The Malik Report
by George Malik on 10/11/13 at 12:37 PM ET
Updated 8x at 3:09 PM: The Red Wings were very unhappy with their individual and collective performances in their 4-2 loss to Phoenix on Thursday, and they continue their stretch of 4 games played over the course of 6 nights and 6 in 10 with tilts against Philly tomorrow (the Wings' "Pink the Rink" game), in Boston at 1 PM on Columbus Day, a home tilt against Columbus on Tuesday and a road trip to Denver and Phoenix next weekend, all before returning home to entertain the Sharks and Senators.
As such, as Paul noted, the Red Wings made quite the shake-up in the personnel department today--both in terms of call-ups/demotions and line changes. Per the Wings' PR department....
EMMERTON AND MRAZEK ASSIGNED TO GRAND RAPIDS
… Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson Removed from Injured Reserve …
Detroit, MI... The Detroit Red Wings today assigned center Cory Emmerton and goaltender Petr Mrazek to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and removed goaltender Jonas Gustavsson from injured reserve.
Emmerton, 25, has skated in 125 games with the Red Wings since 2010, recording 20 points (12-8-20) and 20 penalty minutes. He played in all 48 games for Detroit in 2012-13, tallying eight points (5-3-8) and ranking third on the team with 413 faceoff wins. The St. Thomas, Ontario, native also appeared in 217 games with the Griffins from 2006-11, recording 111 points (34-77-111) and 66 penalty minutes. His most productive season with the club came in 2010-11, when he recorded a career-high 38 points (12-26-38) in 65 contests.
Mrazek, 21, started two games for the Red Wings last season and won his NHL debut with 26 saves in a 5-1 victory at St. Louis on Feb. 7. He finished the year with a 1-1 record, a 2.02 GAA and a 0.922 save percentage. The second-year pro also appeared in 42 games for the Griffins last season, sporting a 23-16-2 record, a 2.33 GAA and a 0.916 save percentage and earning a spot on the on the Western Conference’s roster for the AHL All-Star Classic. The Ostrava, Czech Republic, native was also in net for every minute of Grand Rapids’ first-ever Calder Cup championship, owning a 15-9 record, a 2.31 GAA, a 0.916 save percentage and a franchise-record four shutouts in the postseason.
Gustavsson, 28, appeared in seven games with the Red Wings last year in his first season with the club. He is eligible to return to the lineup this weekend as Detroit hosts the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday at 7 p.m. (FOX Sports Detroit/97.1 The Ticket).
The Grand Rapids Griffins are confirming:
The Detroit Red Wings on Friday assigned forward Cory Emmerton and goaltender Petr Mrazek to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Emmerton, 25, has appeared in 125 games with the Red Wings since the 2010-11 season, producing 20 points (12-8—20). The St. Thomas, Ontario, native skated in 217 games with the Griffins from 2006-11, recording 111 points (34-77-111) and 66 penalty minutes.
Mrazek, 21, begins his second season with the Griffins after posting a 23-16-2 record, a 0.916 save percentage and a 2.33 GAA during his rookie campaign. The Ostrava, Czech Republic, native backstopped Grand Rapids to its first-ever Calder Cup championship, producing a 15-9 record, a 2.31 GAA, a 0.916 save percentage and a franchise-record four shutouts during the playoffs. Mrazek also became the second goalie in history to earn a victory in his NHL, AHL and ECHL debuts in one season.
The Griffins (1-0-1-0) will face the Hamilton Bulldogs on the road tomorrow at 7 p.m. before returning to Grand Rapids for their home opener on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. against the Milwaukee Admirals.
The practice narrative went something like this...
So the lines are Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Bertuzzi, Abdelkader-Weiss-Franzen, Alfredsson-Andersson-Cleary, Miller-Glendening-Tootoo, and the defensive pairs remain the same (Kronwall-Ericsson, DeKeyser-Kindl and Quincey-Smith-Adventure-Time). Howard caught a "stinger" but is OK, Glendening out-played Emmerton in the exhibition season--he really did--and Gustavsson's healthy, so Mrazek's heading to Grand Rapids.
And Ted Lindsay's hosting a beer-tasting festival at the Freedom Hill Ampitheatre in Sterling Heights on Saturday, so Niklas Kronwall's partnership with Anthony Ianni and the Autism Alliance of Michigan isn't something that's restricted to a one-off deal.
“I’ve never seen it like that, we’ve never been beaten like a drum like that at home ever,” Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said. “Their intensity was much higher than ours and we addressed it from the first period on and never were able to anything about it. I know we have good face-off people; we’re a real good face-off team and tonight, for whatever reason, we weren’t.”
