lit up Blues back-up Vincent Riendeau before trading for him.

In the delightful realm of power rankings, via RedWingsFeed, Sportsnet's Luke Fox issued a set of rankings..

8 [Red Wings Last week 8]: Eastern Conference life is suiting the Wings just fine, as they’ve reeled off three consecutive wins despite goaltender Jimmy Howard’s injured hand.

As did Fox Sports' Eric Stephens:

5 Red Wings [record] 5-2 -0 [up] 1 [highest/lowest]  5/6

GOOD NEWS: Newcomers Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson have settled into the team’s offensive flow.
BAD NEWS: Goaltender Jimmy Howard suffered an early hand injury.
BOTTOM LINE: Despite that minor setback, these guys are having lots of fun after moving to the Eastern Conference.

I can only roll my eyes at Grantland's Sean McIndoe's suggestion that the Western Conference is better than the Eastern Conference...

If you're interested, the Toledo Blade posted a Walleye season preview section ahead of the team's season opener on Saturday (in Fort Wayne), and Mark Monroe duly notes that the Walleye's roster includes Wings prospects Trevor Parkes and Max Nicastro, as well as goaltender Jared Coreau.

Meanwhile, in Grand Rapids, where Darren Helm, Gustav Nyquist and Cory Emmerton will be in attendance when the team raises its Calder Cup banner on Friday vs. Milwaukee...

The Griffins just issued a press release regarding the highlights of their...concessions stand offerings.

Hockey fans are known to sacrifice their headwear for a hat trick. But will they sacrifice their stomachs for one?

SAVOR, the concessionaire of Van Andel Arena, is rolling out a smorgasbord of new food and beverage offerings this season for fans of the 2013 Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins.

Chief among these delicacies is the Hat Trick, a three-pronged gastronomic test. Priced at $20, it features three jumbo hot dogs with toppings, a three-patty burger, and fries. Individuals who complete the Hat Trick challenge in 20 minutes or less will receive a t-shirt and the satisfaction of having consumed an unthinkable number of calories to fuel them as they cheer on the Griffins.

The Hat Trick will be available during all non-Friday games. Orders can be placed at Guest Services behind section 104 and picked up at stand 2 behind section 110.  

For fans whose thirst trumps their appetite, SAVOR is proud to introduce both a series of three championship souvenir soda cups and a new selection of Michigan craft beers.

Each of the three large collectible cups will be released at different times during the 2013-14 season. Priced at $5.25, these top-shelf dishwasher-safe cups feature scenes from the Griffins’ on-ice celebration following their historic victory in Syracuse.

And in the "For Further Reading" department...

So I'll quote PHPA.com's Evan MacDonald:

With the start of the 2013-14 season, David McIntyre finds himself playing with a new organization, something that comes with the territory of being a professional hockey player.  “So many things come with changing teams: relocating to a new house, learning new systems, meeting new people and making new friends.  I was nervous, but when I arrived in Grand Rapids I was amazed at how many people were so welcoming and easy to make friends with.”

Last season, the 26-year old played for the Minnesota Wild’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Houston Aeros, where he notched 15 goals and 18 assists while registering a +19.  During the off-season though, the Aeros relocated to Iowa.

“Moving from city to city is unfortunately what a lot of players deal with on a yearly basis so I guess most of us are used to not knowing where we will be playing from year to year.”

When asked about his time with Houston, knowing that the team would be relocating at season’s end, McIntyre only had good things to say.  “Leaving was bittersweet; the fans were unbelievable making it hard to leave because of how supportive they are.  We also had a nice arena, and there is a lot to do in Texas.  It really is unfortunate there isn’t hockey there anymore.”

While McIntyre enjoyed his two years in Houston, the Pefferlaw, Ontario native knows it is time to look forward.  “Being in Grand Rapids is a breath of fresh air especially knowing that my family can come see me whenever they want.  Pretty much everyone on this Grand Rapids team was part of the Calder Cup Championship team from last year, while I am the guy who was beat out by them in the first round.  We all had to watch the highlights, and the ceremonies.  It is cool and great to see it, but I never got to be apart of that last year and I want to do everything I can to help the team win the Cup again this year.”

