The Malik Report
Red Wings Monday practice post: lines shaken up (Cleary scratched?) HHOF inductions & Yzerman’s ‘no’
by George Malik on 11/11/13 at 11:58 AM ET
Updated 15x at 4:12 PM: The Detroit Red Wings need to get their shi...I mean "stuff" together in short order, especially after their humbling losses to Dallas and Tampa Bay. They resumed practice today having dropped 5 straight games at home and 7 of their last 10. But there's good news! Sort of! Per the Windsor Star's Bob Duff:
#redwings winless in five at home. Last time they were winless in six at home was 1996-97. Went on to win Stanley Cup.
The Wings hope to avenge last week's loss to Winnipeg when the Jets come to town tomorrow (7:30 PM, FSD, and tomorrow night is Military Appreciation Night, and the Jets defeated San Jose 5-4 in a shootout on Sunday); after shifting gears and hosting the Toast of Hockeytown on Wednesday, they'll welcome the high-powered Capitals to town on Friday, they'll head to Long Island for a Saturday tilt.
They'll wrap up their pre-Thanksgiving slate of 8 of 10 home games played at the Joe while welcoming Nashville, Carolina and Ottawa to the Joe on the 19th, 21st and 23rd; the Wings will then head to Buffalo for a Sunday night game, and the "big barometer game" test will come on Thanksgiving eve as the Bruins will make their first regular-season visit to the Joe as a division rival.
The Wings tossed off a pair of Sunday Tweets worth repeating...
-#RedWings Fun Fact: 50 years ago today, Mr. Hockey passed Maurice Richard as the NHL’s all-time leader in goals. http://pic.twitter.com/z7e32dypn2
Join us in wishing #RedWings GM Ken Holland a Happy Birthday!
And you may be familiar with two of these gents as they're being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame tonight (7:30 PM EST, on TSN2 and the NHL Network):
No one disturbs Chris Chelios's morning coffee. NO ONE.
Amongst the vast amount of press regarding Chelios and Shanahan's HHOF inductions:
- Chelios spoke with the Canadian Press about his friend Bobby Parker having kick-started his career;
- MLive's Brendan Savage penned a story about the trades that brought Shanahan to Detroit and, Ansar Khan wrote a story about Chelios coming to Hockeytown:
- The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness penned a Chelios article;
- The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa penned profiles of Chelios and Shanahan, and photo galleries accompany the stories;
- Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner posted a YouTube-based take on the pair of Cup-dynasty stalwarts;
- DetroitRedWings.com's Andrea Nelson penned a Chelios story;
- The Wings' website took note of NHL.com's trio of stories about Shanahan, including one penned by Brett Hull, as well as a trio of stories about Chelios's career, its beginnings, a possible future comeback, and an article written by Brian Leetch;
- ESPN's Craig Custance penned must-read a must-read story about Chelios, Katie Strang penned a similar "must-read" about Shanahan, and Pierre LeBrun offered a "food for thought" article regarding the possibility of Chelios, Shanahan and Scott Niedermayer being able to thrive in a league where obstruction's been cracked down upon, at least to some extent, and a league where head-shots are no longer encouraged;
- If you haven't read Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika's biographical article about Shanahan or ride-along and bio-"pic" of Chris Chelios, you should. Chelios merited a mention in Cotsonika's "Three Periods: feature, too;
- NHL.com also took note of the HHOFers' "Unforgettable Weekend," the HHOFers' comments made at Saturday's fan forum, and they posted videos of the "Ring Ceremony," Chelios and Shanahan's comments at said ceremony, a pair of "By the Numbers" profiles of Shanahan and Chelios, their puck-dropping at Friday's Leafs-Devils game and Chelios, Shanahan, etc. skating in Sunday's Alumni game;
- USA Today's Kevin Allen weighed in the 2013 induction class and suggested that Chris Chelios is the best American-born player ever;
Via RedWingsFeed, we have one more "Alumni Department" storyline to cover. As noted this past weekend, it does not appear that Steve Yzerman has any sort of interest in taking part in the Winter Classic Alumni Showdown, and 97.1 the Ticket's Jeff Riger certainly came away with that impression--though Riger believes that Yzerman's all but honor-bound to show up...
