The Malik Report
by George Malik on 11/12/13 at 12:39 PM ET
Updated 7x at 2:04 PM: The Detroit Red Wings face a surprisingly stiff task in battling the Winnipeg Jets this evening (7:30 PM EST, FSD/TSN Jets/1270 AM; tonight is Military Appreciation Night at Joe Louis Arena) because the Wings are mired in a 5-game home losing streak, a 4-game losing streak and a 3-4-and-3 record over the Wings' past 10 games.
Jets Touch Down into Hockeytown
Coming off two consecutive overtime losses, the Red Wings will look to bounce back tonight when the Winnipeg Jets come to town.
"For us in here it's all about us right now," defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "We have to find a way to be better as a team in all areas of the ice."
You can watch tonight's 7:30 PM matchup on Fox Sports Detroit or TSN, or listen in with Ken Kal and Paul Woods on AM1270.
The Wings added a historical note...
On This Day in Red Wings' History...On November 12, 1991
Detroit’s Jimmy Carson registers his 200th career NHL assist in the Wings’ 5-4 victory at Calgary.
And here are Ken Kal's Keys to the Game:
Limit Turnovers - The Wings need to hold on to the puck and protect it. Coughing up the puck in the NHL usually results in a golden scoring chance or a goal.
Need Balanced Scoring - One line can't carry a team. All four lines need to find ways to score.
Slow Down The Jets - Winnipeg was the quicker team the last time out. They beat Detroit to the outside on a number of occasions. Take away their speed in the neutral zone and control their pace.
The Wings also posited the following Tweet:
The Wings' morning skate was apparently incredibly brief, because MLive's Ansar Khan led off his morning skate coverage with the following Tweet:
Howard is first goalie off the ice, so he is starting tonight.
The inductions involved a star-studded cast of Hollywood types in attendance to cheer on Chris Chelios, but Wayne Gretzky's presence took the cake in terms of star power, and the Toronto Star's Kevin McGran took note of Gretzky's presence...
What is it about Chelios that brings out you, and (actor) John Cusack, and John McEnroe?
“He’s just a good man. Chris is one of those guys, and a lot of guys in the NHL are like that. You call them, you need a favour and he’ll be there in a heartbeat. I said this the other day, there’s only a couple of players I played against that were tough and mean that I was a little nervous about. Both of them, Mark Messier and Chris Chelios, every time they hit me, they’d say: “Gretz, I’m behind you.’ They both had a lot of class. I have a great deal of respect for them.”
Gretzky joked with Chelios that he'd be thinking about those hits during the defenceman's induction speech.
"I said: 'I'm coming there for all the times you hit me and whacked me and hacked me,' Gretzky recalled. "'I'm going to count them out on my hands when you're up on stage. I'm going to just keep counting how many times you whacked me.'"
Over Chelios' marathon career, that happened a lot. Naturally Gretzky was there to see his friend get inducted, along with Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Shanahan, Fred Shero and Geraldine Heaney.
"To make the Hockey Hall of Fame is really hard," Gretzky said. "You've got to be a real special person because that's what makes it a special place. Everybody who's coming in, good for them, it's well-deserved."
Post-morning skate Tweets came fast and furiously, per Khan...
Brendan Smith was back on the ice today. Said his shoulder feels good and he should be able to play this weekend.
Franzen confirms he is in tonight.
The Free Press's Helene St. James...
RedWings D Brendan Smith plans to play this weekend
Johan Franzen playing with Helm and Alfredsson tonight #redwings
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...
Smith says he's ready to return to lineup. Hopes to play this weekend.
Franzen says he's in tonight.
Johan Franzen talks about returning to Wings' lineup tonight against Winnipeg. #RedWings
Darren Helm will center Wings' second line with Franzen and Alfredsson.
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...
Smith on track to play this weekend
And DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
Franzen will be in #RedWings lineup tonight on a line with Helm and Alfredsson.
Darren Helm will get some time on the #RedWings power play in a net-front role tonight vs. Jets. "I'm excited," he said.
On Winnipeg's side of the ice, the Jets feel that a certain birthday boy is "owed"...