However, a hefty chunk of the tale in this match-up was told in the face-off circle; Phoenix won 66-percent of the draws (46/70), making it difficult for Detroit to generate momentum in their favor.
“I thought we were poor,” Babcock said. “We started out, we lost the first seven face-offs in our own zone and we didn’t skate very good, gave up too many odd-man rushes.”
Morris opened the scoring for Phoenix just 2:21 into the first period, stepping into a shot from just inside the blue line at the right point to blow one past a screened Howard.
Andersson responded with his first of the season for Detroit, 5:07 into the second stanza – a back-and-forth 20 minutes – on a juicy rebound that bounced out in front of Smith after the Red Wings drove the net hard. A mere 53 seconds later, Ericsson put the Red Wings ahead, intercepting a breakout pass along the boards and blasting one past Smith for the 2-1 lead.
At the 7:04 mark, Mikkel Boedker scooped up a rebound with Howard sprawling out in front to knot things up at two aside. In the third, Stone unleashed a cannon on a feed from Mike Ribiero to make it 3-2, with Vermette adding an empty-netter late to seal the deal for the Yotes.
“I don’t know it’s lack of offense,” Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “We created a lot of chances. We need to put the puck in the net. I probably should have had two tonight. I’ve got to bear down a little better when I have the chance. That’s the way it goes sometimes. We have to keep at it. It’s early in the season and we have to keep believing in ourselves.”
Chris Osgood spoke with Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery...
And DetroitRedWings.com's Christy Hammond noted that the Wings are very passionate about fighting breast cancer:
Starting goaltender Jimmy Howard will sport a different look this Saturday, Oct. 12, when the Detroit Red Wings host Philadelphia on the team’s Seventh Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Team Rehab. With the help of Vaughn, which generously donated the equipment, and artist Ray Bishop, Howard will wear a pink and white catcher and blocker along with a special goalie mask to support the cause. Howie’s gear is in honor of his wife’s relative, who is a breast cancer survivor. All of his pink and white equipment will be auctioned off with the proceeds benefiting two local cancer centers to help cover the costs of treatment for uninsured and underinsured metro Detroit residents battling the disease.
Howard is just one of many players and staff members with a personal connection to breast cancer. The wife of forward Todd Bertuzzi, Julie, spent her summer at her mother Kathy’s side, accompanying her to chemotherapy treatments after she received the diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer. Julie has seen other women in her family battle and, unfortunately, succumb to the disease. As her mom begins radiation treatments, Julie focuses on what she can do to help others receive life-saving screening and treatment. Julie and Todd will host a patient currently receiving treatment at Karmanos Cancer Institute at Saturday’s game.
The commitment to a Breast Cancer Awareness night began more than seven years ago with the help of Red Wings Advisor to Hockey Operations Chris Chelios, who was a Wings defenseman at the time of the program’s inception.
Chelios watched his sister Gigi battle breast cancer for 10 years before she passed away on Sept. 25, 2000, at the age of 36. With his encouragement, the entire lineup used hot pink hockey tape on their sticks during pre-game warmups on Oct. 24, 2008, which were then auctioned off on the concourse during the game.
Defenseman Brendan Smith has pledged that for every assist he records during the 2013-14 season, he will make a donation to Karmanos Cancer Institute to assist uninsured and underinsured women with the expenses associated with treatment. Smith has been a proponent in the fight against breast cancer after watching his paternal grandparents both struggle with their own breast cancer diagnoses. Smith’s grandmother passed away on Christmas Eve 2009 from the disease. His grandfather is a rare male breast cancer survivor. According to the American Cancer Society, the lifetime risk of a man getting breast cancer is about one in 1,000.
In addition to the “Survivor Suite,” in which the Red Wings host breast cancer survivors, Henrik Zetterberg and his wife Emma host breast cancer patients and their young families in the Zetterberg Foundation Suite each year. This season, they will welcome five women and families to the game from Karmanos Cancer Institute. Emma will personally visit the families in the suite during the game as this night holds a special place in her heart; her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003.
"Eight years ago, my family found out that my mom successfully finished radiation treatment," Zetterberg explained. "We were so excited when we got the news after everything she had to go through. I have personally seen how tough the treatment process can be and that's why Henrik and I are honored to host these amazing women receiving treatment at Karmanos Cancer Institute and their families at the game in our Zetterberg Foundation Suite. We just want to give them a fun night out with their families where they can forget about the chemo, radiation, surgeries and side effects that come with the fight against this horrible disease."
Update: Babcock's in full growl, per the Free Press's Anthony Fenech:
Update #5: Here's the Wings' press release regarding recalling Glendening:
The Detroit Red Wings today recalled center Luke Glendening from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.