“I haven’t given it much thought, I’ve been pretty busy with our team and watching a lot of hockey games for the Olympics, so I haven’t really thought that much ahead” Yzerman said.
The former captain claims he hasn’t even talked to Ken Holland about the game and wouldn’t even commit to coming to the event, even if it was just to stand there, wave and be celebrated and not even play.
Yzerman claims he has only skated a handful of times since retiring and joked that he currently doesn’t even own a pair of skates.
Bottom line… The Alumni game doesn’t seem to matter all that much to Yzerman and I would guess he will not be in attendance come New Year’s Eve in Detroit. But he should be!
Yzerman has a lot on his plate these days, not only is he the General Manager of the Lightning but he also remains the GM of team Canada as they try to repeat winning Gold when the Winter Olympics start in 2014 in Russia.
As much as the Alumni game means to the many players playing, it probably means much more to the fans. It’s the fans that will pack Comerica Park in freezing temperatures to catch one last glimpse of their hockey heroes as they take on the alumni team of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It’s the fans that will stand and cheer as each former Wing is announced. And, it’s the fans that deserve to see 19 at least make an appearance because he was such a big part of the success that has happened in Hockey Town.
If Yzerman doesn’t show, it won’t ruin the event and people will surly understand but there will be something missing.
Riger posted a video of Yzerman's comments:
WXYZ's Brad Galli took note of Yzerman's comments, too:
Meeting with the local media before the game, Yzerman fielded questions about his late December plans.
“I haven’t given it really much thought,” Yzerman said. “I’ve been pretty busy with our team, and watching a lot of hockey games for the Olympics, so I really haven’t looked that far ahead.”
Yzerman said he doesn't own a pair of skates, and has only hit the ice a few times since retiring in 2006.
He is working as Team Canada's general manager for the Sochi Olympics, but those games don't start until February 7. His Lightning play on December 29, but don't play again until January 1. The Alumni Showdown is at Comerica Park on December 31.
Yzerman said he didn't have a real desire to put skates on, and noted he hasn't spoken to Ken Holland about playing yet.
“I’ve just kind of moved on a little bit. I don’t have time to skate and don’t really have a real desire to," he said.
Shifting focus back to today's Red Wings players, we really have gotten to a Slap Shot-like level in terms of discussing the Wings' absolutely dreadful power play, and MLive's Ansar Khan addressed the issue in a pre-practice article...
The Red Wings are just 1-for-18 on the power play in their past six games and 3-for-29 in their past 10 games.
“I’m sure we’ll look at some video, but I think right now we have to get the puck to the net a lot more and get some second chances,'' defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. "It’s a little bit too much one-and-done, breaking the puck out a few too many times. We have to be able to sustain a little bit better pressure and get the puck to the net a little bit more often.”
The Red Wings had four consecutive power plays early in the second period Saturday but could not convert during 7:24 with the extra man, including 36 seconds of five-on-three. It was a key juncture in their 3-2 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s something we have to work on; it’s really important to take advantage of that,’’ Henrik Zetterberg said. “You got to practice it, put more time on it. We have to really bear down when we get our chances and score goals.’’
The Red Wings went 0-for-10 on the power play in their first four games of the season. Overall, they rank 20th in the NHL at 16.4 percent (9-for-55).
And the rest of his article discusses the Wings' dearth of secondary scoring (see: who the hell knew that the Wings would miss Johan Franzen and Stephen Weiss):
“The guys that are dressed tonight – if you look at the (NHL) Guide and Record Book – who do you expect to score other than those guys?’’ coach Mike Babcock said after Saturday’s game. “Alfie, there is it.
“All these (other) guys are going to pitch in some goals. If you look at our (Western Canada) swing when we won, (Justin Abdelkader) got three points and (Tomas Tatar) has three points and (Joakim) Andersson has three points. That’s why you win, because you get some balanced scoring beside your main guys. But reality is until you’ve done it year after year in this league, I don’t know how surprised you are (by the lack of secondary scoring). We got to check better.’’
