The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/16/13 at 01:36 PM ET
Updated 9x at 5:05 PM: The Red Wings will hope to build off of their 3-2 OT win over Edmonton when they face the Vancouver Canucks tonight (10 PM EDT, FSD Plus/CBC/NHL Network U.S./WXYT AM, and Danny Cleary will appear on the CBC's After Hours), but the Free Press's Helene St. James and MLive's Ansar Khan report that they will do so without the services of Kyle Quincey:
Update: Oh boy...
In terms of tonight's personnel...
Otherwise (I started writing this entry around noon, so please bear with the narrative)...VancouverCanucks.com's Kevin Fung posted an incredibly comprehensive Red Wings-Canucks game preview, and here are his "keys to the game":
The Canucks Win If...
- They feed off the hype. It will be a pumped-up atmosphere at Rogers Arena tonight with the game not only on Hockey Night in Canada but the Canucks donning an old-school look by wearing the colours of the Millionaires. All the grandeur surrounding the game ought to get the competitive juices flowing even more than usual.
- They take advantage of a tired team. The Canucks haven't exactly used opponent fatigue to their benefit this season but there's no better time to start than tonight against a Red Wings team that played last night in Edmonton. They'll want to come out physical and, ideally, build up an early lead on the scoreboard to persuade Detroit to pack it in early.
- They play a full 60 minutes. Vancouver will not only want a good start in this game but they'll want to make sure their effort level doesn't wane before the final buzzer sounds like it did against Nashville on Thursday. The Canucks nearly let a three-goal, third period lead slip away and they can't afford any late-game lapses tonight against a Red Wings team that is certainly capable of a quick strike offence as they demonstrated yesterday night.
The Red Wings Win If...
- They come prepared for an onslaught. The Red Wings should figure the Canucks will be a fired up bunch not only because of all the hoopla surrounding tonight's contest but because they'll be out to make amends for their embarrassing showing in the last head-to-head meeting. Detroit will need to be prepared for a fired-up Vancouver squad and will need to find a way to quiet the crowd early.
- Their special teams pretend they're at home. If you want to know why the Red Wings have managed only four wins in 12 road outings, you need to look no further than their special teams. Their power play has scored just twice on 43 opportunities (4.6 percent) away from the JLA – albeit they have scored power play goals in back-to-back road games – while their penalty kill has allowed 22 goals on 105 times shorthanded (79 percent kill rate).
- Datsyuk and Zetterberg lead the charge. Detroit's big-two were instrumental in the win against the Canucks back on February 24 combining for one goal and five points – including the eventual game-winner – and they'll need to be strong again tonight. Both have struggled in the goals department lately. Datsyuk snapped an 11-game goal drought last night with his overtime winner against the Oilers but Zetterberg hasn't scored since February 24 against the Canucks which was nine games ago.
A pair of stories regarding the Wings' 3-2 OT win over Edmonton didn't hit the wires until this morning, so here's DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's take on Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry's game-tying own-goal:
“I saw the puck pop free and my first reaction was to put my stick on the ice,” Petry said. “But I had forward momentum and it just ended up in the net.”
Because he was the last Red Wings’ player to touch the puck prior to Petry’s mishap, Kronwall was credited with his sixth goal of the season. It was just the Red Wings' second power-play goal on 43 road attempts this season.
“We needed a goal,” Kronwall said, “and obviously we were lucky the way we got it.”
Trailing 2-0 to start the third, the Red Wings, who were outplayed through 40-minutes, stormed back on three straight goals to snap a four-game winless streak on Friday night.
“I thought the first two periods weren’t very good at all,” Kronwall said. “We were a step behind, chasing. They were flying around out there and we were standing around looking at each other. In the third, I thought we started playing the way we wanted. We were getting the puck in deep and our forwards did a great job of just staying on them. We got some good cycles going and it really got us going there.”
In overtime, Datsyuk put on a clinic when he victimized Petry again. This time the Wings’ forward turned the former Michigan State standout inside and out before blasting a shot past Dubnyk. Datsyuk’s goal ended a personal goal drought, which had reached 11 games without a goal. His last goal came on Feb. 19 at Nashville.
“We know that he’s working so hard every night,” Kronwall said, of Datsyuk. “He’s creating, even when he’s not scoring, he’s creating for us whether it’s on the PK, power play, or whatever. When he comes with speed he’s really hard to stop. And his shooting in stride, it’s really tough to defend. Obviously, (we’re) very happy to see him get the puck … and do what he does best.”
