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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Coyotes game-day updates: Brunner out, Zetterberg in, DeKeyser debut delayed

Updated 7x at 4:57 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will begin a two games-in-two-nights slate of games against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight (10 PM EDT, FSD/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM), and while the Wings possess a pretty dang solid record against the Coyotes, the Wings' remaining games aginast Phoenix (tonight's tilt and the teams' April 22nd meeting) have the potential to adversely impact Detroit's playoff chances, so the Wings can't overlook an opponent they'll play against for a sixth of their remaining 12 games.

The Arizona Republic's Sarah McLellan reports that the Coyotes may receive a significant addition to their lineup in the form of goaltender Mike Smith returning from his "lower-body injury"...

After that, McLellan went quiet, and the Wings took to the ice...

Things change quickly during morning skates:

Let's see here...That would mean that the Coyotes' lines look something like what McLellan posted before Phoenix's last game...

Projected Coyotes lines:

Boedker-Hanzal-Sullivan

Korpikoski-Vermette-Doan

Klinkhammer-Gordon-Moss

Torres-Johnson-Johnson

Ekman-Larsson-Michalek

Yandle-Stone

Klesla-Morris

And on the Wings' side of things...

And here come the personnel notes:

Update:

Oh how the story changes...

FYI from the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

A few readers have wondered about Marion Gaborik, a forward who moved from the New York Rangers to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Red Wings were not interested. Gaborik is similar to Johan Franzen in his streakiness and has one more year left on his contract with a $7 million salary cap hit.

The Red Wings passed on Gaborik, and probably rightfully so.

They also briefly considered Raffi Torres, who was moved from Phoenix to San Jose, but Torres is so similar to Jordin Tootoo, it wouldn’t have made sense to have two of the same kind of players.

Update #2:

Update #3: NHL.com's Jerry Brown's posited a game-day update...

After trading away three forwards at the trade deadline Wednesday and still without wing Lauri Korpikoski, the Phoenix Coyotes will have a different look Thursday night when they face the Detroit Red Wings and try to keep their Stanley Cup Playoffs hopes alive.

Matthew Lombardi, Steve Sullivan and Raffi Torres were dealt to the Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils and San Jose Sharks, respectively, so the Coyotes have recalled forwards Chris Brown and Chris Conner to join Paul Bissonnette as replacements against the Red Wings.

Brown had 25 goals with Portland of the American Hockey League this season, while Conner had 13.

The Coyotes won't get any help from the sick bay. Both Korpikoski and defenseman Zbynek Michalek stayed off the ice Thursday. Goalie Mike Smith took part in practice for the first time since he was hit by Vancouver's Alexander Edler on March 21, but he won't dress tonight. Jason LaBarbera will make his sixth straight start and is coming off his best game of the season, making 39 saves in a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

RED WINGS

Justin Abdelkader - Pavel Datsyuk- Johan Franzen

Valtteri Filppula - Henrik Zetterberg – Daniel Cleary

Drew Miller - Joakim Andersson- Patrick Eaves

Gustav Nyquist - Cory Emmerton - Jordin Tootoo

Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson

Jakub Kindl - Ian White

Brendan Smith - Brian Lashoff

Jonas Gustavsson

Jimmy Howard

...

COYOTES

Shane Doan - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata

Chris Conner – Antoine Vermette – Mikkel Boedker

Rob Klinkhammer - Boyd Gordon - David Moss

Kyle Chipchura – Chris Brown – Paul Bissonnette

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Michael Stone

Keith Yandle - David Schlemko

Rostislav Klesla - Derek Morris

Jason LaBarbera

Chad Johnson

And in the charitable news department, from the Wings:

The Detroit Red Wings will host their Wings for Wishes game this Sunday, April 7, when the team takes on the St. Louis Blues at 12:30 p.m. (NBC & 97.1 The Ticket) to benefit Make-A-Wish® Michigan.

The team will hold a mystery puck draw on the concourse behind Section 126 when doors open at 11 a.m. For $25, fans will have the opportunity to purchase from an assortment of 300 hockey pucks signed by members of the 2012-13 team and packaged in a black box to conceal the autograph. Each puck has been signed by a Red Wings player and comes with a certificate of authenticity. The fan who purchases and opens the puck signed in gold by defenseman Niklas Kronwall will meet him after the game.