Looking forward, as Paul noted, The Hockey News's Ryan Kennedy suggested that Henrik Zetterberg should be Team Sweden's captain...
When Sweden takes to the ice at the Winter Games in Sochi, the team will be led by a different man. Who that player is hasn’t been determined yet, but the last captain of the squad was Detroit Red Wings future Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom and he’s now retired.
One possibility to take over the ‘C’ is Lidstrom’s former teammate on the Winged Wheel, center Henrik Zetterberg. He’s already pulled one team through the transition of life without Lidstrom and Zetterberg is encouraged by the raft of new talent available to the Tre Kronor.
“On our ‘D’ side it looks really good,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids coming in. Oliver Ekman-Larsson is already a star in this league, we’ve got ‘Kronner’ (Wings mate Niklas Kronwall), Erik Karlsson, Jonas Brodin in Minnesota is doing a great job.…So a lot of guys can take that role and we’re going to see who does it in Sochi.”
While Zetterberg’s excellence on both sides of the puck will be a key part of Sweden’s attack up front, his experience will also help a national team in transition. Mainstays such as Peter Forsberg and Mattias Ohlund won’t be around, while Daniel Alfredsson will play in his last Games and be more of a secondary player. On the plus side, young stars Nicklas Backstrom and Loui Eriksson both saw duty in Vancouver.
“Everyone who has been a part of it before knows what to expect,” Zetterberg said. “I’ve been through the highs and lows of the Olympics, so nothing will be new. We will have a good team and we just have to do our best over the two weeks. If I get the captaincy, it will be a little different, but I’m not going to change the way I play.”
And then things got very interesting in terms of the present day, per Khan...
Wings on ice for practice. Cleary joins Eaves and Tootoo in gray jerseys, usually indicating a scratch for next game.
Looks like Franzen is ready to return, based on his red jersey. He is skating with Helm and Alfredsson. Top line of 40-13-44 intact.
Other lines are Andersson with Tatar and Abdelkader. Glendening with Miller and Samuelsson.
Smith (shoulder) is the only defenseman not skating.
Samuelsson skating in third line with Andersson and Tatar while Abdelkader is with Glendening and Miller on fourth line.
Helm practicing on second power play unit with Franzen and Tatar up front, Kindl and Samuelsson at points.
The Macomb Daily's Pleiness...
Cleary appears to be out of the lineup for Tuesday's game against Winnipeg. He's in gray along with Tootoo and Eaves.
Franzen skating with Helm and Alfredsson on second line.
Andersson centering Tatar and Abdelkader. Glendening with Miller and Samuelsson.
Smith lone defenseman not on ice. He's out with a shoulder injury but has been skating.
Abdelkader now on fourth line with Glendening and Miller. Samuelsson up to third line.
No Weiss? No Weiss.
The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan eventually started Tweeting on his circa-2008 phone...
Franzen looks to be in tomorrow skating on second line...not a good sign for Cleary skating with extras
And the Wings weighed in...
Practice just got underway here at The Joe #RedWings http://pic.twitter.com/oICj6CVPML
Z, Pav, and Bert still intact on the top line this morning; Mule, Helm, and Alfie looks like second line #RedWings
Andersson is centering third line with Sammy and Tatar; Glendening down the middle on fourth with Miller and Abby #RedWings
Smith's not on the ice at practice, while the guys in grey are Eaves, Tootoo, and Dan Cleary #RedWings
As did the Free Press's Helene St. James...
Johan Franzen in entire #RedWings practice, looks ready to play vs. WPG. Daniel Cleary on outside looking in, skating with Eaves & Tootoo
Darren Helm in 2nd line C spot, between Alfredsson & Franzen.
Update #1: Kirk Maltby spoke with The Fan 590's HockeyCentral panel regarding Chelios and Shanahan:
And regarding Cleary, per St. James...
Mike Babcock told Daniel Cleary this morning about being pulled from #redwings lineup. Cleary has 3 pts
Cleary just focusing on positives as he may be a healthy scratch Tuesday.