 

I will let you read Sean Leahy's note about Staffan Kronwall's poor attempt to imitate his brother's checking on your own as the Avs' morning skate is underway...

This quip from Dater should come as no surprise:

Scouts from the following NHL teams will be at the Avs-Wings game tonight...

Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, two scouts from the Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens. Montreal has been to many Avs games so far.

Hey, at least ESPN's Scott Burnside's picking the Wings!

Adem (Freeport) Who will be the team to beat SJ and COL to hand them their first loss?

Scott Burnside: Adem; I'm going to go for the daily double; I say Detroit does it to both clubs starting tonight with the Avs. Who knows, maybe a little Chris Osgood/Patrick Roy dust-up at the pre-game meal as Osgood doing some analysis for the Wings.

I believe that Osgood stated that he'd be filling in for Mickey Redmond both tonight and on Saturday.

In terms of player personnel news, neither the Avs nor the Wings practiced on Wednesday, so I was waiting for personnel news before opening the entry, though this took me over an hour to put together. This is enough to click "open":

Update: Via Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford:

Commodore confirmed that a while ago, and he's staying at Federal Far Eastern University's dorms in Vladivostok...

Update #1.5: Ere come Atrick:

Update #1.6: Okay, yes, this is cute:

Update #2: Interesting.

Update #2.5:

So no lineup changes other than...Well, nothing.

Update #2.6: Per the Avalanche's website's game notes, Tim Peel and Graham Skilliter will referee tonight's game, with Bryan Pancich and Thor Nelson working the lines.

Update #3: Oh joy, more power rankings, courtesy of the Hockey News's Rory Boylen:

9. Detroit: Jimmy Howard keeps flying under the radar despite his steady play. Though five games he’s 3-2-0 with a .922 save percentage, which may be low compared to other totals this early in the season, but it’s a sustainable number he’s posted for three of the past four seasons.

Update #4: Oh joy, redux:

AUDIO: Avs-Red Wings Morning Podcast. We hear from Nate Guenin, John Mitchell, Gabe Landeskog and Coach Patrick Roy.

No changes? No changes.

The Detroit News is confirming that Gustavsson starts:

Jonas Gustavsson will start his third consecutive game in goal for the Red Wings when they play the Avalanche tonight in Denver.

Gustavsson, 28, backstopped the Wings in victories over the Bruins, 3-2, Saturday and the Blue Jackets, 2-1, Tuesday. Regular starting goaltender Jimmy Howard missed those games due to a sore left (catching) hand.

Last season, Gustavsson started four games and appeared in seven overall while missing 14 due to injuries. He finished 1-0 with a 2.92 goals-against average and an .879 save percentage.

The former Maple Leaf sports a 1.50 GAA and a .955 save percentage this season.

Howard will be on the bench for the game against the Colorado, which started the season 6-0.

Update #4.25:

Update #4.3:

Update #5: The Denver Post's Adrian Dater took note of the Osgood-Roy interview...

Patrick Roy and Chris Osgood went face-to-face at the Avalanche's morning skate Thursday, just like those bloody good old times. But you know the famous rivalry between them has cooled down when you realize that Roy, the Avs coach, was scheduled to sit down for an interview with Osgood, a Detroit television color analyst.

"I'm looking forward to it," Roy said after the Avs' morning skate at the Pepsi Center, where his unbeaten team will host the Red Wings. "We had some great battles together with the Red Wings, but at the same time it's going to be fun to do it."

As well as the following:

The Avs can give Roy an NHL record for most victories to start a coaching career with a victory against Detroit. Semyon Varlamov will start in goal against Red Wings backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson, as Detroit starter Jimmy Howard remains out with a hand injury.

Roy said he has great respect for how the Red Wings have stayed competitive the past few years, and is a big admirer of Wings coach Mike Babcock.