And Henrik Zetterberg offered a wonderfully succinct take on the game and Datsyuk's wizardy to the Free Press's Helene St. James:
"Not the start we wanted," captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "I think we got a little better in the second, but then they get that second goal, tough timing. But we came into the third and we just wanted to keep going, stay with it, and we did. I think our battle level came up and we got some goals. It was nice to see."
Datsyuk ended an 11-game goal drought when he picked up a pass from Johan Franzen, crossed Edmonton's blue line, turned Jeff Petry inside out, and wired a wrist shot past Devan Dubnyk.
"Mule make a perfect play," Datsyuk said. "He give me perfect pass, make it tougher for defenseman, because defenseman stand at blue line, and I make move and shoot right away."...
Until [the Petry goal,] the Wings' hero had been Jimmy Howard, who made numerous acrobatic saves among the 24 he delivered the first 40 minutes. "Oh, did he ever," Mike Babcock said. Babcock said Howard will start again Saturday at Vancouver.
The Wings came into Edmonton off a 5-2 collapse to the Flames Wednesday that had left them introspective for two days. "It's interesting," Babcock said, "the other night in Calgary, I thought we were good and then turned the puck over. And then tonight I thought we were no good, and then got playing in the third period. I don't think that's the recipe for success, to be honest with you, I think you've got to play all 60, but our guys really dug in and got competitive."
Lacking that 60-minute commitment, it helps to have Datsyuk.
"He's outstanding," Zetterberg said. "Some of the moves he does out there, it's just fun to see, you're on the bench, laughing. In the end there, when he deked the guy and put it top shelf, it's world-class goal."
In a very different category, via Paul, Red Wings GM Ken Holland will get behind two proposals at the general managers' meetings in Toronto on Wednesday, as noted by the New York Times' Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel:
The idea of a coach’s challenge received little support when it was first proposed in 2010 by Florida’s Dale Tallon. But some general managers, like Detroit’s Ken Holland, now favor it, especially after the officials missed an obvious offside on a goal last month by Colorado’s Matt Duchene against Nashville.
Last week’s creative but contrived puck-on-the-toe-of-the-stick shootout attempt by Ottawa’s Kaspars Daugavins was the latest trick shot to make traditionalists cringe. But with about 57 percent of tie games going past overtime to the shootout entering the weekend (it was 60 percent last season), sentiment continues to make the skills competition less significant.
“I’d like to have a little longer overtime,” Holland said in a satellite radio interview last week, reviving a suggestion he made a year ago for an additional overtime period. “I’d like to see us play four-on-four for four or five minutes and three-on-three for four or five minutes. I’d like to have more games decided playing hockey.”
Another suggestion to end more games in overtime is for clubs to switch ends after the third period. The thinking is that the long change from the bench would result in more scoring chances. Lou Lamoriello, the Devils’ general manager, has said he supports that measure.
In the "for the record" department:
- The Plymouth Whalers won the OHL's West Division thanks to their Thursday night victory over Ryan Sproul's Soo Greyhounds;
- The Grand Rapids Press's Kelly Hill reports that former Grand Rapids Griffins captain Travis Richards and former Wing Mike Knuble are now two of three owners of Grand Rapids' "Ice Edge Arena," where Richards works as the director of the Michigan Nationals hockey program;
- ESPN's Katie Strang reported that New York Islanders captain Mark Streit wants to re-sign with the Isles, so scratch him off the "possible defensemen who could help the Wings" list.
- And there's what I guess we could call disappointing news in the prospect department from DRW Prospects on Twitter:
The Wings want to sign Jarnkrok and bring him over next season, but we'll have to wait to see what transpires. Brynas IF's 4-1 loss to Skelleftea AIK isn't surprising as it's an 8-versus-1 match-up, but it's disappointing as Brynas is a year removed from winning the Eliteserien title.
The Canucks' morning skate has already concluded:
The Wings are wrapping up yet another slate of 3 games in 4 nights and 5 in 8, so that's understandable.
Can the Wings call the "back fairy?" Todd Bertuzzi and Darren Helm could use one.
Interesting: MLive's Brendan Savage and Ansar Khan offer a very different kind of game-day debate, pondering whether the Wings should add third jerseys to the mix given that the Canucks have them...And will be wearing maroon tonight...
ANSAR KHAN: I don't think the Red Wings should unveil new alternate jerseys like many teams have done. Why mess with tradition?
But, it would neat if they occasionally donned some throwback jerseys from their days as the Detroit Falcons or Detroit Cougars. Even the Winter Classic jersey they wore at Wrigley Field in 2009, with the big old-fashioned D on the chest, would look cool in select games.