Cleary not sure yet if he has been scratched for tomorrow
Update #1.5: This quip from USA Today's Kevin Allen, involving free agents "staying" or "going," is something I never would've believed two years ago:
Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (Detroit Red Wings): Ericsson is an effective 6-4 defenseman with bite to his game. He has blossomed into a high-quality shutdown guy. The Red Wings have improved dramatically defensively over the past two seasons, and Ericsson, 29, has played a significant role in that evolution. He has grown up in the Red Wings organization and is very comfortable in Detroit. Prediction: Will re-sign.
Observation: He's essential to the team now. Essential.
Update #2: Okay then, from Pleiness:
Tootoo sees the NHL eliminating fighting from the game.
Add the Windsor Star's Bob Duff noted that Chris Chelios has jitters, perhaps for the first time ever, as he prepares to give his HHOF induction speech:
“It’s probably the highest individual award you can receive as an athlete,” said Chelios, admitting that getting to the Hall was much easier than putting together the celebration of the accomplishment. “Over the past two months, trying to organize everything, I’ve never been more stressed out in my life. I’m trying to get everyone I can who had a significant impact on my career at some point. I want them up there. To me it’s going to be a tribute to all the people who helped me get to where I did and achieve what I did. I’d say it’s as hard as planning for a wedding, but I never did anything for my wedding so I wouldn’t know.”
Today an advisor to the hockey operations staff in Detroit, Chelios played more games for Chicago (664) than any of his NHL teams, so he’s featured as a Blackhawk in the Hall of Fame program, something that he acknowledges rubbed his current employers the wrong way.
“That rattled a few people here in the organization,” Chelios said. “If I had a choice, I would have put myself in a USA jersey and that would be just to piss off the Canadians.”
Update #3: From DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
More than 300 NHL players put their pro careers on the backburner to join the American or Canadian armed forces during World War II. And 36 of those men made the ultimate sacrifice, including former Red Wings goalie prospect Joe Turner, who died while fighting valiantly in a German forest.
On this Veterans Day, we remember and give thanks to all servicemen and women who have served and are currently serving our two countries, and pray for those who have paid with their lives so that others may live free.
In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, many pro athletes enlisted in the American and Canadian Armed Forces. Many Red Wings also put their careers on hold to sign up to fight against tyrannical regimes in Germany and Japan.
Red Wings players joined three different military branches:
Royal Canadian Air Force: Sid Abel, Ed Bush, Jim Conacher, Les Douglas, Art Herchenratter, Doug McCaig, Pat McCreavy, Johnny Mowers, Jack Stewart, Harry Watson. Canadian Armed Forces: Murray Armstrong, Adam Brown, Connie Brown, Gerry Brown, Red Doran, Pat Egan, Joe Fisher, Gus Giesebrecht, John Holota, Red Morrison, Cliff Simpson, Eddie Wares. United States Army: Dick Behling, Hec Kilrea and Joe Turner.
“Hurricane Hec” Kilrea was one of the best, and fastest, players of his era. Born in Blackburn, Ontario, he finished among the league’s top 10 scorers twice and won two Stanley Cups with the Red Wings in 1936 and 1937. But some two years after he played his last game in a Wings’ sweater, Kilrea became a naturalized American citizen and joined the U.S. Army.
On Nov. 14, 1945, Kilrea stepped off a train at Ottawa’s Union Station to a thunderous ovation, according to a story in the Ottawa Journal. Wearing the Distinguished Service Cross on his tunic, as well as the Purple Heart and French Croix de Guerre on his uniform, Kilrea didn’t talk much about his military experience.
Asked about the wounds he received in battle, Kilrea was quoted in The Journal as saying, “The wounds were one of those things, but I’m fine now. I’m in great shape and anxious to see all my old sport buddies.”
Roose continues, and his article's worth your time.
Update #4: From Khan...
Babcock said he hasn't decided on lineup for tomorrow, wouldn't commit to Cleary being healthy scratch, said they'll see tomorrow.
Smith is eligible to come off short term IR but Babcock said he's not ready to play. Ericsson not eligible until Friday. So Ouellet stays.
Franzen said he's ready to play tomorrow.
Franzen still won't reveal his injury, saying he's not 100 percent. But, he laughed off speculation that he's dealing with anxiety issues.