"He's a great coach," Roy said. "I have studied how he does things."

Roy said he is looking for the Avs to cut down on their turnovers.

"The last game (against) Dallas, we gave up 13 scoring chances, and some happened because we turned the puck over too much at our blue line," Roy said. "If we can cut down even just a little bit on this, I think you will see our shots against come down."

Update #6: The Denver Post's Dater believes that it's time to move on:

The amazing thing about the whole Avs-Wings rivalry is how unlikely it all was. Roy getting kicked out of Montreal, to go to the team formerly known as the provincial rival Quebec Nordiques? Claude Lemieux getting a botched contract offer from New Jersey, right after winning a Conn Smythe Trophy with New Jersey and a Cup finals sweep of Detroit, and coming to Colorado? Colorado, getting a team from a place like Quebec?

The odds would have been placed at more than a million to one, of that all coalescing. But it happened, and the people of Denver were the beneficiaries of this lottery ticket.

It's time to move on, though. Roy realizes this. When asked about the great rivalry Wednesday, he paid it proper homage, but it was in the funereal sense. Let's not keep living in the past, Roy said, pining for days that can never be repeated. Let the past rest in its peace, albeit after all that non-peace.

He's right. We'll never replicate the Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in New York. We'll never replicate Apollo 11 landing on the moon. We'll never replicate side one of Led Zeppelin IV.

Best thing to do is just appreciate it for what it was. We'll never be able to go back, but we do have the memories. Thursday night at the Pepsi Center, Roy's team will face Detroit's team again. Everything will seem just like it was, just for a second. And then, belatedly, reality will intervene.

Update #6.25:

Update #6.5: Here are Ken Kal's Keys to the Game:

Slow Them Down - The Avs have a ton of speed and they generate it in the neutral zone. The Wings need to take away their time and space in that area.

Make Scoring Chances Count - Colorado gives up a lot of shots, so the Red Wings need to bear down and score when they get those 'Grade A' opportunities.

Need Contributions From All Four Lines - The fourth line provided energy on Tuesday against Columbus. The second and third lines need to provide some offense. The top line of Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Bertuzzi has to continue to play solid hockey.

Update #6.75:

Update #7: The Detroit News's Kulfan added quotes to his game-day story:

The plan right now is for Jimmy Howard (bruised left hand) to play Saturday in Phoenix, after getting a couple more practice days.

“That’s what the game plan is,” said Howard, who who’ll back up Gustavsson tonight. “After not taking any shots for a couple of days, we thought it would be smarter, and as well as Gus been playing, to get a couple of work days.”

Howard took part in the morning skate Thursday with no issues.

“Everyting went well,” Howard said “I was catching pucks fine. I got hit there and it didn’t do anything, it’s a good good thing.

“I just caught it in a funny spot in the palm (the original injury). After the game it wasn’t bad, but the next day in practice I got hit in the same exact spot and that’s when the hand begn to swell.”

Gustavsson was excited to get another chance to play.

“As a goalie you want to play,” Gustavsson said. “This is another great game against a team (Colorado is 6-0-0) that’s been being playing well.”

Update #8: The Free Press's Helene St. James posted a game-day entry...

Roy was one of the centerpieces of the Wings-Avalanche rivalry in the 1990s. Now he has begun his NHL head coaching career in a fashion as stellar as his playing career, guiding the Avs to a 6-0 start. Roy cited Wings coach Mike Babcock as one of his influences as he has made the leap to the NHL bench, saying, "I think he's one of the best coaches in the business."

Babcock said, "I don't know much about him as a coach, to be honest with you. I just know 6-0 in the NHL is 6-0 in the NHL. Their team looks very, very fast. They do things with tempo.

"Looks like his team is ready to go and looks like he's ready to go."

Roy spent a chunk of time after the morning skates today being interviewed by FSD analyst Chris Osgood, for a segment that will air during tonight's broadcast. Roy and Osgood famously fought on April 1, 1998, a year after Roy duked it out with Wings goalie Mike Vernon during the epic March 26, 1997, game at Joe Louis Arena.

