Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings Monday practice post: Franzen out, Glendening to be recalled and lots of ‘gnus and gnotes’

Updated 10x at 3:52 PM: The Red Wings took to the ice after a very disappointing weekend and very disappointing slate of 4 consecutive losses, with bad on-ice habits requiring work-it-out repair and the team's negative results requiring some 'splaining to do.

Practice kicked off with bad news from the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:

Johan Franzen missing at practice. Waiting on an update. #RedWings

MLive's Ansar Khan confirmed:

Wings on ice for practice. Franzen not skating. Waiting for word on his status.

Ugh, per the Free Press's Helene St. James:

#RedWings calling up Luke Glendening to bring to Canada, as Johan Franzen will not play Wednesday.

...

#RedWings going to Canada with just six healthy defensemen, will call someone up if needed after Wed. game at Vancouver.

Update: Regarding the inevitable "Why Not Nyquist?" comments, Nyquist's cap hit is $950K, and Glendening's is $575K. The Wings have to clear cap space and roster space to accommodate Darren Helm's return, and as Franzen was playing center, the Wings need to both plug in a positional replacement and save as much cap space as they are able to save.

The waiver issue for Nyquist--he's no longer waiver exempt after 2 more NHL games played--is irrelevant here.

What's Franzen's status? Uh...Murky...Per Pleiness...

Wings GM Ken Holland says Johan Franzen out Wednesday. Hopes to return Friday. Luke Glendening being recalled from GR.

And Khan:

Franzen is out for Wednesday with injury. team hopes he's ready for Friday. Glendening recalled from Grand Rapids.

Update #1.5: Ugh again, per Pleiness:

Drew Miller just left practice.

DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose is also confirming the news:

Franzen won't play in Vancouver with undisclosed injury; Glenedening will make trip west.

Update #1.6: Triple ugh, per Khan:

Drew Miller left practice more than five minutes ago, so it's probably not an equipment issue.

Update #2: Per Khan...

Some new lines today: Datsyuk is with Tatar and Cleary, Zetterberg is with Alfredsson and Abdelkader.

...

Andersson is with Bertuzzi and Eaves; Weiss skating with Tootoo and Samuelsson, who might be subbing for Miller. Helm working in on top 6.

...

Defense pairs remain the same: Kronwall-Smith, Quincey-DeKeyser, Lashoff-Kindl

And Pleiness:

Weiss appears to have been demoted to fourth line. He's skating with Tootoo and Samuelsson.

...

Cleary up in top six. Skating with Datsyuk and Tatar.

Otherwise...The Windsor Star's Bob Duff penned an article about Johan Franzen's shift to center, which has helped #93 play more engaged and enthusiastic hockey--pointing out that Franzen was a natural center until he joined the Wings:

"I was a centre for my whole time growing up in Sweden, and on and off, I’ve played it here, so I like it,” Franzen said.

It was that early work as a centre during his rookie NHL campaign of 2005-06, which also happened to be Mike Babcock’s first season as coach of the Red Wings that played a role in Babcock’s decision to move Franzen to the middle.

“The Mule came here as a checking centre and found out he could really score,” Babcock said, invoking Franzen’s well-known nickname.

Getting the Mule into gear can be a problem for the Wings, and that’s another reason why centre seemed like such a good fit for him, because it forces the sometimes mercurial Franzen to remain more active during the game.

“When the Mule skates, he’s a real dominant player for us,” Babcock said.

Franzen admitted that there’s much more to do when he plays in the middle of the ice than when he’s working along the wall as a winger.

“Depending on what type of game it is, you’re involved and you get more choices when you get the puck other than when you’re a winger and you get stuck at the boards,” Franzen said. “There are different kinds of responsibilities. You still play defence as a winger, too, but you do a little more work as a centre. You’re playing down low more, a little bit more involved.”

Franzen's played very well in my opinon. And Duff jinxed him!

Via RedWingsFeed, Expressen's Sebastien Matsson reports that Niklas Kronwall's brother Staffan won't be able to play in the Karjala Cup from November 7-10 as Staffan's nursing an injury, but Wings prospect Mattias Janmark will play for the Swedish national team in the abbreviated Euro Hockey Tour battle between Sweden, Finland, Russia and the Czech Republic;

This contest notice from WWJ also comes to us via RedWingsFeed:

Listen to WWJ Newsradio 950 Thursday (10/31/13) for your chance win tickets to the Winter Festival Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park on December 31, 2013.