And St. James:
Mike Babcock told Daniel Cleary this morning about being pulled from #redwings lineup. Cleary has 3 pts
From what Mike Babcock said, sounds like if Johan Franzen in Tue vs WPG, Daniel Cleary out. #redwings
Johan Franzen said he's playing Tuesday
And now Kulfan:
Sounds like Franzen will go. ...no smith or Ericsson yet...nothing definite about Cleary but it would not be shocking if he did not
Update #4.5: From the Wings:
Brendan Smith is eligible to play tomorrow, but Babs says he's not ready yet (shoulder); Ouellet's likely in #RedWings
The Mule said he does plan to play against Winnipeg tomorrow #RedWings
Update #5: From DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
Listening to reporters quiz #RedWings Franzen today was like watching "20 Questions". He wasn't budging. They can't figure out injury.
Updat #6: As noted in the overnight entry, Mattias Janmark was kneed at the Karjala Cup, and today, AIK Stockholm's GM, Daniel Rudslatt, told Expressen's Henrik Sjoberg that Janmark's ACL is OK, but bleeding on the knee is preventing the team from determining whether he's got any sort of MCL sprain or damage to the meniscus of his knee.
And here come the post-practice reports, with the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness addressing Cleary's status...
Daniel Cleary appears he’ll be a healthy scratch Tuesday, skating along with Patrick Eaves and Jordin Tootoo at practice.
“We’ll see,” Cleary said. “I don’t know. I just have to play better. It’s the ebbs and flows of hockey. The only thing you can control know is your attitude and work ethic. I have to play better and I have to produce more.”
Cleary has a goal and two assists in 18 games.
“The bottom line is we have a lot of guys offensively have been challenged to score,” said Wings coach Mike Babcock. “Is that a lack of confidence, is that a lack of opportunity, I don’t know what the answer is to that. I just know each and every day as a coaching staff we go through the previous game and we look at what we did and we try and dress the best lineup that’ll help us win. Sometimes you never know for sure. You dress a lineup and watch them play. You base it on facts and that’s what we try to do.”
Babcock would not say whether or not Cleary would sit against the Jets.
“For a guy of his hockey sense and his ability he’s got to be a factor every night and I don’t see that,” Babcock said.
And Franzen's status:
Johan Franzen will be back in the lineup Tuesday when Detroit hosts the Winnipeg Jets. But he still won’t disclose the “upper-body injury” that has had him sidelined the last four games.
“When it’s 100 percent healed,” Franzen said when asked when he’ll say what the injury is.”
He said it’s been the same issue the whole time, but it’s not an injury he had before.”
“I just couldn’t play,” Franzen said. “I wasn’t ready.”
He added he feels he’s ready to play with how he’s been practicing.
“I thought I could tell you today but I couldn’t,” Franzen said.
Update #7: Kris Draper addressed his status as one of the organizers for the Red Wings' Alumni Showdown and Brendan Shanahan and Chris Chelios's Hockey Hall of Fame inductions in an interview with Sportsnet's Hockeycentral at Noon:
And here's MLive's Ansar Khan's practice report:
Franzen also laughed off speculation that he’s dealing with anxiety issues, something he had before he began his NHL career in 2005-06. He said that definitely is not the issue.
The Red Wings aren’t sure what’s wrong with Cleary. He and the team expected him to be playing better. He has just one goal and two assists, along with a plus-1 rating, in 18 games. Cleary was wearing a gray jersey in Monday’s practicing, usually reserved for players who are scratched the next game.
Coach Mike Babcock, however, said, “Well I wouldn’t speculate on anything until tomorrow comes.’’ Babcock said of Cleary, “For a guy of his hockey sense and his ability he’s got to be a factor every night and I don’t see that.’’
Cleary said he spoke to Babcock before practice.
“I just have to play better,’’ Cleary said.
Brendan Smith (shoulder) did not practice. He is eligible to come off of short-term injured reserve but Babcock said it doesn’t appear he’ll be ready to play Tuesday. Jonathan Ericsson looks to be on schedule to return Friday from long-term IR.
