Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings evening news: weighing in on the coaching shuffle, a Griffins re-signing and prospect talk

Upated 3x at 11:45 PM: I was out this afternoon, so I managed to post this afternoon's coaching news but not follow up on it. As such:

1. I liked Tom Renney, despite his inability to turn the power play around (it's been iffy since Todd McLellan left in 2008), and despite the Wings' offseason moves, I got the sense that Renney's experience coaching the youthful Oilers helped Babcock come around to giving "the kids" a fair shot--and he seemed to play a very strong "good cop" to Babcock's "aggressive cop," too. I hope that Renney does well with Hockey Canada.

2. I like the Tony Granato hiring (though it's not official), too, because it essentially forces Babcock to go out of his way to find a "players' coach" to replace Renney. The equally-aggressive Granato has head coaching experience in Colorado and assistant coaching experience with both Colorado and Pittsburgh, and while the team has a "meh" track record in terms of bringing back alumni, the team's player personnel has always seemed to find missing ingredients by assimilating "enemy" players or coaches. Might as well bring some of that Pittsburgh puck possession know-how into the fold.

Babcock told the Free Press's Helene St. James (who reports that the Wings are securing Granato's release from Pittsburgh) and MLive's Brendan Savage that he's happy with the hiring, and Savage pointed out that Babcock and Granato have butted heads before (video via Savage):

3. Kudos to the Free Press's Helene St. James for getting Babcock to discuss his contract extension, and I think that Babcock's comments are understandable:

St. James points out that the guy that finishes Babcock's sentences (possibly the best clip from 24/7, period) isn't necessarily locked up yet, and it would make sense for the coach to a) make sure that Holland's going to remain here before committing...

The 2014-15 season will be Babcock's 10th season behind the bench in Detroit. Such anniversaries usually are a cause to give something made of tin. Or in pro sports, a raise.

Babcock reiterated today that he doesn't anticipate talking about his own future, so long as general manager Ken Holland also is in the last year of his contract. (Holland, however, has one year plus an option year that, thought a club option, can become vested depending on what happens this season.)

...

There's no doubt that Babcock — a Stanley Cup champion and Olympic champion — would get snapped up in a second if he were to be free next summer (hello, Toronto). But he has a great situation in Detroit, and a pay raise from the $2 million he currently makes could well mean many more work anniversaries.

And b) Babcock probably does indeed want a raise, so he's going to squeeze a little bit and let the sports talk radio types dream up Babcock-to-Ak-Bars-Kazan scenarios until Holland's locked up to ensure that he's the NHL's highest-paid coach.

I don't believe he's going to leave, though I know I'm in among the minority in that department. The man's been consistent in stating that he wants to remain in Detroit, and if he goes against his word in this town, he'll have some hell to pay.

 

 

 

In other news, the Grand Rapids Griffins re-signed a veteran mentor...

EVANS' THIRD TOUR

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Monday re-signed veteran defenseman Brennan Evans to a one-year contract.

Evans, 32, spent the past two seasons with Grand Rapids, tallying 24 points (4-20—24) and 259 penalty minutes in 144 regular season games. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound blueliner picked up four goals, 13 assists and 17 points during his 2013-14 campaign with the Griffins, exceeding his 11-year professional records for both goals (3) and points (16). Including his 2013 Calder Cup-clinching goal, Evans has also picked up two goals and six assists in 34 playoff appearances since joining the Griffins in 2012. In 780 career AHL games, the North Battleford, Saskatchewan, native has amassed 124 points (18-106—124) and 1,608 PIM.

Evans’ only NHL action came in the 2004 playoffs, when he skated in two games with the Calgary Flames during their series against the Detroit Red Wings. Prior to turning pro, Evans spent five seasons in the Western Hockey League, recording 41 points (12-29—41) in 257 games and capturing a Memorial Cup with Kootenay in 2001-02.

The Red Wings posted a video profile of Xavier Ouellet on their YouTube channel...

Octopus Thrower's Peter Fish spoke with Andreas Athanasiou during the Wings' summer development camp...

Andreas Athanasiou went into Development Camp this year as an elder statesman of the Red Wings system because it was his third year at Development Camp, but he still had areas of his game to work on.

Athanasiou talked about what Development Camp is to him, “I think, just getting into that game shape and getting ready for main camp coming up and just learn how to play Detroit Red Wing hockey.”