A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Glendening earned a contract from Detroit this summer after spending his first professional season with the Griffins and ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. The 24-year-old forward racked up 21 points (14-7-21) in 27 games with Toledo and earned a selection to the ECHL All-Star Game before getting recalled to the AHL. In 50 games with his hometown club, he recorded 26 points (8-18-26) and 50 penalty minutes. Glendening also played a major role in the team’s championship run, tying for the AHL postseason rookie lead and for sixth overall with 16 points (6-10-16) in 24 games.
Prior to turning pro, Glendening spent four seasons with the University of Michigan, where he joined the team as a walk-on. He went on to captain the team as a junior and a senior, wrapping up his collegiate career in 2011-12 with 21 points (10-11-21) in 41 games. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound forward logged 70 points (31-39-70) in 165 games with the Wolverines from 2008-12.
And here's MLive's Ansar Khan's practice report, which focuses on the Glendening recall:
“He’s a thick kid,’’ Babcock said of Glendening’s 5-foot-11, 200-pound frame. “When we played in Toronto (preseason on Sept. 28), (Glendening) played against (Nazem) Kadri and I thought he played really well.
“He’s a right-hand shot; ideally he’ll learn to win faceoffs at our level, he’ll learn to be a good penalty killer. He might end up having to play on the wing for us one day because we have (Joakim) Andersson and (Darren) Helm down the middle, but we’re going to give him an opportunity to help us.’’
Glendening, 24, had eight goals and 26 points in 51 regular season games with the Griffins in 2012-13, his first season as a pro. He added six goals and 16 points in 24 playoff games.
Emmerton cleared waivers on Sept. 30 but was able to stay with the Red Wings after they placed Patrick Eaves on long-term injured reserve. Emmerton had one assist, seven shots and an even plus-minus rating in four games.
Jonas Gustavsson, who suffered a pulled groin during a preseason game on Sept. 21, is ready to dress as Jimmy Howard’s backup on Saturday. Mrazek backed up Howard in all four games.
Why's Tootoo "in?" If the Wings want to trade him, he's got to prove that he can still play. And I think he's going to be a cap casualty, thus playing him ahead of Tatar.
Update #5.5: From DetroitHockey.net's Clark Rasmussen:
Update #6: The Free Press's Anthony Fenech focused on the Wings' line shake-ups (again, Bertuzzi's on the top line with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, Franzen and Weiss will play with Abdelkader, Alfredsson will play with Cleary and Andersson and Glendening will center Miller and Tootoo)...
"All I know is that I can’t keep going the way I’m going because it isn’t working,” Babcock said. “I’ve got one line to play.”
Abdelkader, who Babcock said “is playing really well and skating really good,” drops off the top scoring line with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, to lend his help to one of the team’s other three struggling lines. And Alfredsson, who hasn’t found a chemistry with linemates Johan Franzen and Stephen Weiss, will move to the third line with Joakim Andersson and Daniel Cleary.
I hate to say it, but in terms of the 4th line, the Wings can't trade Tootoo until he gets in a couple of games to prove that he's healthy. It sucks for Tatar and sucks for Nyquist, too, but that's how the cookie crumbles :(
“Our line hasn’t clicked as we would have liked and we need to change something,” Alfredsson said. “Hopefully this can stabilize and spread out the scoring and get everybody going.
But Alfredsson said it’s not just the scoring that the team needs to tidy up, it’s everything.
“We have to tighten up in all areas,” he said.
And Babcock had a laundry list of those areas after Friday’s practice. Faceoffs. Giving up scoring chances. Not giving up the puck on penalty kills. He said he couldn’t remember the Wings playing a home game as poorly as they did in the 4-2 loss to Phoenix.
“As a coach, I didn’t do a very good job,” Babcock said. “It’s up to you to get your team ready to play.”
And he noted that Howard is OK:
Howard was hit up high with a puck in practice – “A stinger,” he said – and left the ice but returned and said he would be good to go for tomorrow’s game.
MLive's Ansar Khan also penned a story about the line changes:
“That’s the thing about our business; if you don’t do good things you have to change things and that’s the bottom line,’’ Babcock said. “The disturbing things for me (Thursday) was the faceoff circle (they lost 46-of-70 draws), the amount of times we dove in; we felt we gave up 21 scoring chances in the game and in a normal game for us it’s between eight and 12. We were poor in D-zone. Don’t get me wrong, we had a ton of chances ourselves, an absolute ton. The power play got a chance in the third period, we couldn’t get it in their zone. The penalty kill, we got a chance, we had the puck gave it to them and they shot it in the back of our net. Not good enough.’’