BRENDAN SAVAGE Why not? I wouldn't make it a regular thing but there would be nothing wrong with adding a third jersey to wear at home once in a while to give the home fans a different look once or twice a year.
Make it something unique like a black jersey with black socks for a particularly big game that could have a major impact on the standings or for a game against a big rival like Colorado was years ago.
Heck, I might even go for a green St. Patrcik's Day jersey. This is sports. Have some fun with it. And just think of all the extra cash the Red Wings could make selling those new jerseys. They have to like the idea of that.
I adored the Falcons jersey that the team wore during the 91-92 season.
The Red Wings' Game Day Blog is up, running and it offers a pair of historical tidbits...
On This Day in Red Wings History...
On March 16, 1942: Former Conn Smythe winner Roger Crozier was born in Bracebridge, Ontario.
March 16, 1947: Detroit’s Billy Taylor becomes the first player in NHL history to record seven assists in a game, as the Wings defeat Chicago 10-6.
As well as Ken Kal's "Keys to the Game":
Play a Patient Game - Don't force plays that causes turnovers as we saw in Calgary. Play within the system and play smart.
Generate on Scoring Chances - Luongo probably wont let Detroit put 8 goals past him like last time, he'll really buckle down tonight. When there are opportunities to score, the Wings have to make them count.
Compete for 60 minutes - Fatigue usually sets in playing your third game in 4 nights, especially with all three games on the road. Detroit has got to find that extra fuel in the tank and have the will to win, even when you're mentally tired.
Ebbett was given Friday off from practice, due to all the playing time he received in Chicago prior to coming to Vancouver as well as the extra travel. Defenceman Chris Tanev also missed Friday, the result of blocking a shot with his knee against Nashville, and he, too, is slated to return tonight. Keith Ballard remains a scratch.
Coach Alain Vigneault said that winger Zach Kassian’s back was bothering him, and, after taking part in the optional morning skate, would be a game-time decision. If he can’t go this evening, Tom Sestito draws back into the line-up on the fourth line and Dale Wiese moves up and takes Kassian’s spot on the third unit.
Ewen was amused by Wings coach Mike Babcock's take on the Canucks' Vancouver Millionaires jerseys:
Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock came down the tunnel, onto the visiting team’s bench during the Vancouver Canucks’ optional morning skate Saturday and blurted out, “What team is this?”
The Canucks were sporting the practice version of the Vancouver Millionaires’ uniforms they will display tonight against the Red Wings. It’s a tribute to the 1915 Stanley Cup winners. You know the ones: maroon jerseys, cream pants, big V.
“When I saw them, I didn’t know who anybody was out there,” he said.
Later, he explained: “When you’re an Original Six team, tradition is something you embrace big time. This is part of the tradition in Vancouver and what’s gone on here. I think it’s a special thing and good for them that they’re doing it.”
And this is just lovely:
The Red Wings are coming off a 3-2 overtime win versus the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, but Babcock maintained that shouldn’t be a factor on Saturday.
“It’s just about mental toughness,” he said. “Yesterday, we were red rotten at the start and then we got mad enough at ourselves to dig in and compete and when you compete you have a chance. Today’s game, you can tell yourself a whole bunch of things. You can say we play all this hockey and travel this far, but there’s two points on the line and if we’re competitive and if we’re mentally tough, the legs will be fine. The mind drives the body. It has nothing to do with where you played or how much you slept.”
The Vancouver Sun's Elliott Pap pondered a, "Different jersey, different result?" storyline in his game-day update...
"We'll be wearing a different uniform and so we're hoping for a different result," said Canuck starting netminder Roberto Luongo, who gave up all eight goals in the Detroit debacle. "The beatdown should be in our minds but, other than that, I think we have to move forward and make sure we are ready to go and show them that the last game was just a blip on the radar."
The Red Wings are 13-10-5 this season but have only won four times on the road in 12 tries (4-6-2). They are coming off a 3-2 come-from-behind overtime victory Friday night in Edmonton. Luongo says it doesn't matter how the Wings are currently faring, he still has the utmost respect for them.
"I never view them as a team that's struggling," he noted. "I think they have really great pieces and guys who can make you pay if you make mistakes. I don't care what their record is. They're a contender ever year and when you do that for so many years in a row, there is a lot of respect that goes along with it."
Both the Canucks and Red Wings have star players in scoring famines. Alex Burrows has no goals in 10 games and Daniel Sedin has none in six. Red Wing centre Pavel Datsyuk scored his first goal in 12 games Friday night, the overtime winner in Edmonton. New captain Henrik Zetterberg has no goals in nine games and one goal in 21 while Dan Cleary no goals in nine games.