“(Ericsson) is not allowed to play (Tuesday) and Smitty missed practice so he must not must not be allowed to play,’’ Babcock said. “We’d like to get him back.’’
Update #8: More HHOF stuff:
- The Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno spoke with Chelios about his friend Bobby Parker's inspiration/career kick-starting and some sort of possible comeback;
- The Globe and Mail's David Shoalts praised the winning pedigree of this year's HHOF'ers, Eric Duhatschek postisted capsule inducteee biographies and an article about Chelios's legendary endurance, and the Globe confirmed that Chelios still skates with his sons;
- The Toronto Star's Kevin McGran spoke with all four inductees and praised Chelios;
- The Hockey News's Ryan Kennedy asked Shahanahan about "getting the call" from the HHOF;
- The CBC's Tim Wharnsby posted a HHOF-related set of "Monday Musings," and Shanahan spoke with Hockey Night in Canada radio about his induction;
- And CBS Sports' Brian Stubits posted a slate of "Greatest YouTube Hits" from the inductees.
Update #9: The Free Press's Helene St. James posited a practice article, focusing on Cleary's likely-to-be status as a healthy scratch on Tuesday...
"For a guy of his hockey sense and ability, he's got to be a factor every night," Babcock said. "I don't see that."
Babcock stopped short of saying Cleary is definitely out against the Jets, as things can change overnight. But the message was there today, anyway: For a guy who has played top-six minutes and power-play time, averaging a point per six games isn't good enough. Cleary took the news like a veteran.
"The ebbs and flows of hockey," he said. "Sometimes the only thing you can control now is your attitude and your work ethic. We have to play better and have to produce more. You have to be able to bring different things to the table. Try to focus on playing well defensively. I believe that's the key to creating offense, anyway."
Cleary said he talked to Babcock prior to practice but didn't want to elaborate. Cleary is far from the only Wing underachieving offensively. Franzen, for that matter, has just two goals — in the same game — and five points total in 15 games, not nearly enough for a guy of Franzen's size and skill.
Uh, he'd registered most of those points in the 5 games he played prior to his "injury"...
The only forwards showing up regularly have been Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, who have combined for 17 of the team's 45 goals. Todd Bertuzzi has five goals and nine points, and Alfredsson has 13 points.
"The bottom line is, we've got a lot of guys who, offensively, have been challenged to score," Babcock said. "So is that a lack of confidence, is that a lack of opportunity — I don't know the answer to that. All I know is each and every day, as a coaching staff, we go through the previous game, and we look at what we did and we try to dress the best lineup to help us win."
Bertuzzi stayed with Zetterberg and Datsyuk's line, while Joakim Andersson was with Tomas Tatar and Mikael Samuelsson. Luke Glendening centered the fourth line, between Drew Miller and Justin Abdelkader.
And ESPN's Pierre LeBrun offered spare takes on each and every NHL team's status in this week's first slate of power rankings:
13. Detroit [record] 9-5-4 Last Week: 9 The Wings still can't get into their usual groove in the Eastern Conference.
I bet LeBrun was wearing his cape when he offered that take:
Update #10: Here's the Free Press's Helene St. James' practice video:
Update #10: The Detroit News's Ted Kuflan filed a practice article...
Cleary stressed the importance of staying positive despite the offensive struggles.
"Stay positive and work hard," said Cleary, who met with Babcock before practice but doesn't know whether he'll be out of the lineup. Hockey can change very fast. One day you're feeling great and the next day you're not feeling so great. Just stay positive and be professional, and there's a lot of hockey left this season. It's just the ebb and flow of hockey. The only thing you can control is attitude and work ethic."
Meanwhile, forward Johan Franzen (upper-body injury) practiced Monday and said he will play against the Jets. Franzen has missed five of the last six games, and only played nine minutes in Calgary when he was in the lineup, because of the undisclosed injury.
"I didn't re-injure it (in Calgary), I just couldn't play, I wasn't ready," Franzen said.
But Franzen is confident now, he's healthy enough to play.
"The way I've been practicing, I'm feeling better," Franzen said.
Franzen was skating on a line with Darren Helm and Daniel Alfredsson during practice Monday.