It's game day in Detroit and a win tonight would make a great present for Bryan Little... It's his birthday today!
And the Winnipeg Free Press can be a pain in the ass in terms of posting stories in any sort of reasonable manner--their 1 AM-stamped stories don't hit till 5, 6 or 7 AM EST--so Illegal Curve's David Minuk posted an article from the Winnipeg Free Press's Paul Wiecek which chronicles the Jets' power play struggles...
It will not come as news to most Winnipeg Jets fans that the team's power play is struggling. The continuing labours of that particularly notorious unit have been well documented over the past few seasons -- and once again this year.
But what is new is the sheer depths to which the Jets power play has plummeted of late, a journey to the bottom tidily encapsulated in the following two statistics:
-- With just six goals in 68 power plays this season -- and just one in their last 44 -- the Jets were officially as of Monday morning the owners of the worst power-play in the National Hockey League, their 8.8 per cent success rate with the man advantage ranking them 30th of 30 teams;
-- Alex Ovechkin has more power-play goals than the Jets this season. Seriously. Ovechkin's seven power-play goals for the Washington Capitals are one goal better than what the entire Jets roster has produced with the man advantage.
Now, having a lousy power play doesn't necessarily doom a team to failure. The Anaheim Ducks currently have the most points in the National Hockey League despite a 26th-ranked power play only marginally better than Winnipeg's at 11.8 per cent.
But it is also probably not a coincidence that of the teams with the 10 worst power plays in the NHL, seven of 10 would be out of the playoffs if the post-season started today.
And so it would seem fair to suggest if the Jets intend to build a meaningful playoff push on the momentum they've begun to generate with three wins in the last four games, they are in all likelihood going to have to start making opponents pay for their penalties on the scoreboard, sooner rather than later.
And a Winnipeg Free Press "staff writer" noted that the Jets are heading into tonight's game feeling confident despite their special teams issues:
THE Jets hopped a plane for Michigan on Monday afternoon, and they go in riding a high. They've won three of their last four games, but let that not erase the fact they lost three of the four tilts before that. Still, confidence is built on momentum as much as historical trends, and the Jets head coach said the key is to figure out how to work with that.
"Now we're in this thing, so how can we use this in a positive light?" Noel said.
"I think you have to stay focused on dealing with the process, and not dealing with the outcome of things. I'd like us to go into Detroit with a mindset of expecting to win. That's a little bit of a large comment, especially from where we've come from, but I mean that in the context of building on the confidence we've built within ourselves... Going in with that mindset, and putting our best foot forward."
Well, I guess it's official, per St. James...
#RedWings vs WPG: 40-13-44; 93-43-11; 21-18-37; 20-41-8. Daniel Cleary scratched.
"There's no one who's a bigger fan of Dan Cleary than Mike Babcock" - Mike Babcock
Cleary confirms he is healthy scratch tonight. Tootoo and Eaves also scratched. Samuelsson is in.
Cleary a healthy scratch
Dan Cleary is a heathy scratch tonight for the #RedWings.
Daniel Cleary confirms he's out of lineup tonight.
Mike Babcock on Cleary being a healthy scratch. "I'm sure he's pissed off."
And the Wings:
Cleary says after practice that he'll be a healthy scratch tonight. #RedWings
“The only thing you can control is your attitude and work ethic...I have to play better and I have to produce more.’’ - Dan Cleary #RedWings
As a reminder, here's what the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson had to say about the Wings' roster machinations, noting that the Wings will have to send Jordin Tootoo down to Grand Rapids to accommodate Ericsson and Smith's returns, and that it's highly likely that Patrick Eaves would have to be waived for the Wings to accommodate Gustav Nyquist's recall in terms of both cap space and roster space:
- If Detroit Red Wings agitator Jordin Tootoo was making $1.1 million a year, not $1.9 million, somebody might have taken him on waivers recently. “It’s the term more than the dollars. He’s got another year after this one,” said one NHL team. “Teams are so tight to the cap.” The Wings may have to put Patrick Eaves on waivers shortly, too, because of numbers. I can’t imagine he’d clear; he’s a $1.2-million cap hit, and he’d be good on a Western contender like the San Jose Sharks, the Vancouver Canucks or even the Chicago Blackhawks.