Andreas Athanasiou possesses an incredible amount of speed and was the fastest player on the ice for Detroit, but with that speed comes some issues for the young center.

There were more than a few times when Athanasiou would continue skating up the ice, but the puck would slide right off of his stick, as if he was skating faster than the puck was moving. Most players will drop down a gear to control the puck better, but Athanasiou prefers to stay in top gear.

JJ From Kansas wants you to know that Joakim Andersson may in fact be a better player than Luke Glendening...

And on the Twitter...

(That would be when the Predators snagged Doug Brown from the Wings in the 1998 expansion draft. The Petr Sykora the Wings sent to Nashville was not the successful Sykora--Petr the lesser played in 12 NHL games and spent the vast majority of his career with HC Pardubice of the Czech Extraliga)

Also:

 

 

Update: The Macomb Daily's George Pohly spoke with Babcock about his new assistant coach:

“He’s an impressive guy,” Babcock said of Granato, 49, who filled the vacancy created when Bill Peters left last month to become head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Babcock has a list against which he measures staff candidates. He wants a “real good person” who must “love hockey” and have coaching experience.

“That’s kind of the order for me,” Babcock said.

Granato, a former NHL player, completed the hat trick.

“He’s a real good person,” Babcock said. “He’s got four kids in college. He talks about his family like they’re more important than hockey, which is what it should be. He has vast experience as a player and a coach. He loves the game.”

Babcock talked to the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz, and to former Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero, about Granato.

“They all gave him ringing endorsements,” Babcock said. “I was surprised we could get him. He met with three other teams first. We let him do that. We were excited he chose to be a Red Wing.”

Update #2: Take this for what you will, from the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

[As] his assistants were coming and going Monday, Babcock was adamant about one thing: He isn’t going to be talking about his future once the season begins.

“By that time (regular season), it’s hockey,” Babcock said. “It’s about the team. It’s not about Mike Babcock.”

Babcock doesn’t expect any extension until general manager Ken Holland, who also has one year left on his deal, works out his own contract.

“I’m not concerned,” Babcock said. “I’ve always been of the belief that if you do your job, do your job well, people want you.”

Update #3: Hockey's Future's Adam Schnepp penned a review of the Wings' 2014 Draft haul, and he mentions a player who hasn't been discussed at any length as of yet:

Chase Perry, G, Wenatchee Wild (NAHL)
5th round, 136th overall
Height
: 6-2 Weight: 175

Detroit rarely selects players from the NAHL, but they saw a combination of athleticism, skill, and size in Chase Perry that was too difficult to pass over in the fifth round. Perry had a 15-12-6 record for the Wild in 2013-14, along with a .905 save percentage and 2.34 goals against average. Perry’s game took a step forward in the playoffs, where he posted a minuscule 1.83 goals against average to go with a .933 save percentage.

Perry will begin his freshman season with Colorado College of the NCAA in the fall. He has four years to sign an entry-level deal, giving him plenty of time to adjust to the college game before turning professional.

Perry spoke with Hockey’s Future at the NHL Combine, with his comments captured in this HF video.

As well as the Wings' last pick:

Alexander Kadeykin, C, Atlant Mytishchi (KHL)
7th round, 201st overall
Height
: 6-3 Weight: 213

The Red Wings may have pulled off quite the steal with the selection of Alexander Kadeykin, especially considering that the pick with which he was selected was a throw in from San Jose in the trade that sent Brad Stuart to the Sharks after the 2011-12 season.

Kadeykin fits the bill as far as the type of player Detroit leaned towards in the 2014 Draft; he is a strong two-way center with offensive upside that is just beginning to develop. In 54 KHL games in 2013-14, Kadeykin notched 23 points. This is not an earth-shattering total, but it is more impressive when considering that Kadeykin was only getting the minutes of a third line center. Kadeykin will play one more season in the KHL in 2014-15.

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Comments

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How do you pronounce “Athanasiou”?  Thx

Posted by montanamike on 07/14/14 at 06:18 PM ET

Paul's avatar

(ath-an-AYZH-yew, an–DRAY-uhs)

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/14/14 at 06:29 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Dude needs a nickname, stat.

Posted by SK77 on 07/14/14 at 07:04 PM ET

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The man’s been consistent in stating that he wants to remain in Detroit, and if he goes against his word in this town, he’ll have some hell to pay.

