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Red Wings-Coyotes game-day updates: Kronwall out, Samuelsson in, Howard starting

Updated 7x at 4:33 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will have their hands full against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight (9 PM, FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM), and as Paul noted, the Wings' beat writers reported that Niklas Kronwall won't be available tonight:

The Red Wings' game-day blog sets up tonight's tilt...

Detroit has won four in a row, including its past three with backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson in for the injured Jimmy Howard, since losing him the last time these two teams met on Oct. 10.

Gustavsson has been outstanding, posting a 1.67 goals-against average and .953 save percentage in his three starts. He had 38 saves in Detroit's 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.

"You've got to give [Gustavsson] credit. He could win first star three nights in a row," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said after the win in Denver. "I thought he played great."

But the win was costly for Detroit. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall sustained a concussion on a hit from behind by Colorado forward Cody McLeod.

While Kronner will be out tonight, he was moving all extremities and accompanied the team to Phoenix; the Wings are hopeful he'll be able to return soon.

It offers a historical note...

On This Day in Red Wings' History... October 19, 1930

The Detroit franchise changed its name from Cougars to Falcons.

And here are Ken Kal's Keys to the Game:

Be Disciplined - Detroit needs to stay out of the penalty box. Play hard, but don't take penalties.

Be Competitive - The team burned a ton of energy against Colorado, especially the defense with the injury to Kronwall. Fatigue could be a factor. We need to be mentally tough to get over that.

Have a Balanced Attack - All fourth lines need to contribute. Phoenix doesn't give you much, so the Wings need to make the most of their chances.

The Coytes did not hold a morning skate, and RedWingsFeed found that the Griffins had posted their highlight clip from last night's loss (my friend Courtney posted 113 photos from the game as well):


Update #1.5: Oh, dear:

Update #1.75: The Coyotes' website did post a game preview video...

And the Coyotes website's game notes list Frederick L'Ecuyer and Greg Kimmerly as tonight's refs, with John Grandt and Brian Pancich working the lines.

Update #2: Tomas Tatar's website has competitions going for autographed hats and an autographed jersey.

Update #3: The Free Press's Helene St. James offers more from Kronwall...

Kronwall is day-to-day with a concussion, and he won’t play tonight when Wings play the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena (9 p.m., FSD). He may not miss significant time, though, because he has no headaches or other symptoms that could delay a comeback.


While his teammates went through drills on the ice, Kronwall rode a bike. He said he might be on the ice as soon as Monday, when the Wings host the San Jose Sharks.

“I feel really good, actually, under the circumstances,” Kronwall said. “No issues so far. So far so good.”

Kronwall left in the first period of Thursday’s 4-2 victory at Colorado when he was hit from behind by Cody McLeod. McLeod is facing suspension because it was a hit from behind, but Kronwall shouldered some of the responsibility for how bad the hit looked. Kronwall was turning when the hit occurred, forcing his head into the dasher.

“I shouldn’t have put myself in that situation,” Kronwall said. “He’s a forechecker. He’s one of their more physical guys. He’s just trying to do his job, and I’m putting both of us in a bad spot.”



And MLive's Ansar Khan explains the reasons as to why the Red Wings' lineup has changed:

“[Kronwall's] a good player, so you play without him and everyone else gets an opportunity to get more opportunity, so here’s an opportunity for you to grab a bigger piece of the game,’’ coach Mike Babcock said. “I like it, Smitty gets back in, let’s see what he can do and let’s see what the other guys do with the opportunity.’’

Danny DeKeyser will start the game in Kronwall’s spot, paired with Jonathan Ericsson. Jakub Kindl will take Kronwall’s place on the top power-play unit. Samuelsson will be on the second power-play unit.

“Not because Toots did anything wrong,’’ Babcock said. “Without Kronner on the power play we want to put Sammy in to have a power play guy.’’

Daniel Alfredsson will start the game on the top line with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. They played together in the third period Thursday.

“Anytime you miss (part of) training camp (with a sore groin) it’s going to take you time,’’ Babcock said of Alfredsson. “When you’re 40 and you miss training camp it’s going to take you more time. And obviously a new city and new situation. He looks to me like he’s doing fine. I think he’s been fine the whole time.’’

Here are the lines and defense pairings they’ll start with:

Henrik Zetterberg-Pavel Datsyuk-Daniel Alfredsson

Johan Franzen-Stephen Weiss-Justin Abdelkader

Daniel Cleary-Joakim Andersson-Todd Bertuzzi

Drew Miller-Luke Glendening-Mikael Samuelsson

Danny DeKeyser-Jonathan Ericsson

Kyle Quincey-Brendan Smith

Jakub Kindl-Brian Lashoff

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Jonas Gustavsson


Update #3.5: In the prospect department, Rasmus Bodin had an assist as Linkopings HC's 20-and-under SuperElit team defeated Hampus Melen's Tyngsryds AIF 5-3, and Hampus Melen did not play or Tyngsryds.


Update #4: The Red Wings' website posted a slate of morning skate news as well:

Jimmy Howard will be good to go tonight as the Wings go for their fifth straight win.

Niklas Kronwall did not skate today, and has a mild concussion, but seemed optimistic about a near return.

Niklas Kronwall said the hit from McLeod was not dirty, but that he put himself in a vulnerable position and it was bad luck.

Brendan Smith will replace Kronwall in the lineup.

Danny DeKeyser will pair up with Jonathan Ericsson.

Mikael Samuelsson will be in the lineup tonight.

Jordin Tootoo will be a healthy scratch.