And in a very different vein, via RedWingsFeed, the NHL posted a clip of Leafs alums discussing the Red Wings-Maple Leafs Alumni Showdown during this past weekend's "Legends Showcase":
I'm going to click "submit entry" now, but not before noting that the Jets' skate is already underway, per the Winnipeg Sun's Ken Wiebe...
#RedWings F Dan Clearly is a healthy scratch Tue vs #NHLJets and St Andrews product Darren Helm will C the 2nd line w/Alfredsson, Franzen
Based on early rushes, #NHLJets will stick with same lines, D pairs and lineup vs #RedWings and that means Zach Redmond, Anthony Peluso sit
Helm is excited about the opportunity to play on second line but isn't going to change his game. Also starts on 2nd PP unit for #RedWings
Obviously, I blame auto correct for turning Dan Cleary into clearly... #RedWings and that's who won't play vs #NHLJets
And the Jets' statisticians...
“I’ve just got to work hard, stay positive and be professional about it,” Cleary said. “There’s a lot of hockey left. Frustrating is normal,” Cleary added. “You can’t dwell on the negatives, you have to be positive, you have to work hard, that’s it. Hockey is a game of confidence, you have to have a lot of confidence and you have to be good defensively. Bring different things to the table so you just have to continue doing that you’ve been doing.”
Cleary has a goal and two assists in 18 games. He’s a plus-1.
“I imagine he’s very pissed off today,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
Babcock would not say how long Cleary would be a healthy scratch.
“Maybe (I need to) focus a little more on offense,” Cleary said. “We need to score more as a team. Defensively we’re pretty good. I’m good defensively. We need to help out Pav and Z a little more.”
Johan Franzen's return to the lineup...
“The first game is usually a bit easier than the second back because you have more adrenaline going, but still you have to keep your shifts short and really try and be smart out there and not try and do too much,” Franzen said.
Darren Helm will center the second line with Franzen and Daniel Alfredsson.
“The big thing is the guy’s been hurt, so I don’t know what we’re supposed to do about that,” Babcock said. “He’s kind of like Helmer. Their shifts better be about 30 seconds long otherwise you just can’t keep the tempo. Winnipeg skates well. We need two groups to play against them. I really felt over the last while, when we lost (Stephen) Weiss and then Mule, that we’ve been, it’s not as much on the road you notice, but at home when you’re supposed to match up, the other coach runs your bench because you don’t have enough depth. Today we should be able to rotate a few people and make it easier for us to get what we want."
And Darren Helm playing...at the top of the goal crease on the power play?
"That’s where I’m at right now, I’ve never really played net front,” Helm said. “I’ve gotten a few tips from the guys in the room (Franzen and Justin Abdelkader) that have played. Get knocked around a little bit and maybe tip a few pucks.”
Update #2: Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's game-day article...
"My job each and every day is to put the best 20 guys in the lineup that I think can help us win today,’’ Babcock said. “I’ve been with Clears for nine years, I know him well; there’s no one who’s a bigger fan of Dan Cleary than Mike Babcock. I imagine he’s very (ticked) off today and I don’t know what you want me to do about it.’’
Cleary has just one goal and two assists, with a plus-1 rating, in 18 games.
“I’ve just got to work hard, stay positive and be professional about it,’’ Cleary said. “There’s a lot of hockey left. Frustrating is normal. You can’t dwell on the negatives, you have to be positive, you have to work hard, that’s it.’’
Babcock said he hadn’t decided if Cleary would return for the next game. He is hoping sitting out will refresh him mentally.
“Hockey is a game of confidence; you have to have a lot of confidence and you have to be good defensively,’’ Cleary said. “Bring different things to the table so you just have to continue doing that you’ve been doing.’’
Cleary said he needs to focus on scoring when he returns.
“We need to score more as a team,’’ he said. “Defensively, we’re pretty good. I’m good defensively. We need to help out Pav (Datsyuk) and Z (Henrik Zetterberg) a little more.’’
