The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/04/13 at 12:15 PM ET
Updated 7x at 4:31 PM:The Red Wings hope to rebound from their loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday as they play seven more games over the next two weeks, starting with a game against Colorado tomorrow night, but it doesn't sound like they're going to get unrestricted free agent-to-be Valtteri Filppula's services back any time soon:
I'm not sure what to say about this one:
Loose is good?
And, "Who knew!" parts 1...
The Free Press's Helene St. James posited a summary of today's news...
[C]oach Mike Babcock anticipates sticking with the same lineup when the Wings host the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, partly because there's not much choice. Filppula is out with a sore shoulder, and while defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo is close to playing, he's not that close.
"I'm at a point right now where I'm not having any setbacks," Colaiacovo said. "But I need more of the conditioning on the ice, with the battle and the strength stuff, game situations. I thought I'd be at a better point today, and I'm better, but not where I want to be."
Colaiacovo injured a shoulder in the second game of the season, Jan. 21 at Columbus. But will he think twice about playing if ready Saturday, when the Wings are back in Columbus? Nope. "Hey, listen, I don't look at those things," he said. "I'm just at a point right now where I just want to play hockey. When I come back, I want to stay in for the rest of the season."
Filppula has missed three games, and Babcock said he doesn't anticipate Filppula being ready this week, which also includes home games Thursday against Edmonton and Sunday against the Blue Jackets. Filppula said he did "feel a little better" and was encouraged that he could go on the ice, even if he didn't do much. "I was out there for a little bit, and it didn't feel too bad, but I still feel it, so it's not the best situation. But it's getting better."
Forward Darren Helm, who hasn't been seen on the ice since Jan. 26, the day after his only game of the season, is hoping to lace up his skates later this week. He has been dealing with sore back since hurting himself doing squats right before training camp began.
There's less news on forward Todd Bertuzzi: He hasn't played since limping off the ice Feb. 7 at St. Louis, felled by back pain so severe, he required hospitalization. He's doing marginally better but isn't working out and isn't close to skating.
And St. James posted a quick video of Darren Helm speaking about his condition:
Update #5: If you missed Steve LePore's Tweet from above, here's MLive's Brendan Savage's explanation thereof:
Overnight television ratings for the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday were the second-best NBC Sports has enjoyed for a regular-season game since the network began televising hockey again in 2005-06.
The game drew a 1.6 overnight rating, according to a story by SportsMediaWatch.com. The only time NBC drew a higher rating for a regular-season game other than the Winter Classic was its 2.0 on opening day this season.
The rating means more than 1.8 million households in the United States were tuned into the Red Wings-Blackhawks game at some point.
SportsMediaWatch.com also reported that the game outdrew four of the five college basketball games on CBS over the weekend – Michigan-Michigan State had a 1.7 rating – and the game drew a 9.7 share in Chicago.
Interest in the Blackhawks is obviously high since they're off to the best start with a 19-0-3 record after beating the Red Wings.
Update #6: DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose asked the Wings about Tuesday's opponent, the Colorado Avalanche, and coach Mike Babcock weighed in on Thursday's opponent a well:
While the Kings, Sharks and Blackhawks are extremely tough on opposing defenses with their big, bruising forwards, the Wings’ next two opponents – the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers – play more of a speedy quick brand than a physical style.
“Colorado and Edmonton both have tons of speed,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “The one thing about a team in our situation, every night's a real contest, we understand that totally.”
The Red Wings will face the Avs for the first time this season, hosting the team from Denver at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday night. Colorado enters the week at No. 13 in the Western Conference standings, but still only four-points behind the Red Wings, who currently sit in the final playoff spot with 24 points.
“They’re really not all that far off,” goalie Jimmy Howard said of the Avs. “They’re all grouped together from fourth all the way to last, so it’s tight and going to continue to be that way all the way to the end of the season. You just have to find a way every single night to get points.”
The light-scoring Avs started slow this season. And despite a 5-4-3 record in February, the owners of the third worst goal-differential (-10) in the West are 1-1-3 in their last five games.
The Avs received a boost last week when they matched Calgary’s offer sheet for forward Ryan O’Reilly, who played his first game of the season in Sunday’s overtime loss at Columbus. Despite his return, O’Reilly skated on the third line with John Mitchell and Milan Hejduk. Still, Howard expects the Avs to be a challenge, especially as it relates to getting to the net.