Want to guarantee your tickets to the game?  Tickets go on sale Monday, November 4 at 10 a.m.  Click here for more information and to purchase your tickets!

Contest date: October 31, 2013, 8:00a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Prize details: Three (3) winners will receive two (2) tickets to the Winter Festival Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park on 12/31/13
Winner must be at least 18 years old
Click here for official contest rules

97.1 the Ticket is also holding a similar contest:

Listen to Stoney and Bill all week long for your chance to win a pair of tickets before you can even buy them to the 2013 Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park on December 31!

Come be part of hockey history at the 2013 Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings Alumni Showdown™ December 31 at Comerica Park™. Tickets go on sale Monday, November 4 at 10 a.m.

The Grand Rapids Griffins posted a clip of "Triston Grant on the Street," or at least a teaser for a longer slate of the Griffins forward asking fans questions...

In more substantive news, the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson posited this as part of his set of Hockey World articles:

When the Detroit Red Wings were looking to draft a junior goalie in 2008, their scouts were divided on Thomas McCollum and Braden Holtby. They took McCollum, a big shot in Guelph, late in Round 1 and took a pass on Holtby, who was playing in Saskatoon. Hindsight is 20-20, but that was a roundhouse swing and a miss. McCollum has played 15 NHL minutes  and has been surpassed by Czech Petr Mrazek in their organizational depth chart. Not that the Caps were all that smart. They waited until Round 4 to get Holtby, with their fifth pick of the draft.

Tehnically speaking, the battle for the #1 goalie in the draft was split between McCollum, who's' on an AHL-only deal, and Leland Iriving, who was playing for Jokerit Helsinki after washing out of the Flames organization last summer....

DRW Prospects on Twitter notes that McCollum pitched back-to-back wins for the Griffins in Saturday and Sunday night wins, so he's not exactly chopped liver just yet:

#AHL: Griffins beat Chicago 3-2. McCollum 32/34 saves, goals by Pulkkinen, Järnkrok and Jurco. Box score: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1011203 … #RedWings

...

#AHL: Griffins beat Iowa 3-2. McCollum 26/28 saves and goals by Paetsch, Glendening & Ferraro. Box score: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1011217

DRW Prospects also found the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation's official release confirming that Janmark will play for Sweden at the Karjala cup.

Karjala = a brand of beer in Finland...And the Euro Hockey Tour serves as a slate of 4 mini-tournaments designed to provide both dress rehearsals and a little hype-making for the World Championship in May of 2014. Janmark took part in the Czech Hockey Games in late August, and the Swedish, Finnish, Russian and Czech leagues will pause play again during the Channel One Cup in Moscow from December 19-22--with that tournament preceding a "holiday" break for each and every European pro league for Christmas and New Year's holidays--and the Oddset Hockey Games between May 1-4 serve as the final warm-up for the Worlds.

The IIHF's 2014 World Championships are supposed to take place in Minsk, Belarus starting on Friday, May 9th, but there's a HUGE controversy as to whether the tournament should be held in Belarus, which is really a dictatorship under Alexander Lukashenko, and their human rights record is just awful.

EuroHockey.com is a fantastic English-language resource for all of your, "Well, what the hell is going on in Europe" needs

All I can say to Field of Schemes' Neil DeMause regarding his latest article about "Bankrupt Detroit" and the State of Michigan's sale of bonds to pay for 44% of its funding, dude, get a little more creative here. The horse you're beating is more yogurt than horse right now;

Speaking of controversial topics, the Toronto Star's Damien Cox has this to say about Steve Moore's $38 million civil suit against Todd Bertuzzi and other defendants:

We have a date. And, so we are told, this one's written in stone. Steve Moore will finally get his day in court in his $38 million lawsuit against Todd Bertuzzi and the Vancouver Canucks on Sept. 8, 2014, more than a decade after Bertuzzi's cowardly attack from behind on Moore ended the young Colorado forward's career.

The date is not set in stone. It's been pushed back as Bertuzzi's continued to play hockey, and given that the civil suit's trial is supposed to take 3 months and will involve testimony from the NHL, members of the Vancouver Canucks' ownership group, Marc Crawford, Brian Burke and others, I can't imagine the judge derailing Bertuzzi's 2014-2015 season in the process--and I fully believe that Bertuzzi's going to continue playing for at least another season:

Bertuzzi, of course, served a suspension but has played on, making about $24 million in salary since the attack despite his declining skills.