The second line of Stephen Weiss, Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzen was particularly bad, combining for no points and a minus-10 rating. Alfredsson was moved to the third line in practice, where he skated with Joakim Andersson and Daniel Cleary.
Justin Abdelkader, who was playing well on the top line with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, replaced Alfredsson on the second line. Todd Bertuzzi, for the most part, skated with Datsyuk and Zetterberg on Friday, though Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Tatar also rotated in.
Babcock said he is not 100 percent sure which combinations he’ll use in Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Joe Louis Arena (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).
“All I know is I can’t keep going the way we’re going because it isn’t working,’’ Babcock said. “I’ve got one line playing, 13-40-8 (that would be Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader); 8’s playing really well and skating good so I’m going to penalize 13 and 40, take him away and put (Abdelkader) somewhere else. He’s got to help somebody else.’’
Alfredsson, who has one assist and a minus-3 rating in four games, understands a change was needed.
“I think our line hasn’t clicked as we would have liked, needed to change something,’’ Alfredsson said. “Hopefully this can stabilize and spread out the scoring and get everybody going.’’
Said Abdelkader: “Hopefully we can get playing here, get everyone going. Sometimes it’s good to change things up.’’
Howard struck: The Red Wings had a minor scare during Friday’s practice, when a shot struck goalie Jimmy Howard near the shoulder area and stunned him. It happened in the early going of practice, with Howard skating off the ice and not returning until the later stages of the workout.
Howard did face shots and said he would be ready to go Saturday against the Flyers.
“Just a stinger; I’ll be all right,” Howard said. “I’m fine.”
Ice chips: The Flyers fired coach Peter Laviolette earlier this week after three losses to open the season and replaced him with Craig Berube.
“They’re a team that’s searching for an identity just like we are right now,” Howard said. “It’s going to be another of those games where you’d better be ready to go from the drop of the puck. I’m expecting them to play us hard.”
Flyers at Red Wings
Puck drop: 7 p.m.TV/Radio: FSN-Detroit/97.1/WXYT 1270 AM.
Records: This will be the only appearance at Joe Louis Arena for the Coyotes…The former Western Conference rivals have allowed 11 goals in three games…G Mike Smith has a .904 save percentage but 3.40 goals-against average.Outlook: The Flyers made a quick coaching change after losing their first three games, replacing Peter Laviolette with Craig Berube…The Flyers have struggled offensively early, scoring a total of five goals through four games…RW Claude Giroux had no points in four games.
Update #8: Here's DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's practice report:
By Mike Babcock’s math the Red Wings coughed up more than 20 scoring chances Thursday in a 4-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. And not wanting to see a repeat Saturday against Philadelphia, a change in the lineup was made on Friday.
“Did you watch us?” said Babcock, rhetorically. “That’s the thing about our business, if you don’t do good things you have to change things and that’s the bottom line.”
In an attempt to jump start the offense, the Red Wings sent veteran center Cory Emmerton to Grand Rapids and called up undrafted rookie and former University of Michigan standout Luke Glendening. Glendening, a Grand Rapids, Mich., native, led all AHL rookies last spring in playoff points (16) during the Griffins’ march to the Calder Cup championship. He produced eight goals and 18 assists in 51 regular-season games with the Griffins. Babcock said he was impressed by Glendening in the exhibition season, particularly the finale in Toronto.
“He played against (Nazem) Kadri and I thought he played really well,” Babcock said. “He’s a right hand shot, ideally he’ll learn to win faceoffs at our level, he’ll learn to be a good penalty killer. He might end up having to play on the wing for us one day because we have (Joakim) Andersson and (Darren) Helm down the middle, but we’re going to give him an opportunity to help us.”
The offense has sputtered in the last two games, managing just three goals, while surrendering numerous scoring chances in consecutive losses to Boston and Phoenix.
“We felt we gave up 21 scoring chances in the game,” Babcock said. “In a normal game for us it’s between eight and 12. Don’t get me wrong, we had a ton of chances ourselves, an absolute ton. The power play got a chance in the third period, we couldn’t get it in their zone. The penalty kill, we got a chance, we had the puck, gave it to them and they shot it in the back of our net. Not good enough.”
Babcock shuffled the line combinations in Friday’s practice, though he could still change his mind, he said. Though the Pavel Datsyuk line has been productive, Justin Abdelkader was moved to the second line with center Stephen Weiss and forward Johan Franzen in hopes of generating more offense throughout the lineup. Todd Bertuzzi was moved up to the top line with Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Daniel Alfredsson was dropped to the third line where he worked with Andersson and forward Daniel Cleary.
Abdelkader wasn’t surprised by the line juggling.
“It can be good,” he said. “Hopefully we can get playing here, get everyone going. Sometimes it’s good to change things up.”
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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.