And the Winnipeg Sun's Wiebe is Tweeting post-Jets-skate stuff:
#NHLJets C Mark Scheifele was a #RedWings fan growing up and is pumped up to play his first game at Joe Louis Arena
Scheifele has attended 10 games here at Joe Louis and has never witnessed a #RedWings loss. He's hoping #NHLJets can change that tonight
I asked Claude Noel about sticking with same lineup and he said the guys who have been in have been playing well, no need to change #NHLJets
Noel reiterated he's not one of those guys who just sticks with a lineup if a team is winning. Players have to continue to earn ice #NHLJets
For the record, the Winnipeg Free Press's Paul Wiecek believes that the Jets will ice the following lineup tonight...
31 Ondrej Pavelec
35 Al Montoya
2 Adam Pardy
7 Keaton Ellerby
9 Evander Kane
12 Olli Jokinen
14 Anthony Peluso
15 Matt Halischuk
16 Andrew Ladd
17 James Wright
18 Bryan Little
19 Jim Slater
22 Chris Thorburn
24 Grant Clitsome
25 Zach Redmond
26 Blake Wheeler
27 Eric Tangradi
33 Dustin Byfuglien
39 Toby Enstrom
40 Devin Setoguchi
44 Zach Bogosian
55 Mark Scheifele
67 Michael Frolik
Illegal Curve's Ezra Ginsburg breaks down the Jets' lineup as follows...
- Ondrej Pavelec (6-7-2, 2.92 GAA, .909 Save Percentage)
- Jimmy Howard (5-5-4, 2.74 GAA, .911 Save Percentage)
Projected Winnipeg Jets Line Combinations:
Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Devin Setoguchi
Evander Kane-Olli Jokinen-Blake Wheeler
Matt Halischuk-Mark Scheifele-Michael Frolik
Eric Tangradi-James Wright-Chris Thorburn
Tobias Enstrom-Zach Bogosian
Grant Clitsome-Dustin Byfuglien
Adam Pardy- Keaton Ellerby
Healthy Scratches: Zach Redmond, Anthony Peluso
Projected Detroit Red Wings Line Combinations:
Henrik Zetterberg- Pavel Datsyuk- Todd Bertuzzi
Johan Franzen-Darren Helm-Daniel Alfredsson
Tomas Tatar-Joakim Andersson-Mikael Samuelsson
Drew Miller-Luke Glendening-Justin Abdelkdader
Niklas Kronwall-Danny DeKeyser
Brian Lashoff-Jakub Kindl
Kyle Quincey- Xavier Ouellet
Healthy Scratches: Patrick Eaves, Jordin Tootoo
Tonight's game notes have Kevin Pollock and Chris Lee refereeing the game, with Scott Cherrey and Scott Driscoll working the lines...
And here's the Free Press's Helene St. James' game-day update:
Johan Franzen wasn't scoring when last he played, something the Detroit Red Wings are hoping turns around quickly now that he's back. The power forward will join a line with Darren Helm and Daniel Alfredsson when the Wings host the Winnipeg Jets tonight at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m., FSD, TSN). Forward Daniel Cleary has been booted from the lineup, for not scoring.
Not scoring is, in fact, something of a trend among the Wings, save those named Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Todd Bertuzzi and Alfredsson. Franzen has two goals — from the same game, Oct. 17 at Colorado. He hadn't scored in five games before being sidelined by an upper-body ailment.
"First game is usually a little easier than the second one back, because you have more adrenaline going," Franzen said. "But still, you have to keep your shifts short and really try to be smart out there and don't do too much."
Helm is only four games into his comeback after a long layoff stemming from back and groin problems, but the guy can skate and forecheck. Alfredsson is a world-class player and shooter; he just can't make a line work all by himself.
Tonight’s other lines feature Datsyuk with Zetterberg and Bertuzzi, Joakim Andersson with Tomas Tatar and Mikael Samuelsson, and Luke Glendening with Drew Miller and Justin Abdelkader. There are no changes on defense from the last game, as Brendan Smith (shoulder) and Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder) won't be back before the weekend. Jimmy Howard is starting in goal tonight.