As did DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
Franzen spoke to the Detroit media following Monday’s practice, but wouldn’t disclose his injury, which it’s believed occurred on Oct. 27, the day before the Red Wings headed to western Canada for a four-game road trip. Franzen didn’t make the trip to Vancouver, but met the team in Calgary on Oct. 31 and played in just over 9-minutes against the Flames before leaving the game with a reported “illness”.
Seemingly in good spirits Monday afternoon, Franzen, who has two goals and three assists in 13 games, led kind of a game of “20 Questions” with the Detroit media as they tried to guess the ailment that has kept Mule out for two weeks.
Here is part of the 70-second locker room exchange:
Question: What was issue?
Franzen: “I can’t say that yet.”
Question: When can you say?
Franzen: “When it’s 100 percent healed.”
Question: Did you re-injure it in the Calgary game?
Franzen: “No, I didn’t. I just couldn’t play. I wasn’t ready.”
Question: What makes you think you’re ready now?
Franzen: “The way I’ve been practicing. Feeling better.”
Franzen did laugh off speculation that he’s been dealing with a psychiatric disorder. He said he was told by a friend that a rumor made it around the Internet over the weekend that Franzen was battling anxiety issues, which he has dealt with in the past.
“I’ll tell you Monday,” Franzen said. “I thought I could tell you today, but I couldn’t.”
Update #11: DRW Prospects on Twitter found a video of the hit that could've ended Mattias Janmark's season:
Update #12: The Philadelphia Daily news's Frank "I Picked Ray Emery as the Third Star in the Capitals-Flyers Game Because I Could" Seravalli offered the following smarm regarding Cleary:
Remember Dan Cleary?
Cleary, 34, was set to join the Flyers in training camp after a deal supposedly fell through to stay in Detroit. The Flyers were reportedly going to sign him to a 3-year deal in the $9 million range, a claim all parties later denied.
Cleary, of course, had a last-minute change of heart. He asked for a meeting with Red Wings GM Ken Holland and coach Mike Babcock and the Wings found a way to keep him.
Cleary now has 1 goal and 2 assists in 18 games this season - and he’s recently been playing with Daniel Alfredsson. And that’s with Cleary playing for another contract in Detroit, the place he loves so dearly.
“Not enough,” Babcock said last week when asked about Cleary’s production.
Turns out, Babcock told Cleary on Monday that he would not be in the lineup Tuesday against Winnipeg. Cleary was not a full partiicipant in Monday's practice, instead skating with recently waived forward Jordin Tootoo and Patrick Eaves.
Could you imagine if the Flyers had Cleary, that production, and a $3 million salary cap hit? Yikes.
By the way, Ville Leino finally registered his first shot of the season last week in Los Angeles. It took him 7 games. Sometimes in pro sports, the best moves you make are the ones you don’t. Or, well, the ones where you’re saved from yourself.
Yes, because the Flyers are the shining example of managerial stability and a team never choosing to make rash personnel moves for the sake of making a move.
Update #13: The Free Press's Helene St. James asked Jimmy Howard about goalie fights...
The NHL supposedly is mulling instituting a 10-game suspension for goalies who leave their zone to fight. The issue has come to the forefront in the past 10 days, ever since Philadelphia's Ray Emery beat up Washington's Braden Holtby in a fight-filled game between the Flyers and Capitals on Nov. 1. The fight grew in notoriety after it came out that Holtby "didn't want to fight” but was told by Emery just to “protect” himself.
"I don't really, ever, want to see Ray Emery skating down at me," Howard said today. "We'll leave it at that."
Howard said goalies "shouldn't have to fight. I know I wouldn't stand up to him. That's one guy on my list that I'd probably try to find the nearest exit to the ice, whether it be the Zamboni door ... . Geez, you click on YouTube and watch him take on heavyweights."
The Wings have been home to two famous goaltending fights, of course, between Mike Vernon and Patrick Roy and Chris Osgood and Roy a year later.
"I think fans and even players like it," Howard said. "The one way for a bench-clearing brawl to stop is to have the goalies square off. Everyone seems to stop and watch the goalies."