Yeah, I’m sure.  A blizzard of sternly-worded blog posts loom darkly on this hypothetical horizon.  There may even be random series of %$*#*@ symbols included in them.  Surely the heavens tremble.

If the Babcock extension ends up not happening, for whatever reason, he’s not going to give two bleeps about whatever absurd ‘hell to pay’ imaginings George or anyone else could dream up.  He’ll sign a mammoth deal somewhere else because he’s, you know, pretty much the best coach in the league, and he’ll never give a moments thought to any of your broken hearts again because he’ll have a job to do and he’ll be as focused on that there as he was here.

JJ From Kansas wants you to know that Joakim Andersson may in fact be a better player than Luke Glendening…

Whoa… high praise, considering Glendening’s a replacement level player at best.  I eagerly look forward to JJ’s next post wherein he has those two titans of cuisine face off against each other, the Big Mac and the DQ chili dog.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/14/14 at 07:21 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I eagerly look forward to JJ’s next post wherein he has those two titans of cuisine face off against each other, the Big Mac and the DQ chili dog.

What a dumbass statement. The Big Mac is so much better. It’s not even close. What kind of dipshit eats hot food at DQ?

How disgusting.

 

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/14/14 at 07:57 PM ET

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I’m not sure that the Penguins really specialized in puck possession… they just had two dominant players in Crosby and Malkin.

I’m indifferent to the Granato hire, as in I can wait and see. I’ll be a lot happier if the Wings pursue and land Adam Oates to run the power play.

Posted by dmorley21 on 07/14/14 at 08:25 PM ET

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Also, I finally got a profile here at KK. I’ve talked with a lot of you on Twitter as @DustinMorley.

And George, I’m really enjoying that you’re now including blogs in your report.

Posted by dmorley21 on 07/14/14 at 08:26 PM ET

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What a dumbass statement. The Big Mac is so much better. It’s not even close. What kind of dipshit eats hot food at DQ?

How disgusting.

 

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/14/14 at 08:57 PM ET

I would agree with your sentiment about DQ hot food everywhere outside of Texas.  However, they run a different hot food menu down there though, and when I’m in Texas I’ll eat at DQ or Whataburger over McDonalds anytime.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 07/14/14 at 08:34 PM ET

Chris in A^2's avatar

1. I liked Tom Renney, despite his inability to turn the power play around (it’s been iffy since Todd McLellan left in 2008),

I don’t thing coaching has much to do with it.  The powerplay has gone downhill because it doesn’t have Lidstrom and Rafalski on point anymore.

Posted by Chris in A^2 from Nyquist Puck Control on 07/14/14 at 08:34 PM ET

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I liked Tom Renney, despite his inability to turn the power play around

.
The way the PP was run, to me it seems like Babcock was 100% running it thinking he still has Lidstrom and Holmstrom. I do not think he was listening to Renney much, otherwise we would have seen some changes, some new options might have been tried and not just a shot from a point with traffic upfront. That was good when we had Lidstrom who could get the shot through traffic and Holmstrom who was the best in business.
I would like to see some more player movement, some more puck movement down low, some shots from the faceoff circles, some puck movement from side to side and no forward at the point (even Alfy, who is quite good there is better from the faceoff circle imo and Tatar, Sammy, etc have no business to be at the point). I am not even talking about personnel (I would definitely try Smith), but just talking about PP being not so much predictable than it is now. Not only Kronwall one timer is read by defense 10 seconds before it happens, but Kronwall is just not good at getting his shot through traffic.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/14/14 at 09:20 PM ET

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Matter-of-factly multitasking between hockey opinions and fast food reviews is pretty priceless.

No four-paragraph comments to add; I’m just enjoying this as a reader.

(Though I would like to believe that there is at least one state of the union in which Arby’s has achieved a Michelin star)

Posted by Lefty30 on 07/14/14 at 09:22 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

I would agree with your sentiment about DQ hot food everywhere outside of Texas.  However, they run a different hot food menu down there though, and when I’m in Texas I’ll eat at DQ or Whataburger over McDonalds anytime.

DQ may be better down here but it’s still pretty average. It’s also remarkably unhealthy even for fast food.  Burger King, though.  Having spent far too many hours in meat packing plants when I was younger, all I can really say is, man, stay away from Burger King. Whataburger kicks all of their asses.  If Glendening and Andersson are Burger King and Dairy Queen, Whataburger has to be at least a solid… uh.  Valterri Filppula?