The proceeds of Sunday’s mystery puck draw will benefit Make-A-Wish Michigan, specifically raising funds for the Wings to grant Logan’s wish to visit Turks and Caicos through the nonprofit’s Adopt-A-Wish® program. This program allows companies to dedicate funds of $5,000 or more toward a specific wish. Logan is a 10-year-old from Macomb, Mich., who plays hockey and loves cheering for the Red Wings.

Fans are encouraged to visit the Red Wings mural behind Section 112 on the concourse. With a $1 donation, fans can write their name on the star and put it up on the concourse to cover the mural. Fans can also purchase blue Make-A-Wish wristbands for $5 to show their support. In addition, the Detroit Red Wings Foundation’s 50/50 raffle will benefit Make-A-Wish Michigan.

The Zetterberg Foundation Suite will host three wish kids and their families on Sunday. They will be treated to free food and beverages along with goody bags courtesy of captain Henrik Zetterberg and his wife Emma.

The Red Wings were named one of five recipients of the national Chris Greicius Celebrity Award by Make-A-Wish® America during the 2011-12 season, joining Justin Bieber, Sesame Street, Nickelodeon and Buddy Valastro (Cake Boss). Make-A-Wish America honors celebrities and industry figures annually with its Chris Greicius Celebrity Award. The honorees are selected for their exceptional dedication to the mission of Make-A-Wish by helping grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Update: The Free Press's Helene St. James has posted a quote-less game-day update...

Zetterberg will be available after healing from a pulled groin, and defenseman Brian Lashoff is back in the lineup after spending a few days in the minors, strictly for roster reasons.

Damien Brunner skated about 10 minutes Thursday morning, but is bothered by a hip flexor and said he doesn't know when he'll be ready to go.

The debut of defenseman Danny DeKeyser remains on hold; coach Mike Babcock said DeKeyser won't play against the Coyotes, but wasn't sure what would happen Friday at Colorado. However, Kyle Quincey is pegged to return against the Avalanche, giving the Wings one more healthy defenseman.

Jimmy Howard is starting in net, and the lines look to be:

Franzen-Datsyuk-Abdelkader

Filppula-Zetterberg-Cleary

Nyquist-Andersson-Eaves

Miller-Emmerton-Tootoo

Mikael Samuelsson is also ailing, again: He's got a sore pectoral muscle after an attempted hit during Sunday's game against Chicago left Samuelsson sidelined for the third time. He's played only four games because of a pulled groin, broken finger and now the sore pectoral muscle.

And she posted a video of Brunner discussing his injury:

Update #5: Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's game-day update:

Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg returns to the lineup tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena, after missing two games with a groin injury. But, the Red Wings will be without Damien Brunner, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Brunner skated for about 10 minutes today before leaving the ice.

Coach Mike Babcock said defenseman Danny DeKeyser will not make his NHL debut tonight. Brian Lashoff, back from a one-game stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins, will replace Ian White, a healthy scratch.

“We just want to make sure our penalty kill is good,'' Babcock said. “It's interesting with Danny here, we have so few practices to get him up to speed to what we want. We sure like what we see, we just got to have enough courage to fire him in and get on with it. Originally it was going to be today, it's not.''

They hesitate to throw a young defenseman into the lineup with points at such a premium with 12 games remaining.

“That's the fine line. That's all part of it,'' Babcock said. “We'll figure it out. In the meantime he'll get an opportunity to practice every day with good NHL players and when he gets a chance he'll be in.''

Babcock said right wing Mikael Samuelsson (bruised pectoral muscle) doesn't look like he's playing anytime soon. Samuelsson went on the ice after today's morning skate.

Babcock confirmed that defenseman Kyle Quincey, out since March 15 with a fractured right cheek bone, will play Friday in Colorado. They didn't want to play him on back-to-back nights. This way, he'll get to play in his first game back in Colorado since the Avalanche dealt him to Detroit, via Tampa Bay, last year.

Khan, take 2:

“I thought it's going to be better, but obviously it felt not that good,'' Brunner said. "I hope it's going to be better tomorrow. It's been bothering me for a couple weeks. It just got worse the last two games.''

Coach Mike Babcock said defenseman Danny DeKeyser will not make his NHL debut tonight. Brian Lashoff, back from a one-game stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins, will replace Ian White, a healthy scratch.

