The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/17/13 at 02:01 PM ET
Updated 15x at 4:49 PM: You can empty the cliche bag regarding the necessity of the Detroit Red Wings earning points against the Calgary Flames this evening (9:30 PM EDT, FSD Plus/TSN/97.1 FM), but nobody's been talking about the degree of difficulty that the Wings actually find themselves facing this evening.
The Wings and their workhorse goaltender have to find a way to upstage what will be the first of two Miikka Kiprusoff "farewell" events, and the fact of the matter is that the Flames' pair of 5-2 wins over the Wings in February and March did not hinge upon the play of Jarome Iginla, but instead, Curtis Glencross, as the AP's game preview noted:
Curtis Glencross had an assist after missing Saturday's win over Edmonton with the flu. Glencross has scored in each meeting with Detroit and has six goals and four assists in his last six games versus the Red Wings.
Though Miikka Kiprusoff has a 4.12 goals-against average while losing his last six starts, he's been solid against Detroit.
Kiprusoff made 19 saves through two periods before suffering a sprained MCL that would keep him out more than a month in a 4-1 win over Detroit on Feb. 5. He then stopped 36 shots in a 5-2 victory over the Wings on March 13.
Howard has a 3.13 GAA in his last six starts versus the Flames, who have won four of the last six overall meetings. Detroit had taken five of six matchups in Calgary prior to the defeat last month.
The Flames' morning skate yielded predictable news...
This isn't the kind of stuff I usually post, but "If you're going to the game," from the Flames' website:
Due to events taking place on Stampede Park, the Scotiabank Saddledome would like to advise all fans attending the Calgary Flames vs. Detroit Red Wings game on Wednesday, April 17th to arrive early or to use public transportation in order to avoid parking delays.
On This Day in Red Wings History...
On April 17, 1954: The Red Wings celebrate Tony Leswick's Stanley Cup clinching OT goal in Game 7 that gave Detroit a 2-1 win over Montreal the night before.
(Ah, the days of 8 teams and playoff runs that ended in April...Just like the modern-day Winter Classic constituting one instead of one of six outdoor games, right?)
As well as Ken Kal's Keys to the Game:
Show Up On Time - The Wings have the jump on Calgary and be on the attack early. Take the crowd out of the game. It's better to have the lead than to burn energy coming back from an early deficit.
Score Three Goals - The Red Wings record this season is 16-0-2 when they score 3 or more goals. Calgary's defense has had their struggles this year, so Detroit has to find ways to put the biscuit in the basket.
Need Solid Goaltending - Jimmy Howard will probably finish the season between the pipes. He's played well all year, he needs to be in top form tonight and make key saves when tested.
ANSAR KHAN: Two per season, one in the U.S. and one in Canada, is fine. Six is way too many.
With games in famous locales like Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium and Soldier Field, the Red Wings-Maple Leafs spectacle at Michigan Stadium will lose some of its luster. The game at the Big House, with an anticipated record crowd of 110,000, should have the spotlight all to itself as the only outdoor game in 2014.
But, ultimately, if they all sell-out and garner good TV ratings, then six isn't too many.
BRENDAN SAVAGE: I'm torn on this one. On one hand, I love things that are different and go against the norm. Outdoor games do exactly that so I want to say the more the better.
But given that Michigan waited so long to get a Winter Classic only to have it postponed for a year by the lockout, part of me thinks the game at Michigan Stadium could lose some of its luster if it has company.
Then again, all of the other events surrounding the Winter Classic are going to make it unique and a two-week celebration of hockey in Michigan. So if adding a couple of more games is good for the overall health of the NHL, why not? Hockey needs all the exposure it can get and this might turn more people on to the sport.
My only suggestion would be to have one of the games in an Original Six city like Montreal or Boston – given the recent tragedy there, the city could use some good news – rather than having two in New York.
Two in New York would be overkill.
Try will be. These games are going to happen. And if you or I didn't believe that the NHL relentlessly milks every revenue stream dry, we've been paying attention to neither lockouts 1, 2 or 3 nor the fact that every NHL fan is paying much more for tickets in a league whose salary cap's upper limit is fixed at the place where its top teams were spending a decade ago.