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/14/14 at 09:22 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

Whoever the personnel are, the secret to a successful power play is the “one-timer” shot.  Any other shot gives the defense and goalie enough time to block the lane and stop the shot.

Posted by w2j2 on 07/14/14 at 09:38 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Here’s the absolute, brutal truth about the Red Wings PP:  they rely way too much on the point.

When Lidstrom, Rafalski, etc, were there on the point, they could do some amazing things.  However, over the years not onlyhave they gone, but teams clog the lanes on the PP so much more (and traffic in front of the goalie is so much more important) that the Wings have just struggled increasingly to get pucks through.  Teams are willing to cede some puck movement to the Wings in favor of clogging shooting lanes, especially now that Nick isn’t back there.

Kronwall does ok offensively, but he’s more of a jump-into-the-slot kind of offensive d-man, not a true PP QB.  Ericsson, Smith, DeKeyser, Quincey, and Kindl… none of them have the necessary skill to work the point and QB the PP.

Kindl in particular was drafted w/ supposedly a good shot from the point, and we have never, ever seen it.  His shot is usually indecisive, weak and limp.  And almost never makes it through if he manages to get it off.  Smith has a decent shot sometimes but… we all know the other trade-offs.  DeKeyser is a puck-mover and right now not any threat on the PP.

Now we can say “This is why Babcock keeps putting a FWD on the point for the PP”.... but that hasn’t worked either because there’s no forward on DET’s roster built for that role.

DET"s PP just has to find a way to generate shots that actually get through, and it looks like they need to take them from somewhere other than the blue line to do so.  But somehow, they have never gotten that memo.

This is what drives me so nuts about DET basically telling Almqvist he had no place:  his shot is pretty good and heavy for his size, and he seems built and wired to QB a PP.  So how they can just brush him off… I just don’t get it.  He’s also more-ready than any of the other kids (save for maybe Marchenko.  Maybe).  HE’S ALREADY IN YOUR SYSTEM, how can you turn him away… but then re-sign Kyle “I’m just here to ring the bell and turn the puck over” Quincey knowing there is no upside whatsoever to the latter?

Posted by Primis on 07/14/14 at 09:44 PM ET

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can we get back to dairy queen news? (editor’s note: DQ)

Posted by brians neck on 07/14/14 at 10:31 PM ET

awould's avatar

I’d rather sign Cleary to 2 more years than eat a hot dog from DQ.

Posted by awould on 07/14/14 at 10:53 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Dude needs a nickname, stat.

A - squared, but that’s being lazy.

(ath-an-AYZH-yew, an–DRAY-uhs)

He asked for the english version Paul. smile

Posted by calquake on 07/14/14 at 11:01 PM ET

calquake's avatar

I’d rather sign Cleary to 2 more years than eat a hot dog from DQ.

I admire a man of convictions.

Posted by calquake on 07/14/14 at 11:04 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Athanasiou’s name’s been pronounced several ways, and the Greeks will insist that it’s Ath-a-NAYS-ew, but I’ve repeatedly heard American commentators call him Ath-an-ASS-ee-oo, and he seems to respond to the latter just fine.

I’d call him “mitts” given that he’s finnicky about his gloves and would rather wear a pair with ripped palms than a new pair, but that’s just me. I’m sure he’s A.A. or “Andy.”

Given that Riley Sheahan is “She,” hockey player names ain’t what they used to be.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/14/14 at 11:07 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

For what it’s worth, I never intended to “ignore” other blogs—I just sort of assumed that the folks wanted to MSM surveyed and carried on as such. I really didn’t know that other bloggers felt I was snubbing them, and now that I know, things have changed.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/14/14 at 11:28 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

Dude needs a nickname, stat.

Posted by SK77 on 07/14/14 at 08:04 PM ET

Xanadu

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 07/15/14 at 12:57 AM ET

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What a dumbass statement. The Big Mac is so much better. It’s not even close. What kind of dipshit eats hot food at DQ?

The DQ’s Corsi Rel QoC, Def Zone % and Penalty taken/drawn numbers relative to the Big Mac’s clearly define it as the superior food item, luddites.  Don’t you know how awesome a hot dog has to be to have it get ordered ahead of a Turtle?