“We just want to make sure our penalty kill is good,'' Babcock said. “It's interesting with Danny here, we have so few practices to get him up to speed to what we want. We sure like what we see, we just got to have enough courage to fire him in and get on with it. Originally it was going to be today, it's not.''

They hesitate to throw a young defenseman into the lineup with points at such a premium with 12 games remaining.

“That's the fine line. That's all part of it,'' Babcock said. “We'll figure it out. In the meantime he'll get an opportunity to practice every day with good NHL players and when he gets a chance he'll be in.''

Babcock said right wing Mikael Samuelsson (bruised pectoral muscle) doesn't look like he's playing anytime soon. Samuelsson went on the ice after today's morning skate.

“Not lucky at all,'' Samuelsson said. “It's day-to-day. I thought maybe play today but that's not going to happen. It's a little frustrating. I thought (his injury issues) was over.'

Update #6: And DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose talked to Carlo Colaiacovo...about playing in Monday night's win over the Avs as it was Colaiacovo's first game as a Wing played at Joe Louis Arena...

“As an opponent you never liked hearing that horn go off. It’s usually not a sign of a good night,” said Colaiacovo, who returned from a shoulder injury on Monday. “But being on the home side of things, having the fans behind you on the plays that you make and the goals that you score, it’s an awesome feeling.”

A solid puck-moving defenseman, Colaiacovo missed 33 games with a sprained left shoulder that he sustained during the second game of the season at Columbus. Just being back in the lineup is an astonishing sensation, said Colaiacovo, who signed in September to add depth to the Red Wings’ young defense.

Frustration doesn’t begin to explain the emotional merry-go-round that Colaiacovo has been on this year. Originally, it was believed that the Wings’ defenseman would be sidelined for a few weeks. But that diagnosis was quickly scrapped with one setback after another. And now that it seems he’s back to 100 percent, coming to the arena every day without having to think about hours and days of rehabilitation and skating on his own has been a lot more fun, Colaiacovo said.

“I think that’s been my mindset for the last couple of days, just getting back to being a hockey player again,” he said. “It’s been an unbelievable feeling.”

The Red Wings begin the final push to the playoffs with the last quarter of the regular-season kicking off tonight in Glendale against the Phoenix Coyotes, who like the Wings, are fighting to secure a postseason spot. Every point matters, and Colaiacovo, who has only played three games all season, understands that he must play smart, play responsibly in the defensive end, and move the puck up to the forwards.

“It’s one of the strong points of my game. I play with my head up and always look to make a clean play out of our end, tape to tape,” he said. “The puck is the hardest thing to get back when you lose it. When you get it, you don’t want to just keep giving it back to the other team by dumping it out. You want to make a possession pass. Knowing what you’re going to do with the puck before you go back and get it is a big thing for me. That’s one of the things I focus on all of the time.”

What he’s not concerned with is playing time. The Wings are getting guys back from injury, and soon will carry nine defensemen on the roster once defenseman Kyle Quincey is cleared to play. Brian Lashoff was recalled from the minors on Wednesday, and undrafted rookie free agent Danny DeKeyser is also in the mix.

“Depth is never a bad thing to have on defense. If you look at the unfortunate turn of events we’ve had this year, we’re going to need every guy going into (the playoffs),” Colaiacovo said. “It makes guys stay on top of their game, because there’s guys pushing to get into the lineup.”

Update #7: The Free Press's Helene St. James penned a second article explaining why Danny DeKeyser's not playing tonight:

Babcock tapped Brian Lashoff to play tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena because Lashoff is a big, solid, shot blocker who can eat up shorthanded minutes.

"Lash solidifies that," Babcock said. "He's a simple player who plays the game that way, and we like what he does."

Ian White is a healthy scratch, so that makes the defensive corps Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Brendan Smith, Jakub Kindl, Carlo Colaiacovo and Lashoff.

There's a chance DeKeyser could play Friday at Colorado, though Babcock already has decided Kyle Quincey will play in that game, bumping someone else from the lineup. Quincey most likely will take Colaiacovo's spot, because part of the reason Colaiacovo gets in against the Coyotes is to help out on the power play in lieu of Damien Brunner, who is day-to-day with a hip flexor issue. DeKeyser joined the Wings last weekend, signing as an unrestricted free agent after his career at Western Michigan ended. He was hotly pursued by numerous NHL clubs, and he will play with the Wings one of these days. Even just from seeing him practice for a handful of days, Babcock is impressed.