At least we know that almost every NHL player grew up playing the game indoors, not outdoors, so there's no "sacredness" in terms of the players' memories of outdoor hockey being messed with...
And it must be mentioned that any assertions that hockey's a "pure sport" at anything other than the youth level (excluding parents who believe that their 5-year-old will be the next Sidney Crosby) or beer league level just isn't true: the game's always followed money, from its earliest days as a game subsidized by timber, fur trade, shipping and mining magnates to today's $3.3-billion-plus industry.
We may hold hockey up as a glorious game that everybody learned how to play on frozen ponds in the wilderness, but that's just not the truth...Hell, I grew up playing outdoors because I played street hockey, and me and my classmates would often either usurp or break into the tennis court at Elbel Field across from Divine Child High School to play on the best car-free surface we could find. For me, the "purity of the game" often involved bolt-cutters and broken locks.
Anyway, the Wings' did hold a morning skate, but it wasn't much of a morning skate:
Well here's when I click "open entry":
As details emerged about the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and wounded scores of others, coach Mike Babcock was sickened by what he saw in images on TV and the Internet.
“It’s hard to believe that this could be caused by human beings because you wouldn’t think no human would be involved in something like this,” the Red Wings coach said. “The reality of the situation is, the great part about living in the free part of the world is that it’s free so people do things that sometimes you would rather not happen.”
Like everyone who works in the athletic world terrorist attacks isn’t far from Babcock’s mind as high-profile sporting events have long been discussed as tantalizing targets for foreign and domestic terrorists who wish to achieve a particular political aim. While Monday’s twin blasts produced the worst terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001, Babcock said he feels safe at work in NHL venues.
“NHL security does what they can,” Babcock said. “Things can go wrong. It’s part of living in the free part of the world. There are going to be things that go wrong, but in saying all that, you can’t let people get in the way of what you love to do.”
The Red Wings will be in Vancouver later this week to play the Canucks on Saturday night at Rogers Arena where security will undoubtedly be on heightened alert as the city prepares to host 48,000 runners Sunday morning in the second largest 10K race in the world.
“I remember when my wife ran her first marathon,” Babcock said. “The jubilation at the end there in L.A. was unbelievable. You’re there for a family event and then you hear an eight-year old boy lost his life. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to those families that were involved. It’s a sickening, sickening thing. In saying that I assume they’re really going to heighten security right now. You’d like to think things like this would never happen again, but you and I know that won’t be the case. It’s sad."
Update #1.5: From the Wings' Facebook page:
Don't Forget, Dino Ciccarelli, Chris Chelios, Chris Osgood, Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper are at Ciccarelli's TONIGHT from 7-9p.m. for a charity autograph signing followed by a viewing party as the Wings play the Flames.
Proceeds will benefit MI-C.O.P.S. and Minor Hockey. Tickets for the autograph signing and viewing party are $75 or $90 for the autograph signing, viewing party and (5) 8x10 photos.
For more details, please visit: http://sportsbartheater.com/events/event/charity-autograph-signing-viewing-party
Autograph signing from 7-9p.m.
Wings vs. Flames begins at 9:30
Questions? Please call Ciccarelli's Sports Bar Theater at 586-247-2223 or visit http://sportsbartheater.com
Update #2: Expected news:
Flames coach Bob Hartley...
And Wings coach Mike Babcock speaking to the media:
Update #3.5: The Fan 960's Pat Steinberg's posted a game-day update:
Some familiar faces will return to the lineup tonight when the Calgary Flames continue their final home stand of the season tonight against the Detroit Red Wings (7:30 pm, Sportsnet 960). Both Matt Stajan and Miikka Kiprusoff will get back into game action tonight as the Flames play their second last home game of the season. They finish off their home schedule on Friday night when they welcome the Anaheim Ducks.
This is the final time these two teams will meet with the Red Wings serving as a Western Conference opponent, as they’ll switch to the East for next season with realignment. These two teams have had some memorable playoff series over the last while, including Calgary’s 2004 upset win in the second round. A few years later, Detroit dispatched of Calgary in six games in one of Kiprusoff’s more memorable playoff appearances.