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/15/14 at 06:46 AM ET

Avatar

Dude needs a nickname, stat.

Battery

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/15/14 at 06:49 AM ET

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“Hell to pay.”  That is good for a laugh.  You are not in the minority that think he will be here next year.  I would say most agree with that, although the odds will get lower once September hits and nothing is done.  You are in the minority that you think he’ll be here for 10 years beyond this one.

Posted by jkm2011 on 07/15/14 at 07:38 AM ET

Primis's avatar

As for Dairy Queen:  show me another burger/dog joint you can order a side of gravy for your fries (or to put on your burger)?

I mean, they’re not Culver’s obviously (what is?) or Hardee’s, but… I’ve never got sick eating at DQ (and BK in multiple cities certainly can’t stake that claim).

Now, DQ’s other practices…. their CC machine at the one here in town went down the other day and they repeatedly ran into trouble by not telling people until AFTER they’d ordered and started making food.  I mean c’mon, you gotta’ tell that up front ‘cause plenty of people don’t just carry cash around anymore.

Posted by Primis on 07/15/14 at 08:17 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

What kind of dipshit eats hot food at DQ?

How disgusting.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/14/14 at 08:57 PM ET

Your mother.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/15/14 at 08:18 AM ET

SuperMatt75's avatar

Dude needs a nickname, stat.

Battery

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/15/14 at 07:49 AM ET

There’s a video where Blashill calls him ‘Double A’, so I’m thinking Battery isn’t far off.

Posted by SuperMatt75 from the cool side of the pillow on 07/15/14 at 08:22 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

DET"s PP just has to find a way to generate shots that actually get through, and it looks like they need to take them from somewhere other than the blue line to do so.  But somehow, they have never gotten that memo.

Posted by Primis on 07/14/14 at 10:44 PM ET

You state the obvious problem, but its not coaching, its the players.  The absolute, brutal truth about the Red Wings PP is that they lack the personel for an effective 5 man PP unit.  Not that they don’t have elite players, just not players that fit into today’s NHL PP schemes that are effective against today’s NHL PK systems. 

Without a legitmate shooting threat from the point, or a legitmate net front presense, why would the PK extend the zone to cover the point to loosen up the holes to shoot from the wings or slot? That’s exactly why Babs tosses a righty forward out there with kronwall, to have some sort of shooting option to stretch the box, though like you’ve said it doesn’t work.

Hank and Pavel are great players, but neither of them are sniper’eske shoot first guys which makes the opportunity windows even smaller.

The lack of a net front guy though is equally an issue. Net front in today’s NHL not only is a screen, but also handles a lot of pucks underneath the goal line, and creates opportunities as the defense moves, we don’t have a guy we want to stand infront of slap shots but that can also handle the puck and make a play.

Our PP relies on creating offense off the initial entry, or Pavel or Hank being Pavel or Hank. Once set up, we’re too easy to defend.

Its like if the Lions only having Calvin you blanket him, or the Tigers only had Caberra you pitch around him.

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 07/15/14 at 08:25 AM ET

Avatar

As for Dairy Queen:  show me another burger/dog joint you can order a side of gravy for your fries (or to put on your burger)?

Is that not a thing that’s commonplace in the states?

I don’t understand your country…

Posted by Garth on 07/15/14 at 09:11 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

See Garth, you hoseheads up there are skinny, so eating gravy with fries must equal weight loss.

The girls are hotter in Canada.

The beer tastes better and is colder…

Therefore…

Danny Cleary sucks.


I need some caffeine this morning.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/15/14 at 09:23 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Good.  Now let’s talk about Hot n’ Now.  I miss Hot n’ Now….  :-(

Posted by Primis on 07/15/14 at 10:02 AM ET

awould's avatar

There’s a Hot’n'Now in Sturgis, MI.

Posted by awould on 07/15/14 at 10:16 AM ET

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You state the obvious problem, but its not coaching, its the players.  The absolute, brutal truth about the Red Wings PP is that they lack the personel for an effective 5 man PP unit.

Dingdingding.

People need to look a little harder at the offensive rosters of those top PP clubs before they default to criticizing coaching.  Ovechkin had as many PP goals last year as D, Z, Alfredsson, Nyquist and Kronwall combined.  Detroit’s leading PP goal-scorer (the oft-hated and allegedly useless Franzen) wasn’t in the top 45 in the league.