"We sure like what we see," Babcock said. "We just have to have enough courage to fire him in and get on with it. Originally, that was going to be today. It's not."

After so many months of having so many guys hurt on the back end, Babcock now has a plethora of blue liners at his disposal.

"What I'm going to do is have less theories and just play who I think is going to help us that night," Babcock said.

DeKeyser knows his time will come, and that the Wings have to use what they see as the best lineup, especially given how tight the playoff race is.

"I understand it's tough," he said. "Just a few points separate everybody; standings change every night. I know it's a heated race."

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Comments

Hootinani's avatar

DeKeyser debut delayed

by George Malik on 04/04/13 at 02:49 PM ET

Glad they are showing their dedication to the youth movement

Posted by Hootinani on 04/04/13 at 01:59 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Hope Brunner’s issue isn’t too serious.  Geez.  Glad Z will be back.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 04/04/13 at 01:59 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Bummer… I was looking forward to watching DeKeyser.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/04/13 at 02:00 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

We’ll have — literally — the exact same roster as this season.

considering the precarious situation the Wings are in in the standings, and that the playoffs are less than a month away…I think it’s more important to get Colyyackuvvoooo into game shape.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/04/13 at 02:19 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

whoops bad copy/paste…

that was in response to Hootinani

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/04/13 at 02:19 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

DeKeyser debut delayed

by George Malik on 04/04/13 at 02:49 PM ET

Glad they are showing their dedication to the youth movement

Geesus, really??

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 04/04/13 at 02:25 PM ET

alukacs's avatar

I trust Babs with DeKeyser… we know the hype and twitter updates about him… Babs is able to coach him, receive feedback, see his conditioning,  understanding of the system, etc. Complaining is so convenient, yet I rather trust one of the best active hockey coaches over forum expertise..

Posted by alukacs on 04/04/13 at 02:43 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I’m not really chaffed about Dekeyser not playing.  As much as we’re putting an emphasis on how badly we need to win to keep us in the top part of that playoff bubble, why play a guy who’s never played a game in the NHL? 

The more he practices with the team, the less they’ll need to “help” him on the ice, the more he’ll be able to get into a rythym and be comfortable instead of the rigid play of a player who doesn’t know his system.  Not to mention how important the D are to this system.

I understand why they’re doing it.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/04/13 at 03:45 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by
     
    alukacs
     
      on 04/04/13 at 03:43 PM ET


I’d rather think for myself than others tell me what my opinions are.  That’s just me, though.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/04/13 at 03:47 PM ET

Colquhoun's avatar

I have to think Smith is on a short leash with some of the errors committed.  Certainly cannot blame the length of the season this year but the intensity of the schedule must contribute to some degree of mental fatigue.  The kid definitely has a lot of skill and one would hate to see him lose confidence.

Posted by Colquhoun on 04/04/13 at 05:30 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Can we trade for Rob Klinkhammer this off-season?  I mean, c’mon, Klinkhammer.  What a great hockey name! They could play the Anvil Song from Il Trovatore when he scores or maybe M.C. Hammer’s “Hammer Time”...  Who wouldn’t want a Klinkhammer jersey?

Klinkhammer!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/04/13 at 05:48 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Shucks.  Was also looking forward to DeKeyser as well.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 04/04/13 at 05:52 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

This injury problem seems to be something that will not magically end when the playoffs begin, unless—of course—we’re not in them.  It’s a good thing we have lots of depth. ;P

Posted by gt500x on 04/04/13 at 07:03 PM ET

Avatar

Wow, my beastly computer really stuggled to load this page. I think it’s the tweets. They always take a second to load, but this many took a while.

Man, I wish we had been able to get rid of a few defensemen, maybe a forward for something good. Imagine if we could play with 10 defensemen though…

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 04/04/13 at 07:22 PM ET

alukacs's avatar

HTO - could you please describe the process through which you were able to form your opinion about DeKeyser’s current physical and mental state, his knowledge of the the Red Wing’s system, his understanding of of NHL life and the idioculture of the Wings…

I guarantee that it is either fate or based on media reports… Which makes your reply to me shallow, personal, redundant and pointless. But that was your goal, wasn’t it?

Posted by alukacs on 04/04/13 at 09:06 PM ET

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About The Malik Report

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.