Osgood called today’s interview "great.”

“It was a lot of fun. Didn't really know what to expect from my first-ever interview. Trial by fire, I guess, to start with that interview. But it was fun. He's a very, very smart man. It was great to talk to him."

As did MLive's Ansar Khan:

Gustavsson will make his third consecutive start tonight against the 6-0 Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center (9 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit). The Red Wings (5-2-0) look to extend their three-game winning streak against one of the NHL’s two unbeaten clubs.

“This is another great game against a team that’s been really good, so it’s those kind of games you want to play,’’ said Gustavsson, who has stopped 64-of-67 shots (.955 save percentage), after the morning skate in Colorado.

Howard, who hurt his catching hand last Saturday against Philadelphia, said he’ll be ready to start this Saturday at Phoenix.

“That’s what the game plan is,’’ Howard said. “After not taking shots for a couple of days we thought it was smart, especially as well as Gus has been playing, to get a couple of work days in and get back out there Saturday night.

“Everything went well out there. I was catching pucks fine. Actually got hit on the area and it didn’t do anything.’’

Howard said of the injury, “Just caught it in a funny spot in the palm. After the game it wasn’t that bad. Next day in practice I got hit in the exact same spot, that’s really when the hand started to swell and then taking three (shots) a in a row in warmups (Monday in Boston) right on the same area, part of it blew up, just got even bigger. It was good to get the swelling out of the hand. I can move my fingers, I can feel them now.’’

Coach Mike Babcock said he’ll use the same lineup he has the past couple of games.

 

Update #9: Roy's game-day presser was over 9 minutes long...

And Ansar Khan spoke with Osgood about his interview with Roy, saying that they did compare fighting notes:

“It was funny, joking around a little bit about that,’’ Osgood said. “I asked him who was tougher, Vernie (Mike Vernon) or I. He didn’t really give an answer other than Vernie cut him so I think he’s going with Vernie. I wasn’t about to question him because he’s still pretty big.’’

Osgood, in his first season as an analyst for Fox Sports Detroit, interviewed Roy, the Hall of Fame goaltender and first-year coach who has the Avalanche off to a 6-0 start heading into tonight’s game against the Red Wings at the Pepsi Center (9 p.m.). The interview will air on the pregame show and again during the first intermission.

Osgood said it was the first time he ever spoke to Roy. He found him to be engaging, knowledgeable and passionate about coaching.

“It was good. I was very impressed,’’ Osgood said. “I’m impressed with his goaltending, but the person he is, the people in Detroit will be impressed with what he has to say. We talked for a while, it was great, it was a lot of fun. I didn’t really know what to expect with him for (my) first-ever interview, but trial by fire I guess. He’s a very, very smart man. It was great to talk to him.’’

They talked about his coaching philosophy and relived some of the glory days, when Red Wings-Avalanche was the most bitter rivalry in sports.

“People in Detroit have a perspective of us; this is different, from a guy that was one of the main centerpieces of the entire rivalry and what he thought of it,’’ Osgood said. “He had some great answers.’’

Osgood continues and reveals that Roy was one of his goaltending idols!

 

Update #10: Here's Osgood speaking with the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Update #11: Alex Tanguay, Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog spoke with the Avs' website about facing the Wings:

Update #12: From the Denver Post's Adrian Dater's game-day missive:

The Avs can give Roy an NHL record for most victories to start a coaching career with a victory against Detroit. Semyon Varlamov will start in goal against Red Wings backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson, as Detroit starter Jimmy Howard remains out with a hand injury.

Roy said he has great respect for how the Red Wings have stayed competitive the past few years, and is a big admirer of Wings coach Mike Babcock.

"He's a great coach," Roy said. "I have studied how he does things."

Roy said he is looking for the Avs to cut down on their turnovers.