And I never know what to do with these. The Red Wings Foundation's Lynsie DeLoss Estes posts a press release regarding an event that's closed to the public. Yay event?
Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson will visit Plymouth Scholars Academy in Plymouth, Mich., on Tuesday, Nov. 12, as part of the Detroit Red Wings School Assembly Program sponsored by the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and The Kroger Company of Michigan. The program will take place from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. in the school gymnasium.
Ericsson and the Red Wings School Assembly Team will introduce more than 650 students to the sport of hockey through a youth street and floor hockey initiative. The Wings will provide equipment and hands-on instruction to familiarize kids with the sport of hockey and to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle.
The School Assembly Team opens every program with an interactive lesson on exercise and healthy eating, followed by an energetic hockey shootout competition pitting students against teachers. New to the program this year, the assembly will address the growing issue of bullying.
Each school receives two full sets of floor hockey equipment complete with hockey sticks and nets courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, with every student receiving a Red Wings folder, a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan life-size growth poster featuring Brendan Smith, as well as a healthy eating cookbook from the Kroger Company of Michigan.
Now in its fourth year, the Red Wings School Assembly Team has visited 227 local schools, reaching more than 160,000 students and donating two sets of equipment to physical education departments at each school visited throughout southeastern Michigan. Notable players and alumni such as Niklas Kronwall, Todd Bertuzzi, Kris Draper, Chris Osgood and Kirk Maltby have each attended an assembly.
A special fundraising initiative administered by the Red Wings School Assembly Program has helped local students raise more than $85,000 since 2011 for a variety of charitable endeavors.
This season, the Red Wings School Assembly Team plans to make 115 appearances. The most up-to-date schedule can be found at http://www.DetroitRedWings.com/schoolassemblyschedule.
Update #14: Amongst DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's notes:
HOME SLIDE: Detroit will try to avoid a six-game home winless streak on Tuesday when they host the Jets. With a 3-2 overtime loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday, the Red Wings extended their home winless streak to five games. The last time the Red Wings experienced a five-game slide at Joe Louis was during the 1996-97 season, when they lost to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (1-0) in overtime; tied St. Louis (1-1) and Toronto (2-2); and were defeated by Ottawa (3-2) and St. Louis (3-1).
Winnipeg hasn’t won in Detroit since January 8, 1996, and defeated the Red Wings 4-2 last week at the MTS Centre.
“They took it to us pretty good,” Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard said. “I think that’s fresh in all of our minds and we should be looking for a little bit of revenge here tomorrow night.”
“They skated us last time,” said coach Mike Babcock. “I watched them play San Jose the other night and they skated real well. They’ve got good depth. They have back end that can move the puck, that has size and they’ve got goaltending. They’re a good team. I’ll be a test for us.Our big thing is start on time and play the whole 60. When you make a mistake don’t let it lead to two or three mistakes, just make one mistake and stay poised, stay patient and keep grinding in the game.”
TURNOVER TROUBLE: Turnovers have plagued the Red Wings in their winless streak, most recently against Tampa Bay when a giveaway late in the overtime period cost Detroit the game. The Wings have given up the puck 37 times in their past five matchups, including eight against the Lightning and 10 in their last meeting with the Jets.
“I think the other night against Dallas, I thought we played really a good game all around,” Howard said. “It’s just a couple of bad breaks in the net and here the other night Z has a great shot there in the third to tie it up and another mistake and it cost us again. So we just have to find a way to eliminate those mistakes from our games and I think we’ll be better off for it.”
Roose also discusses Zetterberg's stint as a member of the Swedish army:
He is one of the few NHL players who served in his military, and although Veteran’s Day isn’t celebrated in Sweden, Zetterberg still understands the importance of appreciating and honoring those who have served for their countries.
“I think it’s an important day,” Zetterberg said. “I think they do a lot of good things, not just the U.S. military, but all the units around the world. But Sweden’s not a big military country, obviously we’re helping out, but we don’t do a lot of big stuff. I think the U.S. having that big of a military has a lot of veterans and it’s nice to do what we can to give back for what they have done.”
Update #15: And here's the inevitable Howard video from St. James:
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