If the Flames lose this game in any fashion, they will officially be eliminated from playoff contention.
Calgary Flames 16-22-4, 14th Western Conference [lines]
Curtis Glencross-Mikael Backlund-Jiri Hudler
Sven Baertschi-Matt Stajan-Lee Stempniak
Mike Cammalleri-Roman Horak-Ben Hanowski
Steve Begin-Max Reinhart-Tim Jackman
Mark Giordano-Dennis Wideman
T.J. Brodie-Cory Sarich
Chris Butler-Brett Carson
Stajan returns to the lineup after missing four games with an upper body injury. As a result, Roman Cervenka will sit out as a healthy scratch; he’d been playing mostly fourth line minutes over the last few games. It’ll be big for Stajan to get back in for the final few games, just to get get things back in a groove before the off season. He suffered the injury last Monday against the Colorado Avalanche.
Miikka Kiprusoff will get the start in net after Joey MacDonald started the last three games for the Flames. Head Coach Bob Hartley confirmed Kiprusoff will get the start in net tonight and on Friday against the Ducks; for those who believe this is the swan song at the Saddledome for Calgary’s longtime number one, this will give an opportunity to bid farewell. Kiprusoff maintains he hasn’t made a decision on his status for next season.
Brian McGrattan could return to the lineup on Friday, but won’t play tonight. He’s missed the last five games with a shoulder injury.
Update #4: The Detroit Free Press's Helene St. James has filed her game-day report:
Six games remain for the Wings to ensure that they extend a 21-year playoff streak.
"It's great it's over, 11 days or whatever," coach Mike Babcock said, "but we have a game here today, and we have to get prepared and play hard and execute. Last time we were in this building, I thought we had the puck all the time, and we kept giving it to them so they could shoot it in our net, and it ended up 5-2."
The Wings were tied, 2-2, going into the third period of that game last month, then went on to commit numerous turnovers. They weren't helped by their netminder, Jonas Gustavsson, either.
It'll be Jimmy Howard in goal tonight, opposite Calgary veteran Miikka Kiprusoff. Patrick Eaves returns up front, replacing Jordin Tootoo, and Kyle Quincey replaces Carlo Colaiacovo on the back end. Ian White and Brian Lashoff also are out on defense.
Update #5: Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's game-day update:
Every game is crucial for the Red Wings, who are battling to make the playoffs. They can't afford to squander two points, like they did in their previous meeting with the Flames. It was a game Detroit dominated for two periods, only to fall apart in the third, when Calgary capitalized on a series of turnovers for three unanswered goals.
“Last time we were in this building I thought we had the puck all the time (but) kept giving it to them so they could shoot it in our net and we end up 5-2,'' Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It was like Christmas for crying out out loud, we gave so many away. You can't play like that, you got to be patient and take care of it.''
The Red Wings made two lineup changes from their previous game, a 3-0 win Sunday at Nashville. Kyle Quincey returns on defense, replacing Carlo Colaiacovo, while Patrick Eaves replaced Jordin Tootoo on the fourth line.
Here are tonight's anticipated line combinations and defense pairs:
Henrik Zetterberg-Pavel Datsyuk-Justin Abdelkader
Daniel Cleary-Valtteri Filppula-Johan Franzen
Gustav Nyquist-Joakim Andersson-Damien Brunner
Drew Miller-Cory Emmerton-Patrick Eaves
Jordin Tootoo (scratched)
Niklas Kronwall-Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey-Brendan Smith
Danny DeKeyser-Jakub Kindl
Carlo Colaiacovo, Ian White and Brian Lashoff (scratched)
Jimmy Howard (starting)
Mikka Kiprusoff is starting for Calgary. He has lost his past seven starts.
And in a very intriguing twist, the Flames announced that they signed Swiss goalie Reto Berra, who they acquired from St. Louis in the Jay Bouwmeester deal. Between Berra, AHL'er Daniel Taylor and Joey MacDonald, the Flames may be set in the post-Kiprusoff net.
Update #6: Hey, cool!
The gallery is available here.
Update #7: Via RedWingsFeed, the Free Press's Helene St. James posted a video of Babcock's comments as well...