"The last game (against) Dallas, we gave up 13 scoring chances, and some happened because we turned the puck over too much at our blue line," Roy said. "If we can cut down even just a little bit on this, I think you will see our shots against come down."

 

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Comments

Ajax19's avatar

I can only roll my eyes at Grantland’s Sean McIndoe’s suggestion that the Western Conference is better than the Eastern Conference…

You can roll yours eyes all you want, George, but, so far, through this still, very young season the West has dominated the East in head-to-head games.  Though, as McIndoe does note, most of the East vs. West games so far have involved teams in the Metro division, which isn’t very good.

Speaking of, I don’t understand why so many pundits thought the Metro division was going to be so strong.  Other than Pittsburgh, every team in that division was entering with large question marks.

Posted by Ajax19 on 10/17/13 at 01:11 PM ET

awould's avatar

The Western Conference has been better than the East for a good long time, and this season is no different.

Posted by awould on 10/17/13 at 01:24 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Someone on the Avalanche is going to do something incredibly stupid tonight to try to rekindle this rivalry, probably on orders from their head coach.

Bank on it.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if someone took a run at Zetterberg or Datsyuk.

Knee-on-knee, hit from behind, something like that.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 10/17/13 at 01:26 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I can only roll my eyes at Grantland’s Sean McIndoe’s suggestion that the Western Conference is better than the Eastern Conference…

No offense George but, the facts and numbers bear it out.  Or at least that the West *HAS* been tangibly better (which is more what he’s saying).  The Win-Loss head-to-head speaks for itself, as does the fact that no Eastern team has won the Cup in less than 7 games since 2000 when the Devils beat the Stars in 6 games.  Conversely, 2001 was the last time a Western team (COL) took all 7 games to beat their Eastern foe.  Since then they’ve won in 6 or less every time (though DET almost ruined that by coming one OT goal from a Game 7 win vs PIT).

That’s long enough that not an accident—it’s a trend.  And it undoubtedly now is cap-related.  Travel is no doubt a factor, but not the only one and maybe not the biggest.

The article is actually pretty good, he hits on just about all of the points/arguments/reasons you could make as to why that is.  The only thing he doesn’t tackle with it is Philosophy (Eastern teams pay bigger cap hits for their stars, which then hurts depth compared to the West).  That said, a team like Boston is and has been to me a very Western team build.  Minnesota on the other hand is trying to build like an Eastern team with their cap hits.

Example:  9 of the Top 15 Cap Hits for this season reside in the East.  Of the 6 in the West, a full 3 are in Minnesota alone (Suter, Parise, Heatley).  So only 3 of the Top 15 cap hits are not in the East or Minnesota (with their spend-happy “OMG SO POOR!” joke of an owner).  2 of the remaining 3 are ANA (Perry, Getzlaf) and NAS (Wrestlemania Weber).

There are 6 players with cap hits over $8m this year:  4 of them reside in the East.  The East pays for their stars, but at the cost of depth thanks to the Cap.  The West can afford better quality depth:  a 4th line in the West often might make it as a 3rd line in the East.

I’ve been beating this drum now for 2 or 3 years about the West vs East.  The gap has closed a bit now in that with DET, CBS, and more teams in the East it’s tougher now to make the playoffs and therefore a bit more of a grind for East teams than it has been, and with WIN in the West they undoubtedly got the lesser team in realignment (consider Winnipeg couldn’t make the playoffs playing against the abysmal now-dead Southeast Division, they won’t fare well in the West soon).  But team philosophies and builds remain the same for now post-realignment.

What will be interesting is where it goes from here.  Not only has BOS had success building more like a Western team, but with DET in now w/ their obvious philosophy… and NYR and PHI once again failing miserably with highly-paid stars, one has to imagine a slow-but-deliberate shift in the East will make more balanced teams there once again.

Posted by Primis on 10/17/13 at 01:32 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Sorry, gang, I am no McIndoe fan and I tend to tune out what he says—even if it’s true :/ My bad!