“They’re fast,” said Howard, who is 4-2-1 lifetime against Colorado. “They’re extremely quick up front, but as far as being able to watch them play, I haven’t seen many games this year.”
PLAYER TO WATCH
RW P.A. PARENTEAU – The 29-year-old free agent signing has been a pleasant surprise for the Avalanche this season. He enters the week as the team’s leading goal scorer with nine, and is second in points, one behind center Matt Duchene, who has 19 points. The Avs signed Parentneau last summer to a four-year, $16 million contract to leave the New York Islanders, where he became a solid playmaker with John Tavares. … A proven point-producer, Parenteau has points in five of the last seven games. He scored the lone goal in Sunday’s OT loss, while working on a line with center Matt Duchene and left wing Jamie McGinn. … In three career games against the Red Wings, Parenteau has produced a goal and an assist – both on the power play. His goal against Detroit was also a game-winner – he has just five in his career – when he scored in overtime on Dec. 31, 2010 at Joe Louis Arena.
And, from the Wings' Facebook page:
As part of the Red Wings' 11th Annual Smoke Detector Collection presented by Comerica Bank, Captain Henrik Zetterberg and the Red Wings collected more than 3,700 smoke detectors to donate to local fire departments for distribution throughout metro Detroit. In addition to the smoke detectors, the Wings raised $3,500 in cash at two games at Joe Louis Arena, and Henrik personally donated $10,000. Thanks to the fans who participated in this collection.
"It didn't feel too bad, but I still feel it, so it's not the best situation, but getting better,” Filppula said. Filppula did some stick-handling on the ice, but when he attempted to shoot the puck, “That didn't work that well, so I think that's going to be the toughest thing.”
Shoulder and collar bone injuries have been prevalent for the Wings, as defensemen Brendan Smith and Carlo Colaiacovo and forward Jan Mursak all missed significant time with shoulder or AC joint sprains. Colaiacovo, who was injured in the second game of the season, still hasn’t received medical clearance to play. Filppula isn’t sure when he’ll return to the lineup, which makes dealing with his injury more disappointing.
“That's what's frustrating,” said Filppula, who has four goals and six assists in 19 games. “You don't miss that much time but you miss a lot of games. Today was first day I felt better, good enough to go out there and skate a little bit so I'm happy about that.”
Colaiacovo, who hasn’t played since suffering a sprained shoulder on Jan. 21 in Columbus, is beyond frustrated.
“I'm at a point right now where I just want to play hockey,” he said. “When I come back, I want to stay in there for the rest of the season. Don't want to have to look back. Focus on the positives and do whatever I can to help this team.”
Colaiacovo said that he’s close to getting back. He’s been pain-free for several weeks, but the delay is more conditioning based.
“I'm at such a crucial point right now, with so many games coming up, me being out this long, I want to make sure it's 100 percent feeling good,” he said. “It's very close. There's a lot of good things happening every day. Mentally and physically we're going to continue to take the time we need. If I wake up tomorrow and it feels different, then great. We'll just take it a day a time right now.”
And MLive's Brendan Savage is asking fans which "rookie" has impressed them the most:
Because first-year forward Damien Brunner doesn't qualify as a rookie because of his age, we didn't include him on the list. Brunner would win in a runaway and how much fun is that? We want to make you work a bit on this one so we excluded him. (Although we were tempted to include Brunner just to show that we could have.)
Instead, we'll give you six players to choose from – defensemen Brendan Smith and Brian Lashoff; forwards Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar; and goaltender Petr Mrazek.
Granted, some of these guys have been in the NHL before but they qualify as rookies. And although Nyquist has played just two games, he's on the list because Mrazek made it despite also playing only two games. (One being that 5-1 win last month in St. Louis, where he made his NHL debut.)
But since so much was made over Mrazek's two starts and because he was with the club for a couple of weeks, it's hard to leave him off the list.
Plus Nyquist gives us a half-dozen players on the list and six is not only a nice round number it was also worn by both Al Kaline and Dr. J.
Need some numbers to help make your decision? Since we aim to please, here you go:
• Smith: 11 games, one assist, four penalty minutes, plus-4.
• Lashoff: 18 games, one goal, three assists, four PIM, minus-4.
• Andersson: 12 games, three goals, three assists, four PIM, plus-5.
• Nyquist: Two games, no points, minus-1.
• Tatar: 14 games, four goals, three assists, two PIM, plus-2.
• Mrazek: Two games, 1-1 record, 2.02 GAA, .922 save percentage.
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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.