The Malik Report
by George Malik on 12/20/13 at 11:00 AM ET
As I try to get back up to speed after the Red Wings' 3-2 OT win over the Calgary Flames, the Free Press's Helene St. James delivered superb news regarding Justin Abdelkader, Danny DeKeyser, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Jimmy Howard, Gustav Nyquist and Henrik Zetterberg...
Lost amidst Daniel Alfredsson's 3-point performance...
MLive's Ansar Khan noted that Niklas Kronwall personally thanked the fans at the Joe for sticking with a struggling team...
"The fans deserve it,” Kronwall said. “Fans were outstanding tonight and I think when we scored the last one I don’t know if I heard it louder in this building in quite a while. They’ve been sticking with us. Things haven’t always gone our way but we feel like we have them behind us. They’re very loyal, and I think the least we can do is applaud them for coming here and still supporting us.”
Alfredsson may have summarized the "state of the team" perfectly while speaking with DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose...
On ending the team’s 0-9 overtime losing streak: “I mean we’re not playing our best. I don’t think we did either but we have to have the effort I think we gotta build from that. It’s great to see everybody working hard but you know it’s one game and we got two more here before Christmas and like to really finish strong before the little break we have.”
And Wings coach Mike Babcock offered wise words regarding Pavel Datsyuk's status as "looking more like himself" (after having some rough outings while remembering how to play "fearless" again while speaking with the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:
“I thought part way through the second he got going,” Babcock said of Datsyuk. “I thought their line had the toughest time through the first period. We kind of split them up in the second and then I thought he got going as did Alfredsson as well. You need your big guys, especially when you’re shorthanded, especially offensively for us because of the players we dressing. Our team competed.
“You need guys, not to talk necessarily, but lead by example on the ice,” Babcock continued. “Make a play when you need one. Then everyone settles down and relaxes. Our captain (Henrik) Zetterberg is a hard-headed guy. He’s got stick-to-itiveness and we miss that part of his game so other guys have to step up.”
Also, part 1: I will just do the best I can in terms of battling through whatever bug's stuck with me for the last two months...
Also, part 2: Very seriously, I know someone who has tickets to both the Great Lakes Invitational on Friday, December 27th (Comerica section 147, row S, seats 5 &6) and the Winter Classic itself (Big House section 12, row 86, seats 15 & 16) and that person simply wants to break even on the tickets--$364 face value--and wants to be reimbursed via Paypal. If you are interested please email me at georgemalik at kuklaskorner dot com.
Quickie update: For the record, NHL.com's Brian Hedger spoke with Ken Holland regarding one Stephen Weiss, who will probably have surgery on his groin at some point in the future:
Weiss, who will see a specialist in Philadelphia on Friday about his injured groin, has two goals and four points in 26 games for Detroit since signing a contract this past summer for a reported five years and $24.5 million.
"I don't care what sport you are, when you look at an athlete you look at what they've accomplished over a period of time," Holland said after Detroit's morning skate Thursday at Joe Louis Arena. "Every athlete probably has one year that's way better than the norm and one year worse than the norm, but there's a lot of statistics that are somewhat similar. When you look at the book on Weiss, it says 48 points five of the last seven years."
Weiss made his NHL debut in 2001-02 with the Florida Panthers by playing seven games and spent parts of the next 10 seasons with that franchise, totaling 145 goals and 394 points in 654 regular-season games. In 2011-12 Weiss helped the Panthers qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs by putting up 20 goals and 57 points in 80 games. Last season, a wrist injury limited him to 17 games; he finished with one goal, three assists and a minus-13 rating. Holland is betting that last season's results plus the start of this season are all part of Weiss' "worse than normal" career chart.
"He's 30, not 36," Holland said. "Do I think he can be that [48-point] guy? Yeah. I don't have any reason to think why he can't be that guy. [He's] got to get healthy and confidence is a factor."
"[We've] got to get him healthy," Holland said. "We want him to be a factor this year. Hopefully he doesn't need surgery, but if he does need surgery let's have surgery. We need him. He's an important part of what we're trying to do. We're trying to get him healthy. It doesn't appear that he's going to skate anytime soon."
As for the big contract, Holland isn't ready to call it a failure.
"We like the signing," he said. "For a variety of reasons it hasn't worked out the way we both had hoped, but it's a five-year contract. You see lots of times where a guy has a down year and the next year they bounce back."
Quickie update #2: Here's the NHL's press release regarding the second episode of HBO's 24/7 series:
24/7 RED WINGS/MAPLE LEAFS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC
DEC. 21 EPISODE Episode #2
Debut: SATURDAY, DEC. 21 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Other HBO playdates: Dec. 21 (5:50 a.m.), 22 (11:30 a.m.), 23 (6:00 p.m., 1:40 a.m.), 24 (2:30 p.m., 10:00 p.m.), 25 (3:45 p.m., 11:00 p.m.), 26 (midnight) and 28 (9:30 a.m., 10:00 p.m., 3:25 a.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Dec. 22 (11:30 p.m.), 27 (9:00 p.m.) and 30 (12:30 p.m.)
Toronto savors their win over the reigning NHL® champion Chicago Blackhawks as the competition between Maple Leafs goalies Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer picks up. Detroit heads to Tampa where Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman is now the general manager of the Lightning. Both teams are challenged by a busy mid-December schedule that features four games in the span of six days.
For the first time, all four episodes of the HBO Sports HD presentation debut in prime time, on consecutive Saturday nights. Episode three debuts on Saturday, Dec. 28. The series finale debuts Saturday, Jan. 4, three days after the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, with cameras tracking all the drama of game day in Ann Arbor, MI. The series will also be available on HBO ON DEMAND and HBO GO.
With 17 Sports Emmys®, “24/7” is the most-honored sports series of the past six years. At the 2012 Sports Emmy® Awards, the series received the Dick Schaap Writing Award for “24/7 Flyers/Rangers,” the third Sports Emmy® for the “24/7” NHL franchise. Launched in 2007, the earliest editions of “24/7” were devoted to boxing.
The executive producer of 24/7 RED WINGS/MAPLE LEAFS: ROAD TO THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC is Rick Bernstein; senior producer, Dave Harmon; coordinating producer, Bentley Weiner; producer, Thomas Odelfelt; writer, Aaron Cohen; narrator, Liev Schreiber.
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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.