Update #5: Here's the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's game-day update:

“I feel real good, actually, after the circumstances,” said Kronwall, who will not play Saturday against the Phoenix Coyotes. He will be replaced by Brendan Smith. “No issues so far. So far, so good. It could have been a lot worse. So far I’m feeling very good, actually. I’m just looking forward to getting back on the ice again.”


“I shouldn’t have been put myself in that situation,” Kronwall said. “I know he’s a forechecker, one of their more physical guys, and he’s just trying to do his job. I put both of us in a bad spot.  For some reason I thought he was closer to me than he was. I almost turned right into him. But that’s history. I’m feeling pretty good and looking forward to getting back on the ice with the guys.”

Kronwall lost conscienceness for a few seconds after the collision with the end boards, but “after that I was back on track.”


McLeod reached out to Kronwall after the first period and apologized for the hit.

“He apologized and I told him I shouldn’t have put both of us in that spot, either,” Kronwall said. “I’m happy he reached out and I have no hard feelings.”


Smith replaced Kronwall after being a healthy scratch the last four games. Smith’s inconsistency on the defensive end resulted in him being taken out of the lineup. He realizes it’s an area he must work on.

“I just have to go out there, play steady, compete hard, and play hard with and without the puck,” Smith said. “Those are the things coaches want to see. Play steady and safe and I’ll get myself back in the lineup.”

Said Wings coach Mike Babcock: “The way I look at it, the evaluation period is 82 games long, not (four) or however many games he’s played. I’d just be patient and keep watching. He’s (Smith) a good player.”


Update #6: The Free Press's Helene St. James spoke with Kronwall...


The "Tony" he refers to is Red Wings team physician Anthony Colucci, and Kronwall must pass his baseline neurologicaltest as adminstered by Colucci to be cleared to return to play.

And Ken Kal spoke with Red Wings goalie coach Jim Bedard (regardingJonas Gustavsson's recovery) and Mike Babcock (about the team's defensive issues, faceoffs and Samuelsson entering the lineup):

Update #7: FYI:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



Don’t like Sammy in for Tootoo, and really don’t like those D pairings

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 10/19/13 at 02:33 PM ET


Kronwall said he’s feeling good. Not sure when he’ll be cleared. Doesn’t believe it was dirty hit by McLeod. Blamed himself for bad position

So, how many of the people who went into hysterics about the hit are going to incorporate that quoted bit above into their worldview?

Don’t like Sammy in for Tootoo,

Tootoo’s been a nonfactor, and with Kronwall out Detroit really, really really needs to keep their PK time down.  Maybe Sammy will nab a goal or something.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/19/13 at 02:42 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

People are allowed to disagree with Kronwall’s assessment. I’m one of them.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/19/13 at 02:49 PM ET


Tootoo’s been a nonfactor

Is there a word that means more useless than “nonfactor”?  If there isn’t, I’d like to suggest “Samuelsson”.  Also, Tootoo has zero penalty minutes so far, so your “keep the PK time down” thought seems odd.  Tootoo is much better suited for the 4th line than Sammy, and for a real good idea of what the word nonfactor means just watch what Sammy’s done on the PP this year.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 10/19/13 at 02:55 PM ET


People are allowed to disagree with Kronwall’s assessment. I’m one of them.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/19/13 at 02:49 PM ET

Kronwall’s going to be diplomatic about the play because that’s the way he is.  I feel Kronwall’s positioning had a fair amount to do with the injury, and I can’t really say for sure that the hit was dirty.  I feel it was definitely unnecessary and reckless, though.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 10/19/13 at 03:18 PM ET


Tootoo was noticable every shift. just ask opponents. time to sit miller or cleary, prefer 71

Posted by jkm2011 on 10/19/13 at 03:18 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Kyle Quincey-Brendan Smith

Aka., the turnover factory.

Posted by MoreShoot on 10/19/13 at 03:22 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Kyle Quincey-Brendan Smith

Recipe for disaster

Hopefully this will be DeKeyser’s moment to shine with top pairing minutes and I assume PP time.  He’s been fairly solid, but has made some glaring errors at times.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 10/19/13 at 03:26 PM ET


I can’t really say for sure that the hit was dirty.  I feel it was definitely unnecessary and reckless

I agree. I guess we will know on Tuesday what the league thinks of it - Wow, I must be going bat crazy over this!

how many of the people who went into hysterics about the hit are going to incorporate that quoted bit above into their worldview?

Maybe Babcock will put Sammy in for Kronwall.

Tootoo’s been a nonfactor

So you ever watch the games that Sammy doesn’t play in or is it just too difficult to see them when your face is between his legs?

Maybe Sammy will nab a goal or something.

Yeah, only if he clones himself five times so Babcock can make a whole line of Sammy’s.

Posted by jkm2011 on 10/19/13 at 03:18 PM ET

Can’t sit Cleary because he has to be made to look good for Philly.

Johan Franzen-Stephen Weiss-Justin Abdelkader

Is the Abby experiment coming to a close? Or, maybe he’s the trade bait being made to look better than he is?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 10/19/13 at 04:51 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Babcock said Samuelsson in for Tootoo is only change up front.

Looks like the folks behind the Coyotees net will be wearing helmets and shields tonight because William Tell is far more likely to break the glass than hit the net.

And WTF is it with Babcock and his absolute refusal to give Tatar a chance. For cripes sake, put Buckets on the 4th line where he belongs, sit Sammy and put Tatar with Andy & Bert.

I feel horible for the kid having to sit in the press box and watch a useless guy like Samuelsson play. Maybe he can catch a feed of the Griffs game so he can watch the guy he and Andy should be playing with.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/19/13 at 08:01 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.