Babcock delved into why he scratched Cleary after he scored three points in 18 games.
"My job is to put the best 20 guys in the lineup that I think can help us win today," Babcock said. "I've been with Clears nine years, I know him well. There's no one who's a bigger fan of Dan Cleary than Mike Babcock."
Also, from MLive's Ansar Khan:
Wings' Stephen Weiss, who hasn't skated since Thursday due to pulled groin, said he hopes to return sometime next week.
Update #2.5: I will let you figure out the Hockey News's Matt Pfeffer's use of advanced stats to determine possible future HHOF'ers on your own. It's a bit of Greek to me.
Update #3: This comes from Henrik Zetterberg's agent:
Update #4: Here's the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's game-day article:
Keep the shifts short, don't look too out of shape, and try to create some desperately needed offense. That was pretty much the checklist forward Johan Franzen will attempt to check off as he returns to the lineup tonight against Winnipeg.
"I'll try to find a way to keep up with Helmer in the middle," said Franzen of his center, speedy Darren Helm (Daniel Alfredsson is the opposite wing). "I'll look really slow next to him."
Franzen has missed five of the last six games with an upper body injury and is eager to return to the lineup.
"The first game (back) is usually a bit easier than the second one," Franzen siad. "You have more adrenaline going. You have to keep your shifts short and be smart out there, not do too much."
Maybe time out of the lineup will somehow change Franzen's luck. Like many other Red Wings, Franzen has had difficulty scoring with two goals and three assists (five points) in 13 games.
"He's had a good mental break, he should be fresh and jumping," coach Mike Babcock said. "He should be lighting the red lamp. The guy has been hurt. I don't know what we're supposed to do about that. He's like Helmer, the shifts should be about 30 seconds long. Otherwise, you can't keep the tempo."
Defenseman Brendan Smith (shoulder) skated Tuesday and appears on track to return to the lineup this weekend. Smith has been out since being injuredin a fight Nov. 2 in Edmonton against the Oilers' Will Acton.
"I should be ready, we'll see what happens from here on in," Smith said. "I haven't felt any pain the last few days for sure. I felt great (Tuesday). Sometimes you'll get some nagging pains, but I don't have that."
Update #5: Khan penned an article about Darren Helm:
The speedy checking-line center again will experience something new again tonight against the Winnipeg Jets: He’ll play the net-front role on the second power-play unit.
“We’ll see how it goes,’’ Helm said. “If I get pretty sloppy I’m sure it’s not going to last too long. It’s a position I want to embrace and want to stay in a little longer so hopefully I’ll do well.’’
The club hopes his troublesome back and recently injured groin hold up to the rigors of a net-front role.
“I’ve never really played net front,’’ Helm said. “I’ve gotten a few tips from the guys that have played, Mule (Johan Franzen) and Abby (Justin Abdelkader). Get knocked around a little bit, maybe tip a few pucks.’’
The second power-play unit, at least to start the game, will consist of Helm, Franzen and Tomas Tatar up front, with Jakub Kindl and Mikael Samuelsson at the points. The Red Wings are 1-for-18 on the power play in their past six games, 3-for-29 in their past 10 games.
“Our power play’s not going, it’s not scoring any goals,’’ coach Mike Babcock said. “I really felt in the last game it didn’t generate any momentum for us, so we got to be better on the power play. Winnipeg’s a good penalty kill team so we’re going to be under some pressure in those areas. Ideally we’re going to work hard enough to draw some power plays and we can execute a little better. Helm is going to play net-front to start with on the second group, but we like his speed through the neutral zone bringing the puck.’’
Update #5.5: The Free Press's St. James posted a clip of Babcock talking about Franzen and Cleary talking about Cleary:
Update #6: The Winnipeg Free Press's, uh, "staff writer" penned a Jets game-day update...
[Jets coach Claude] Noel said watching film of his club’s last two efforts has him convinced he has the right mix right now. "I thought for the most part, pretty much everyone had decent games. They were engaged, they were confident, they weren’t getting discouraged because of the outcome.
