The Malik Report
by George Malik on 09/16/13 at 08:19 PM ET
Ken Kal's calling play-by-Twitter, the Wings are keeping track of the game, there's a box score and game summary up, a bootleg stream which died and a clunky new one (please beware pop-ups/spyware), too, and in theory, we're "underway"...
After the game, the Red Wings will fly back to Traverse City for another practice tomorrow, and if I were to hazard a guess as to tomorrow's lineup against Chicago (no TV, no radio, 8 PM EDT, and the Hawks are scrimmaging at the United Center tonight), it would look like this:
Defense (6 of 8):
Gustavsson (starting 2 periods)
I would have posted these stories when I got up from my post-practice near-coma, but as I kind of wanted to watch the game (sorry), here they are now:
DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose took note of Anthony Mantha's excitement ahead of tonight's game--and his new attitude about whether he can make the team right away:
“I’m close, but at the same time I’m so far,” Mantha said. “There are so many players out there. If it’s not this year I’ll go back to my junior team and work on every detail that I can so when they call me up anytime they’ll have confidence in me to play here one day.”
The Canadian Hockey League’s only 50-goal scorer last season, it’s evident that the Red Wings’ coaches want to take a longer look at Mantha. The Red Wings entered the 2013 draft with the philosophy of adding big, physical forwards to the system. Mantha is a real intriguing package. To go along with his size, he possesses a great shot and seems to find the open ice on the offensive end.
Mantha survived the first day of cuts when the Red Wings sent five youngsters – forwards Tyler Bertuzzi (Guelph), Philippe Hudon (Victoriaville) and Zach Nastasiuk (Owen Sound), defenseman Michal Plutnar (Tri-City), and goalie Jake Paterson (Saginaw) – back to their junior teams on Sunday. So having played in the prospect tournament, which the young Wings won, and four days of training camp, where is Mantha’s confidence heading into tonight’s exhibition?
“It would be close to the top right now,” he said. “I never lived this. I live for the moment and I’m just playing how I should play. I think the details are coming in and that’s why I’m still here and I’ll keep playing that way until the end.”
“You need to learn everyday you’re out here on the ice,” said Mantha, who is the grandson of four-time Stanley Cup winner Andre Pronovost. “There are such good players out there that every day you can learn something new. I just watched at the end (Pavel) Datsyuk and (Jakub) Kindl play one-on-one, he has one of the best pair of hands in the league and he still practices it. It’s all the details that make the difference.”
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness took note of the coach's take...
Wings coach Mike Babcock when told Anthony Mantha’s wants to reach the NHL as soon as possible.
“I don’t want to break the news to him he ain’t making the team,” Babcock said. “He’s got to go back to juniors and learn to be an every-dayer. When you compete every day and when you compete on every puck, get strong enough, live it every day and one day you get to play here in the mean time you get to play juniors or the American League.”
Mantha turned 19 on Monday.
He offered the Darren Helm news mentioned in the afternoon report...
Darren Helm still has no time frame on when he’ll return to the ice from his recent groin setback, but hopes he can get in the lineup before the preseason games are over.
“My groin’s feeling a lot better, range of motion’s pretty much as good as it can be,” Helm said. “(I) still feel it on a couple of things.”
Helm hasn’t skated since Sept. 6.
“I don’t think I’ll be out for the whole exhibition,” Helm said. “I’m hoping a few more days. I have to get back on the ice and see how the groin is, see how my back still is. I’m waiting to see.”
Helm is still limited in his weight training and has yet to be cleared for contact due to his ailing back. He’ll more than likely start the regular season on injured reserve.
And Pleiness penned a story about Brian Lashoff as well...
“This year I’m determined to get in the lineup,” Brian Lashoff said. “That’s my main goal. I want to have a good camp and show them that I can play in this league. That’s been my goal since I’ve got there.”
Lashoff, 23, was supposed to spend the entire season in Grand Rapids year, but when the blue line got decimated with injuries – Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl, Carlo Colaiacovo, Ian White and Brendan Smith – he was recalled from the Griffins on Jan. 21.
“Going into last season I wanted to be that guy that was the first call up and I wanted to be that guy when needed,” Lashoff said. “I think when they had me there it was a huge confidence booster and it showed I was close to being able to play. I wanted to show them I was ready when needed to be called on.”
“I think it’s nice to be there, but I want to be in the lineup,” Lashoff said. “That’s how I want it to be from the start. I want to play. It’s good competition for the guys. There is a lot of young D and we’ve known each other for a long time. That’s good for the team. Whether I’m in that position I’ll be ready for any opportunity I’m given.”
Lashoff did return in the playoffs when DeKeyser broke his finger, but that lasted all of three games before he was replaced by Colaiacovo.
Because of Lashoff’s play the team rewarded him three-year extension worth $725,000 a season.
“We like him,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “He’s rangy. He’s 6-foot-2, he competes hard. He’s got the ability to make good outlet passes. This deal gives him some security and us a young defensemen locked up for three years that we feel is only going to get better.”
MLive's Ansar Khan also noted that "The Mule" wanted to get into preseason games:
“It’ll be better when we start playing games,'' Franzen said. “All we’ve had is practices right now.''
The line is centered by Stephen Weiss, with Daniel Alfredsson at right wing. They are highly skilled and accomplished players who have spent their entire career with one organization. Coach Mike Babcock said after Sunday's Red and White scrimmage that the line has to play better than it has, without offering specific concerns. He suggested that he might make changes.
But the line will play at least one preseason game together, likely Tuesday at Chicago.
“We've come along every day,'' Franzen, the unit's left wing, said. “First day it was a little new for everyone. We didn’t know the drills out there. That’s going to happen. All the veterans are used to the practices. I tried to make sure they knew what to do, so I forgot about myself. We’re playing power play together, so that’s looking pretty good. It’s going to get better every day.''
“It’s a lot more fun playing against other teams,'' Franzen said. “That’s the worst thing I know is playing against teammates. You can’t really go full-out, so that’s tough. We have to start playing games to see what we’re missing and what we need to work on. I know you guys think these are games out here, but they’re not.''
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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.