The Malik Report
by George Malik on 10/31/13 at 02:20 PM ET
The Detroit Red Wings may or may not hold an optional skate today given that the team a) defeated the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 on Wednesday and b) given that the Wings' second, third and fourth games of their 4-games-in-6-nights slate take place over the course of 3 evenings, battling the Flames on Friday, the Oilers on Saturday and the Jets on Monday.
That being said, the Wings have a significant number of "moving parts" in play:
- The Wings demoted Luke Glendening to make room for a now-healthy Johan Franzen, whose "unspecified injury" has apparently healed; Mikael Samuelsson's present un-movable, but Tomas Tatar's goal last night cemented Samuelsson's status as $3 million worth of a healthy scratch;
- The Wings "getting healthy" mean less playing time for two players who may have to be moved in Jordin Tootoo and his $1.9 million cap hit and Patrick Eaves and his $1.2 million salary;
- And Darren Helm's imminent return, assuming that the Wings aren't finding any takers for Tootoo or Eaves, could require the Wings to decide whether to place Jonathan Ericsson and his partially dislocated shoulder on the LTIR, which would prevent him from playing until the Wings' November 15th game against Washington (10 days).
As we wait to find out what transpires at today's practice--thanks to the fact that Calgary's Mountain Daylight Time's status as 2 hours behind Eastern Daylight Time--I have Wings-Canucks tailings for you, and most of them involve videos.
Sportsnet noted that Jimmy Howard exacted some "revenge" on the Sedins...
The Wings posted very, very belated post-Canucks-game comments from Jimmy Howard...
And coach Mike Babcock:
The Vancouver Province's J. Bowman offered some "Quotes I Wish Were Real" from last night's game if you're into tongue-in-cheek humor....
DETROIT RED WINGS
Head Coach Mike Babcock – “What did I see out there tonight? A lot of people who aren’t going to make Team Canada, that’s for sure. Except Luongo, that guy punched his ticket with that amazing save. And besides, nobody can stop a weak Tatar wrister”.
Jimmy Howard – “I lost focus on that goal, I’ll admit it. I saw Tom Sestito playing with the Sedin’s and I thought I had entered an alternate universe. That can be scary, which is why I left the net and Daniel scored. Seriously though, WHAT WAS HE DOING THERE?!”
Daniel Alfredsson – “I think I will celebrate when we get back to Detroit. I will throw a huge party in the neighbourhood that I bought with a single game paycheck. 18 houses, no rules. No wonder I have a face redder than a tomato”
Henrik Zetterberg – Clearly I’m the most important Henrik coming through this building this week, right?”
Pavel Datsyuk – “Clearly I’m the most important Pavel coming through this building this week, right?”
Todd Bertuzzi – “We’re coming up on a big milestone. It’s almost been 10 years since I contributed regularly on offence in this building”.
For whatever reason, Sportsnet's Luke Fox waited until today to post a slate of power rankings...
14 [last week 8] Detroit Red Wings: Remember when the Red Wings couldn’t lose at Joe Louis if they tried? Building on the Tigers’ exit from the MLB post-season, Detroit lost every game of a three-date home stand.
Moving forward, Stats LLC has already posted a Wings-Flames game preview, noting that the Wings have lost 4 straight games against Calgary of late:
They hope to carry over that solid effort during the rest of a trip that continues with games against Calgary (5-5-2) and Edmonton on consecutive nights and the finale in Winnipeg on Monday. A frequent visitor to western Canada during their years in the Western Conference, the Red Wings need to make only one trip per season to these parts while a member of the East.
Detroit was outscored 12-5 while losing all three meetings against the Flames last season, with the last two in Calgary.
The Flames, however, have dropped five of seven following Wednesday's 4-2 loss to Toronto at home. Calgary outshot the Maple Leafs 43-22 but fell behind 2-0 in the first period before managing to get within one twice on goals by Matt Stajan and David Jones.
"It's just so frustrating right now," forward Joe Colborne said. "I thought we played a pretty good game from the top on down. We were going to the net hard, we were creating secondary rebound chances and it was just one of those nights where things aren't going to go in."
The Flames failed to convert on five power-play chances and are 0 for 13 in four games since they went 3 for 6 in a 3-2 win at Los Angeles on Oct. 21. Calgary was 3 for 8 with the man advantage against Detroit last season.
Flames forward and ex-Red Wing Jiri Hudler has a team-leading 13 points but one in the last three contests. He was held without a point against Detroit last season.
In the prospect department, as noted last night, the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Charlotte Checkers 5-2, avenging a 5-0 drubbing by Charlotte last Friday--and the Griffins dinged new-AHL-season-debuting Rick DiPietro for 4 goals in the rematch, too.
Michigan Hockey's Pat Evans penned a recap with quotes from the Griffins' players and coach:
“Petr came in and played good,” head coach Jeff Blashill said. “He made a huge save in the second and we came down and and scored. Those are the types of saves he’s made in his short pro career here. He knows how to win hockey games.”
The Griffins killed off seven of eight penalties and scored on two of three power plays.
“Our penalty kill did a much better job today, so momentum can give you life and it can suck the life out of you,” Blashill said. “A couple goals against on Friday sucked the life out of us.”
Gustav Nyquist scored twice – his fourth and fifth goals of the season – while Tomas Jurco and Ryan Sproul both added a goal and an assist.
The win gives the Griffins their first home win in five games.
“We lost too many in a row at home,” Blashill said. “We have great fans, and we wanna win as many at home to take advantage of home ice as much as we can.”
The Griffins will take to the road again this weekend, with games against Lake Erie and Rockford. Even with Wednesday’s home game, the Griffins will have played four road games in seven days. The Griffins are 9-0-1-1 in their last 11 away games.
“It’s just part of the American League,” Blashill said. “We have no issue with it. We’ll go on the road and play a real tough game on Friday.”
In the Twitter department...
And it appears that practice is about to begin:
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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.