"So there would be no need to make any kind of lineup change there. It doesn’t always revolve around winning — because some people say don’t change a winning lineup and I’m not one of those that believe that so much. But if they play well, that’s great. And I feel we have played well."
Ondrej Pavelec will start his third game in a row for the Jets, while Zach Redmond and Anthony Peluso are the expected scratches — the same combination the Jets used in a 5-0 home win over Nashville last Friday and a 5-4 home win in a shootout over San Jose on Sunday.
The Red Wings will have a couple of lineup changes tonight, with winger Johan Franzen — who’d missed five of the last six games with an upper body injury — drawing back into the lineup, while Daniel Cleary will be a healthy scratch. St. Andrew, Manitoba native Darrin Helm is expected to play on the Wings second line tonight with Franzen and Daniel Alfredsson.
Perhaps no one is more excited to play in Joe Louis Arena tonight than Jets centre Mark Scheifele. The Jets rookie grew up as a huge Red Wings just three hours up the road in Kitchener and has an uncanny streak going that he’s hoping will finally end tonight.
"I’ve seen ten games here," Scheifele said of Joe Louis Arena, "and every time the Red Wings have won."
Scheifele said tonight’s game is a dream come true for a kid who saw his first Wings game at the age of 7. "It will be pretty fun. Detroit was my favourite team growing up and I always dreamt about playing in the ‘Joe.’ So for it to actually happen is pretty cool and hopefully we get the win."
The Jets, of course, could use a win tonight for reasons more compelling than just fulfilling Scheifele’s childhood dreams. With a win over Detroit, the Jets would run their winning streak to three games and improve their record to 9-9-2, giving them 20 out of a possible 40 points so far this season. A win in Detroit would also snap a three-game losing streak on the road for Winnipeg, who last won as the visitors Oct. 26 in Dallas.
As did the Winnipeg Sun's Ken Wiebe, whose article includes non-embeddable comments from Noel, Michal Frolik, Ondrej Pavelec, Darren Helm and Mark Scheifele:
“We take a fair bit out of [last week's 4-2 win], there are some things I thought we did well in that game and we want to continue down that same path,” said Jets head coach Claude Noel, who will stick with the same lineup for the third game in a row. “We know they’ve added some players to their lineup and there’s some juggling around for them. They’ve hit a little bump since they’ve seen us, so they’ll be ready to go.”
The Red Wings (9-5-4)are winless in three games (0-1-2) and have lost five consecutive times at Joe Louis Arena.Ondrej Pavelec makes his third consecutive start for the Jets, while the Red Wings counter with Jimmy Howard.
“We’ve got to keep going,” said Pavelec. “Every game is important, especially in our situation. It seems like everybody is winning around us and we need every point. It’s time to start winning on the road too.”
The Jets have dropped three straight road games and are 2-4-1 overall away from MTS Centre this season.
The Red Wings welcome Johan Franzen back to the lineup and he’ll play on a line with St. Andrews product Darren Helm and Daniel Alfredsson. Helm, who is known for his blazing speed and checking ability, will also get a shot on the second power-play unit.
“I’m penciled in there right now and we’ll see how it goes,” said Helm. “If I come out sloppy, it’s not going to last too long but it’s a position I want to embrace and stay in a little bit longer. I want to do well with it.”
Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock is happy to have Helm back in the lineup after the centre battled a host of injuries during the past 18 months.
“He skates and he works,” said Babcock. “Obviously, he’s not a second-line centre but he’s a good player who plays. He’s been off for a year-and-a-half, it’s going to take him some time to become the player he’s capable of playing. To be honest I don’t want him to do anything different. I don’t want him looking for (Franzen) or looking for (Alfredsson), I want him to be on the forecheck and play a simple game.”
Update #7: DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's game-day update touches upon Cleary's status as a scratch, Helm's status as a power play skater and Johan Franzen's return to the wing. I dug this quip from Babcock about the team's play overall...
The Red Wings have 19 goals in nine home games. Only Florida (18) and Buffalo (14) have scored fewer goals in the same number of home contests. Detroit has been held to two or fewer goals in seven home games, including a 1-0 loss to San Jose on Oct. 21. Since blitzing Edmonton 5-0 on Nov. 2, the Wings have spiraled to a 0-2-1 mark with losses at Winnipeg and to Dallas and Tampa Bay.