Detroit just doesn’t have enough offensive firepower on the blue line to have a functional PP.  There’s literally no way to structure a PP unit that doesn’t rely heavily to the point of primarily on the pointmen.  This is why Babcock has tried so hard to put a forward back there on at least one of the units, because the defensemen by and large stink offensively.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/15/14 at 10:43 AM ET

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There’s a Hot’n’Now in Sturgis, MI.

Get out of here with Hot n’ Now.  Rally’s/Checkers, or those small white burger joints (Bates Burgers is one, Greene’s Hamburgers is another)... those are the places to go.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/15/14 at 10:44 AM ET

awould's avatar

Get out of here with Hot n’ Now.

Hot’n'Now is not very good. Merely informing Primis of a location. Not an endorsement.

You wanna get the real reviews of fast food, this guy is a connoisseur and pretty g’damn funny.

http://youtu.be/zGkHRa64sDY

Regarding the PP.. I agree pretty much what was said by Murray but with the caveat that coaching can’t be let off the hook completely. If you don’t have the players, get creative. To misquote Donald Rumsfeld, you go to the PP with the players you have, not the players you want.

Posted by awould on 07/15/14 at 11:21 AM ET

Primis's avatar

There’s a Hot’n’Now in Sturgis, MI.

Posted by awould on 07/15/14 at 11:16 AM ET

I know.  I’ve been to it.  My jaw dropped first time I drove by it.  I stopped at a later time and got some triple cheeseburgers.

Hot n’ Now was the Taco Bell of burgers.

Posted by Primis on 07/15/14 at 11:40 AM ET

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To misquote Donald Rumsfeld, you go to the PP with the players you have, not the players you want.

That’s all well and good, but if the players you have aren’t good enough, the PP isn’t going to be good.

Also, if anyone can help me find a way to use the word ‘good’ a few more times in this post, that would be good.

Posted by Garth on 07/15/14 at 12:02 PM ET

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The absolute, brutal truth about the Red Wings PP is that they lack the personel for an effective 5 man PP unit

I can only partially agree to that. Datsyuk, Z, Franzen, Kron, Smith. That’s good enough as far as personnel concerns.
Now, what I want to see is for those player to move around and create lanes. To move the puck down low. Maybe to put Dats behind the net and try to set up Z or Franzen for a one timer. And then a shot from a blue line will be easier to execute. The problem now is that the whole league knows what is coming on Detroit PP. If the opposition has to defend different options at the same time, it will make it much more difficult to defend and to me that’s all on coaching.
The powerplay for team Canada was the same predictable, except that Weber and Doughty are the best in the business to get the pucks to the net. We do not have anybody of that caliber, so we have to improvise, to become more creative, to offer different looks and I believe we have personnel to do it.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/15/14 at 12:35 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Kronwall does ok offensively, but he’s more of a jump-into-the-slot kind of offensive d-man, not a true PP QB.

&

This is why Babcock has tried so hard to put a forward back there on at least one of the units, because the defensemen by and large stink offensively.

&

Datsyuk, Z, Franzen, Kron, Smith. That’s good enough as far as personnel concerns.

Why don’t DRW fans recognize Kronwall’s abilities?

—In the two years since Lidstrom retired, Kronwall has been 5th and 6th in PP-pts for defensemen. (Lidstrom was tied for 13th amongst defensemen his last year & tied for 16th two years before that… after spending most of his career in the top 5)

And Kronwall put up all of those pts even though he wasn’t on a team with an especially good PP.

Why can’t Kronwall ever get any love?

Posted by alwaysaurie on 07/15/14 at 01:35 PM ET

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Why don’t DRW fans recognize Kronwall’s abilities?

I do not think it’s a matter of recognizing his abilities by the fans, but we are talking about PP now and Kron has his limitations (he is not very good at getting his shot through the net without being blocked and he is absolutely terrible in keeping the puck in the zone when the opposition clears it along the boards). My point is that it’s up to the coach to recognize what he has (and what he does not have) on a PP and make adjustments to maximize his players’ abilities. If everybody knows that our whole PP is based on the shot from a blue line, combined with Kronwall not being really good at that, it makes it very easy to defend our PP.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/15/14 at 01:44 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.