And CalgaryFlames.com's Aaron Vickers filed a morning skate report which discusses Miikka Kiprusoff's future...
The Calgary Flames have two games remaining in their home schedule this season and longtime franchise face Miikka Kiprusoff will be between the pipes for both. It could be the final starts on Scotiabank Saddledome ice for Kiprusoff, who will make a decision on whether or not to play next year sometime this summer. The 'what if' of Kiprusoff's decision didn't factor into coach Bob Hartley's plan.
"Well what could be. I don't think that Miikka knows himself," Hartley said. "It's tough to always make decision on if and when and what. If we would go by this, coaching would get pretty tough. I deal in schedules, I don't deal in contracts plus we still have some games to go. We still have some games to go so for me, Miikka is a regular player and he's being treated like everyone else."
And that "priceless experience" quip:
For the fourth consecutive game, the Flames will square off against a Western Conference opponent pushing towards a playoff position.
After taking a point from the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday, effectively ending the postseason aspirations of the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday and putting a scare into the Minnesota Wild on Monday, Calgary has an opportunity to put a dent in the drive of the Detroit Red Wings. With a young squad, that experience can prove invaluable according to Hartley.
"Like the commercial, it's priceless," he said. "It's great because we're playing teams that they're fighting for a playoff spot so you know they're going to put their best players in every possible situation and for us, we're going to match it. We're going to match it with some youngsters and its going to be interesting to see how they react. If you imagine a Ben Hanowski or a Baertschi or a Horak, they'll face Zetterberg and Datsyuk and those guys. This is a big 'wow' in their career and it can be a big eye opener also."
Update #8: NHL.com's Aaron Vickers filed a game-day report focusing on the Wings' precarious situation:
"When you're playing teams at this time of the year, is it better to play a team that's in the playoffs and a little more comfortable?" Babcock questioned. "Is it better to play a team that's fighting for their life, maybe seized up a little bit? Or is it better to play a team that has some kids and they're just loose and dry? I don't know the answer to any of these questions and it's a waste of time thinking about it. Lets play."
The Red Wings enter Calgary holding down the eighth and final playoff spot in the West with 47 points. The Columbus Blue Jackets, who have played one more game than Detroit, also sit with 47 on the season. The Dallas Stars are two points back at 45. In other words, the sense of urgency has struck the Red Wings.
"There hasn't been any panic, that's for sure but there's a sense of urgency," goaltender Jimmy Howard said. "I think we've been playing with that for the last several games and it's going to be no different tonight. We're going to have to go out there and outwork [Calgary]."
It starts with a better effort against the Flames. The last time Detroit visited Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary won 5-2 despite the Red Wings outshooting the Flames 38-22.
"Last time we were in this building, I thought we had the puck all the time and kept giving it to them so they could shoot it in our net," Babcock said. "It was like Christmas for crying out loud, we gave so many away. You can't play like that. You've got to be patient and take care of it."
Update #9: It took long enough, but the Calgary Sun's Wes Gilbertson filed a game-day post (now we're waiting on Ted Kulfan and the Calgary Herald)....
If Kiprusoff can't backstop his squad to a win in Wednesday's meeting with the Wings (7:30 p.m., TSN, Sportsnet 960), the standings will confirm what everybody already knows — that the Flames (16-22-4) will miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season.
Hartley's bunch would be mathematically eliminated by a loss to the Wings (20-15-7), who currently occupy the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference standings.
“We're playing teams that are fighting for a playoff spot, so you know that they're going to put their best players in every situation,” Hartley said. “For us, we're going to match it with some youngsters, and it's going to be interesting to see how they react. Imagine a Ben Hanowski or a (Sven) Baertschi or a (Roman) Horak. Tonight, they'll face (Henrik) Zetterberg, they'll face (Pavel) Datsyuk and those guys. This is a big wow in their career and it could be a big eye-opener also.”
The Flames will once again shake up their forward group for Wednesday's tilt, although it won't be to make room for a rookie. Matt Stajan returns to the lineup after missing four games with what he referred to as a “head injury.”
A lot has happened while he's been out. Max Reinhart scored his first big-league goal. Hanowski made his big-league debut and also celebrated his first tally. Baerstchi snapped a season-long slump with goals in back-to-back games.