“We were rolling right along until we got to the mighty Jets there and they stomped us and then we haven’t recovered,” Babcock said. “I thought we played fairly good game against Dallas and deserved better. I thought we were fortunate to get a point against Tampa. Our game looks like we’re a real team and know how to play and then there’s 30-seconds where we give up three chances in the second and then 30-seconds where we give up two two-on-ones in the third. In the end, you can’t play like that. You got to play with patience and take what’s given.”
Babcock was blunt about the Wings' power play...
“Our power play’s not going. It’s not scoring any goals,” Babcock said. “Winnipeg’s a good penalty kill team so we’re going to be under some pressure in those areas. Ideally we’re going to work hard enough to draw some power plays and we can execute a little better, but Helm is going to play net-front to start with on the second group, but we like his speed through the neutral zone bringing the puck.”
And Roose added injury updates regarding Brendan Smith's shoulder...
“It’s just up to the coaches if they’re going to put me in,” said Smith, who was injured during a fight with Edmonton’s Will Acton. “I’m going to have to take everything in from here on in and see how it goes. I don’t know when I’m actually off IR. I’m not sure what the date it. Hopefully I can get going right away and get back in the lineup.”
Smith was placed on short-term injured reserve on Nov. 4. He’s eligible now but needs to be cleared by team doctors. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder) has been on long-term IR since Oct. 21. He still needs to be cleared and can return to the lineup Friday when the Wings host the Washington Capitals.
And Stephen Weiss's groin, which won't heal for another week or two:
“I’ve had some groin issues (in the past)” Weiss said. “This one was a little bit different. Something happened that I couldn’t tell you what it was. I don’t remember what it was. I just know it wasn’t there before the game and it was there pretty early in the first period. It’s one of those things that’s bad luck and just trying to get rid of it before we come back for good.”
Since joining the Wings as a free agent, Weiss has struggled, producing just two goals and one assists in 17 games. His hope is that the time off will help him refocus.
“When you get some time off it gives you a chance to regroup mentally and physically,” he said, “and hopefully come back even better.”
For the record, the Blues have re-signed Carlo Colaiacovo with Jordan Leopold on the shelf...
Datsyuk Stars in Russian TV Commercial Filmed in Birmingham
By Izzi Bendall
RedOrange USA, a film and video production company in Birmingham, just wrapped up filming for a commercial starring Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, who will play for Russia’s National Team in the upcoming Winter Olympics. The commercial, for a Russian telephone company, will air throughout Russia during the Sochi Winter Games in February.
“It’s not often that we get to host a Russian advertising agency (Leo Burnett) from Moscow, a cinematographer from Rome, and a director from Barcelona,” says Barry Meier, executive producer of RedOrange. “There’s probably 150 people involved in this production, many whom are staying at the Townsend Hotel (in Birmingham). There’s a lot of local commerce that’s coming out of this.”
Roughly 90 locals were involved with the project, including local production assistants, wardrobe personnel, and various artists. Nearly 50 actors were used as either background or principal characters.
“We love our hometown, and this project allowed us to highlight the capabilities in both production and post-production,” Meier says. “And while (Director) Michael Bay brings his Transformer crews here once every few years, the majority are out-of-towners. At RedOrange, we put the local talent to work.”
Filming took place at five different locations, ranging from Social Kitchen in Birmingham, which was transformed into a Russian eatery, to Beaver Creek Restaurant in Westland, which was styled to look like a Sochi sports bar. “We transformed (Beaver Creek) using Russian posters and jerseys. It was a pretty extensive set dressing project,” Meier says. Pierce Street in Birmingham also was transformed to appear as a snow-covered street.
The production company will begin editing the project today at Ringside Creative in Oak Park.
Other recent projects by RedOrange include commercials in Stuttgart, Germany for Mercedes; in Slovenia for Toyota Land Cruiser; and in Bloomfield Hills for the GMC Denali.
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About The Malik Report
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.