Jimmy Howard is scheduled to start between the pipes for Detroit. He's 11-7-4 with a 2.44 goals against average and .916 save percentage.
ICE CHIPS: The Canucks power play, mired in an 0-for-28 drought, has sunk to an astonishing 27th in the league... Detroit's power-play is 24th overall but last on the road at 2-for-43, or 4.6 per cent...The Red Wings have scored the first goal in 17 of their 28 games but have only won nine of those (9-6-2). The Canucks have scored first in 15 games and won nine (9-2-4)... Referees for tonight's game are Wes McCauley and Brian Pochmara.
Update #3.5: Is Pavel Datsyuk serious? We'll never know...
The Canadian Press also posted a quip about Kyle Quincey's injury:
The Detroit Red Wings have lost defenceman Kyle Quincey for an indefinite period due to a fractured cheekbone. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Saturday that Quincey flew home to Detroit after he was injured in Friday's game in Edmonton. Quincey was hurt when a shot hit the shaft of his stick and ramped up into his face.
The 27-year-old is expected to require surgery.
Quincey has a goal and an assist to go along with a plus-8 rating in 26 games this season. He has been one of the steadiest players on a Detroit club that has struggled to stay in playoff contention.
"It's disappointing for him," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock. "(Quincey) was starting to skate better and be a more effective player. It's just one of those things on the back end to keep you entertained."
Quincey has averaged 19:11 of ice time, one of the highest totals on the team. He will be replaced in the lineup for Saturday's game in Vancouver by Ian White, who suits up for only the second time in 10 games after being a healthy scratch.
Update #5: Pretty effin' remarkable. MLive's Ansar Khan says that Jimmy Howard got dehydrated during the 3rd period of the Wings' 3-2 OT win over Edmonton, but he's still good to go against Vancouver tonight:
“I felt really good during the game until the third period, that's when stuff started to go downhill for me,'' Howard said. “I guess it was just dehydration from having the flu, and thinking I was fine to go and not getting enough fluids in me.''
He was fortunate to not have much work in the third period and overtime, as the Red Wings outshot the Oilers 14-6 over the final 23:39 and overcame a two-goal deficit.
“Guys did a tremendous job in the third period, taking over the game and we found a way to get a desperate points,'' Howard said.
Howard said he felt good today. He will start tonight against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena, as the Red Wings wrap up their three-game Western Canada trip. Howard is 8-5-1, with a 2.91 goals-against average and .905 save percentage during his career vs. the Canucks.
Vancouver is starting Roberto Luongo, who will be seeking redemption after surrendering every Red Wings goal in an 8-3 loss at Detroit on Feb. 24. Luongo is 11-11-6, with a 2.83 GAA and .921 save percentage in his career against the Red Wings.
In addition to having Ian White replace Kyle Quincey (fractured cheek bone) on defense, coach Mike Babcock might have a couple of other changes.
“I don't know, because of injuries in last night's game, we're going to be a game-time decision,'' Babcock said. “I'm going to have seven (defensemen) dressed and 13 forwards and then decide.''
Kent Huskins is the seventh defensemen who will dress for the warmups. He hasn't played since Feb. 24 against the Canucks.
And DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose talked to...Jordin Tootoo...about his fight against Mike Brown and performance in the Wings' 3-2 win on Friday:
“You kind of have to make sure that you tame the guy a little bit,” said Tootoo, who was a healthy scratch Wednesday in Calgary. “My job is to do that. He’s a great guy. He’s a hard-working guy and we both knew what our job is.”
Tootoo and Brown slugged it out at Joe Louis Arena on March 7 in a game won by the Red Wings, 3-0. Both pugilists were exhausted following their punch-filled, 28-second bout on Friday. For his part, Tootoo received a bloody nose and five-minutes of recovery time to regroup from exerting so much energy in the fight.
“You realize that you use muscles that you don’t use that often,” he said. “Obviously, recovering is five minutes in the penalty box. You’ve got to make sure that you’re breathing right and staying focused.”
Tootoo's more than willing to admit that the Wings were out-played by the Oilers for the first 40 minutes of Friday night's game, and that reflection sets up tonight's tilt to some extent:
“Yeah, the first two periods we weathered their storm,” Tootoo said. “They had a lot of chances and Howie played tremendous for us. We decided between the second and third period that it was time to get to work. Enough’s enough and I thought right from the drop of the puck (in the third) everyone was all on the same page.”