“It's exciting for any of the young guys coming in,” Stajan said. “We were all there at one point and you had veteran guys to help you along the way. You see these guys come in and you want to do the same for them. You work your whole life to get to this level and you want to make an impression to make a career out of it at this level, so there's a lot of energy in our room with the group we have right now. We're all snowballing off that energy.”
Update #10: The Free Press's Helene St. James reports that Todd Bertuzzi's still working his way toward a comeback...
Todd Bertuzzi strode into the visitors' room and let out a colorful expression, emphasizing just how hard he's pushing himself. He'd been on the ice 90 minutes at Saddledome, where tonight, his Detroit Red Wings take on the Calgary Flames -- without Bertuzzi. The forward hasn't played since Feb. 7, but it's looking better and better that he might yet squeeze into another game.
"We'll see," coach Mike Babcock said. "Any time you miss the whole year, it's hard. The other thing about it is, we need to win games. So do you play a guy who hasn't played all year? Those are good questions. We'll answer them when he's ready."
Forward Mikael Samuelsson (chest muscle) didn't join the optional morning skate until most of the regulars were coming off. Darren Helm isn't even on the trip, because the last time he flew back and forth to western Canada, sitting on the plane for so long tightened up his back. General manager Ken Holland said Helm is skating in Detroit, but after numerous instances of hoping Helm might be back soon, only to see him have a setback, there's little optimism that Helm will play again this season.
And in the prospect department, from Marquette's TV6:
The Northern Michigan University hockey team announced its award winners for the 2012-13 season. The Wildcats annually hand out 12 awards.
Junior goaltender Jared Coreau was named Gary Emmons Most Valuable Player after starting all 38 games. He had a 2.70 goals against average and 91.9 save percentage. He was twice named Central Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Week and had a season-high 50 saves against Lake Superior State on March 1. Coreau also received the Jim Mussatto Memorial Endurance/Fitness Award and Clara Pantalone Memorial Community Service Award for his role in the Pink Wave on Feb. 9.
Update #11: FYI:
If you miss Miikka Kiprusoff’s display tonight, do not despair. According to the Calgary Flames coach, Kiprusoff will also get the start Friday against the visiting Anaheim Ducks. After that? You’re not likely to ever again see No. 34 on Saddledome ice.
"I think (fans here) are showing their appreciation to Miikka every game he’s in," Bob Hartley said Wednesday morning. "They love him. Where would the Calgary Flames have been without Miikka Kiprusoff in past years? We have unbelievable fans here. They’re treating us with lots of class. We can feel the love. We can feel the support. So I don’t think it’s in the last two games that they will show their appreciation. They already did — and they will keep showing their appreciation.
Meanwhile, the Flames face a team, the 20-15-7 Detroit Red Wings, that is clinging to the final post-season berth in the Western Conference. This, to Hartley, is a fantastic scenario.
"Like the commercial, it’s priceless," said Hartley. "It’s great because we’re playing teams that are fighting for a playoff spot. So you know that they’re going to put their best players in every possible situation. We’re going to match it with some youngsters and it’s going to be interesting to see how they react. Imagine a Ben Hanowski or a (Sven) Baertschi or a (Roman) Horak . . . tonight, they’ll face (Henrik) Zetterberg, they’ll face (Pavel) Datsyuk. This is a big ‘wow’ in their career. It could be a big eye-opener also."
This Week’s Games
Fri., April 19 - Peoria Rivermen at GRIFFINS - 7 p.m. - WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sat., April 20 - GRIFFINS at Lake Erie Monsters - 7:30 p.m. - WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com
Sun., April 21 - GRIFFINS at Chicago Wolves - 5 p.m. - WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM / AHLLive.com
END OF REGULAR SEASON
Mission Accomplished: It wasn’t the way they drew it up, but the result of this weekend’s games helped the Griffins clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2008-09. The Griffins had a chance to punch their postseason ticket on Wednesday and Friday but failed to do so after a 3-2 loss to Chicago and a 4-1 loss to Milwaukee. With the Peoria Rivermen in town on Saturday, a victory would have helped the Griffins clinch, and a pair of goals by Landon Ferraro and a third-period go-ahead goal by Francis Pare put the team in good position to do so. However, Taylor Chorney tied the game with 2:29 to play, and Jani Hakanpaa won it in overtime for the visitors. The team received good news later in the night, as a 3-1 victory by Rockford over Milwaukee guaranteed the Griffins a spot in the postseason, with only seeding and Midwest Division bragging rights left to decide in the final week of the AHL’s regular season.