And regarding the Avs game, Cody McLeod always does something stupid. Always.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/17/13 at 01:43 PM ET

pilgrim's avatar

Hey George, I’m curious as to why you dislike McIndoe.

Posted by pilgrim from the ice at the bottom of the world on 10/17/13 at 02:39 PM ET

Avatar

I’m not a big fan of McIndoe either.  It’s way too early in the season to declare one conference better especially in McIndoe’s words of “it’s not even close”.  It’s probable that the West is better when the end of the season comes around, but saying it right now just seems silly.

My problem with McIndoe is while he makes a lot of solid points in most if not all of his articles, they’re also littered with grand proclamations similar to this article’s “The West is better — and it’s not close.”  These proclamations are always based on either no facts whatsoever or poorly analyzed facts.  As such, trying to take anything else he says seriously becomes a chore.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 10/17/13 at 03:06 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Declaring one’s opinion to be unassailable right away irks me, and McIndoe seems to have a Wyshynski-like desire to goad Wings fans for the sake of getting a rise out of them. That annoys me.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/17/13 at 03:08 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/17/13 at 03:08 PM ET

Gotta give him this though;

He’s quicker to lay waste to his own team than Wysh.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 10/17/13 at 03:20 PM ET

pilgrim's avatar

Perhaps he tends towards grand proclamations, but I find generally though he tends to back them up, place ‘as it stands now’ caveats, and/or comes to fairly even-handed conclusions.

From the conclusion of the West vs. East article:

So what’s the answer? It’s probably a little bit of all of the above, mixed with a good dose of random noise and (for this year, at least) a small sample size.

 

Seems reasonable to me.

As for the goading of Wings fans, I’d say we get no more than any other NHL fanbase. Especially not compared to Wyshynski, and definitely not compared to the hate hard-on Lambert gets by pissing off Wings fans. McIndoe makes fun of players and teams for a living, and in my eyes the Wings get their fair shots but nothing more.

Anyway, thanks for the response. I just found it hard to believe anyone could dislike the Down Goes Brown stuff.

Posted by pilgrim from the ice at the bottom of the world on 10/17/13 at 03:39 PM ET

EDJ's avatar

McIndoe gets some pity for being a Leafs fan. Being that good humored after that many years of following the Leafs means he’s severely in denial, hopped up on something possibly illegal, or that he’s a decent fellow. I agree with pilgrim that

As for the goading of Wings fans, I’d say we get no more than any other NHL fanbase.

He’s a humor guy and he makes fun of everyone, and sometimes the stuff he writes about the Wings seems more like he’s making fun of people who hate the Wings than simply making fun of the Wings, if that makes any sense.

Posted by EDJ on 10/17/13 at 04:56 PM ET

Avatar

From the conclusion of the West vs. East article:

So what’s the answer? It’s probably a little bit of all of the above, mixed with a good dose of random noise and (for this year, at least) a small sample size.

 

Seems reasonable to me.

Except it doesn’t when right at the beginning of the article he says, “Two weeks into the season, it would appear that we already have an answer on that second question: The West is better — and it’s not close.” (the second question from realignment being, “whether one conference would emerge with an edge over the other.”)  Almost every point he makes to the West’s dominance is past season numbers.

He touches on the fact that Detroit, Boston, and Pittsburgh have all played against the West only once and even says it’s a small sample size, so why “The West is better - and it’s not close”?  He’s arguing against himself.  Plus he didn’t touch on the fact that 3 of the West’s best teams (Chicago, San Jose, and St. Louis) have played at home a total of 10 times against East teams while playing on the road only once.  Those 10 games are almost a quarter of the inter-conference games played so far.

With less than 8% of the season having been played, any statement on which conference is better is made with incomplete information and is absolute opinion.  As I said earlier, I would expect the numbers to be in the West’s favor at the end of the season but at this point there’s not even close to enough information from this year to give anything other than a historically informed guess.  Certainly there’s nothing close to enough information to say, “The West is better - and it’s not close”.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 10/17/13 at 05:22 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.