Tootoo’s fight didn’t directly affect the game’s outcome, but it definitely provided a spark to the Wings as they headed into the second intermission. And even though they were down two goals at the time, Tootoo said Vince Lombardi and Herb Brooks type speeches weren’t necessary.
“I think we all knew that these points are huge,” Tootoo said. “We’ve got to keep climbing the ladder and (this win) is a step forward.”
The Red Wings are right back at it tonight in Vancouver. The Wings are wrapping up a three-game road trip to western Canada, and their seventh back-to-back set of games this season when they face-off against the Canucks. Starting on time will be critical if the Wings are to win in Vancouver for the first time since October 2009.
“First five minutes of the game we have to make sure that we’re doing all of the right things,” Tootoo said. “Just be prepared mentally, physically, it’s a grind. We get after it every night and we have to use 20 guys (tonight).”
Update #6: TSN's posted a 3:22 game-day video.
Update #7: Canucks.com's Daniel Fung has posted his game-day update...
The Canucks haven't forgotten their spanking at the hands of the Red Wings back on February 24 when they were lit up for eight goals in an 8-3 loss. While they've put that game far behind in the rear view mirror, they clearly want to come out and prove they're a much better team than the one that got pummelled last month at the Joe Louis Arena.
"That's not the way we wanted that game to turn out," said Canucks forward David Booth. "That's a good team. If you give them opportunities they're going to score."
The Canucks may be catching the Red Wings at a good time. Detroit has just one win in their last four outings while they've only managed four victories in 12 games played away from the Joe Louis Arena. All that said, however, the Canucks know they can't afford to take the Red Wings lightly tonight.
"I never view them as a team that's struggling," said Luongo. "They've got guys that can make you pay the price if you make mistakes. They're a well-coached team and their goalie gives them a chance to win every night. I don't care what their record is. That's a team that can hurt you if you're not playing well."
And the Wings' game-day blog offers the following:
Ken Holland says Kyle Quincey has a fractured cheekbone and will see a doctor Monday to determine if surgery is needed.
Ian White will replace Quincey in the lineup tonight.
The Wings will dress 13 forwards and 7 defensemen in warmups and then Babcock will decide lineup due to last night's injuries.
Jimmy Howard will again be in net for the Wings.
Some of the Wings staff weren't satisfied with their play last night, but were happy with the result, nonetheless.
"Last night) I thought we were no good, and then got playing in the third period. I don't think that's the recipe for success, to be honest with you, I think you've got to play all 60, but our guys really dug in and got competitive."
- Mike Babcock
"(Pav) is outstanding. Some of the moves he does out there, it's just fun to see, you're on the bench, laughing. In the end there, when he deked the guy and put it top shelf, it's world-class goal."
- Henrik Zetterberg
"Mule made a perfect play. He give me perfect pass, make it tougher for defenseman, because defenseman stand at blue line, and I make move and shoot right away."
- Pavel Datsyuk
"Not the start we wanted...But we came into the third and we just wanted to keep going, stay with it, and we did. I think our battle level came up and we got some goals. It was nice to see."
- Henrik Zetterberg
Update #8: NHL.com's Kevin Woodley covered both teams' morning skates:
Quincey is headed back to Detroit to see doctors after getting hit in the left cheek when the puck ramped up his stick in the third period.
"Sounds like he's going to need surgery," coach Mike Babcock said, adding he had "no idea" how long Quincey would be out. "I don't imagine him returning very quickly."
That means veteran defenseman Ian White, who was a healthy scratch for the eighth time in nine games Friday, will draw back into the lineup against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night. Babcock, who also has Kent Huskins available, won't wait long for White to take advantage of the opportunity.
"You hear all the time, 'If I play long enough I'll get my confidence and play better.' That to me is not the real world, that's a fantasy," Babcock said. "The real world is, 'I am going to grab my chunk and I am going to hang on to it and I am not letting anyone take it from me because I am professional, I am an everyday-er, I bring it all the time.' If you are that, and you are skilled enough, you play 15 years. If you're not that, you give other people an opportunity to have your job."
White, who had seven goals, 32 points and a plus-23 rating last season while paired with now-retired Niklas Lidstrom, has one goal, one assist and a minus-1 rating in 15 games this season. But he is better suited than Huskins to take Quincey's spot on a power play that has scored in the past two road games after opening the season 0-for-37 on the road.
Babcock wasn't sure what other lineup changes he might make after Detroit snapped an 0-2-1 funk with a third-period comeback in Edmonton, saying he'd dress all seven defensemen and 13 forwards and decide after warm up.
Babcock expects to get Helm back next week.
Update #9: The Canucks published their in-game magazine online, and it's "gone retro."
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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.