The End is Near: This week marks the last of the AHL’s regular season, and the Griffins will close out the 76-game slate with a three-in-three. The team will wrap up its home schedule on Friday, welcoming the Peoria Rivermen at 7 p.m. to end a four-game homestand, before finishing the year with back-to-back road games against Lake Erie at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and Chicago at 5 p.m. EDT on Sunday. Full first-round Calder Cup Playoff schedules will be announced by the league on Sunday night.
Duty Calls: The Red Wings on Sunday reassigned center Calle Jarnkrok from the Griffins to Brynas of the Swedish Elite League. Although his club’s season is already complete, Jarnkrok was returned to Sweden to compete for a spot on his country’s national team for the 2013 IIHF World Championship, which will be held in Stockholm Sweden, and Helsinki, Finland from May 3-19. In nine games with Grand Rapids, Jarnkrok recorded three assists and a plus-three rating. The 21-year-old forward also skated in 53 games for Brynas, leading the team and tying for eighth in the league with 42 points (13-29—42). A native of Gavle, Sweden, he has appeared in 185 games with Brynas since 2009, registering 118 points (44-74—118) and 40 penalty minutes. He has previous represented his country at the 2011 World Junior Championship, where he earned a silver medal, and at the 2012 World Championship.
The New Guy: The Red Wings on Tuesday reassigned right wing Teemu Pulkkinen from Jokerit (Finland) to the Griffins. Detroit’s fourth choice (111th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Pulkkinen skated in 59 games with Jokerit of Finland’s top professional league, recording 34 points (14-20—34) and 49 penalty minutes. In 185 career games with Jokerit, the 21-year-old forward has registered 128 points (49-79—128) and 134 penalty minutes. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound native of Vantaa, Finland, was named the league’s rookie of the year in 2010-11 after posting 54 points (18-36—54) in 55 contests.
On the Cusp: With a goal on April 6 at Abbotsford, Chad Billins tied Clay Wilson as the highest-scoring rookie defenseman in franchise history. Billins, who is also 17th among AHL rookies and 10th among defensemen, has 37 points (10-27—37) in 73 contests, which matches Josh Langfeld (21-16—37 in 2001-02), Chris Bala (21-16—37 in 2001-02) and Wilson (10-27—37 in 2005-06) for eighth place among all Griffins rookies. Additionally, Billins could write himself into the record books as one of the team’s best in the shootout, as he is five-for-five this season in the skills competition. He is just one of five players in the league to have a perfect shootout percentage, and he’s the only one to have done it on more than three shots. The Griffins have only had two players finish a season with a perfect shootout percentage (on at least three shots): Todd Robinson (2004-05) and Dave Roberts (2000-01), who both finished four-for-four.
Rookie Records: In addition to Chad Billins threatening to become the franchise’s all-time leading scorer among rookie defensemen, the Griffins have two other rookies looking to write their name in the franchise record books. Petr Mrazek is having one of the best seasons for a Griffins’ rookie goaltender. His 2.40 goals against average and 0.913 save percentage rank third behind only Simon Lajeunesse (2.11 GAA and 0.916 save percentage in 2001-02) and Joey MacDonald (2.20 GAA and 0.916 save percentage in 2002-03). He has also recorded 22 wins, placing him second behind only Jimmy Howard (27 in 2005-06). Riley Sheahan currently ranks among the team’s all-time rookie scoring leaders, as his 35 points (16-19—35) tie him with Cory Emmerton for 12th all time. Two more points will move him into a tie with Josh Langfeld (2001-02), Chris Bala (2001-02) and Clay Wilson (2005-06) for eighth place.
Update #13: I knew this:
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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.