This will be a jury trial, assuming the Bertuzzi/Canucks camp doesn't settle beforehand, and two elements affected by the long delay will be most interesting.

First, the public's attitudes towards head shots and violence in hockey may have changed significantly since March, 2004. A jury of Bertuzzi's peers may view this somewhat differently next year than they might have back then.
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Second, the Bertuzzi/Canucks camp certainly can't argue that Moore's injuries weren't career threatening or that serious. He never played again and still suffers from symptoms relating to the incident.

I hope this goes to trial. I want to see the grotesque side of hockey vigilante justice laid out in public for all to see.

But I'm guessing it won't. Like the NFL did with concussions, I'd bet Bertuzzi and Canucks, after delaying for so long, will ultimately cut a deal.

Ditto for this from the CBC's Elliote Friedman, regarding Patrick Kaleta's attempt to appeal his 10-game suspension:

There was little call for Kaleta to be punished when he hit Jack Johnson. It went almost unnoticed. Same for New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner, who got a two-game suspension last week.

Normally, Twitter blows up when this stuff happens, but there was almost zero reaction in those cases. Shanahan and his lieutenants are watching closely.

Niklas Kronwall told a Swedish reporter he was partially at fault for a hit he received from Cody McLeod, but the Colorado Avalanche forward still got five games.

"I agreed with Kronwall," said one GM who supported the suspension, "but how many stretchers did we have last week? We have to get that hit out of the game."

It should be pointed out that Shanahan -- no wuss as a player -- has made at least three "accidental collision" rulings this year, so he's not turning into a total softie, but this is an indication of where the league wants to go, ie. as much protection of the head as possible.

The NHLPA believes very strongly that even an unpopular player like Kaleta deserves a full defence. The lockout may be over, but hard feelings remain and people on both sides still want whatever victory is possible over the other.

Sport-Express reports that CSKA Moscow didn't dress Sergei Fedorov for today's game against SKA St. Petersburg. The popular theory right now is that Fedorov won't make his official on-ice return until after the Karjala Cup takes place so that he receives a full month's worth of practices to get into game shape;

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun presents this week's first set of power rankings...

14. Detroit [record] 6-4-2 Last Week: 10 Ooof, a four-game slide has fans with long faces in Hockeytown, USA. Stephen Weiss with only two goals and no assists in 12 games.

And Winging it in Motown's SlapshotGoal penned a superb article about this past weekend's showdown between Jake Paterson's Saginaw Spirit and Andreas Athanasiou's Barrie Colts:

I was sitting just to [Paterson's] left for 2 periods, so I got to watch him up close. I was again struck by just how calm and patient Paterson is. There's no panic and no scrambling in his game at all, and the Colts forwards were unable to fake him out, or get him to over commit, because he calmly waits for the puck to come to him and then stops it. Some goalies move around a lot in the crease as they're adjusting position and getting ready for the shot, but Paterson just seems almost stone cold in his reactions, but he's makes the saves (and some impressive ones at that). He doesn't drop too soon and need to recover, and his almost robotic demeanor in the crease gives opposing forwards almost no indication of what he's going to do. His calm demeanor was even more apparent in contrast to the Colts goalie who seemed to scramble a lot and just couldn't seem to hold on to the puck; giving up rebounds and lose pucks like they were candy at Halloween.

The Colts were trying to get traffic in front of Paterson all night, but Jake didn't seem to mind at all. He has an uncanny ability to see right through people; at least that what it looks like. He is somehow able to see or anticipate the pucks even through heavy traffic. It's very impressive.

The Spirit defense is improving, and I noticed them blocking numerous shots (a couple that clearly stung). Paterson is getting more support, and facing fewer shots (he only saw 26 in this game) which takes a little of the pressure off of him. Jake Paterson is the big draw for the Spirit, and he's done a bulk of the heavy lifting for the team, both so far this season and last season, it will be interesting to see what he can do when he has more support from his team.

Andreas Athanasiou was a little disappointing...

During the 1st period, a good chunk of the time the Colts were in the offensive zone, Athanasiou was on the ice, so it surprised me how little ice time he got. The OHL doesn't keep track of ice time stats so I don't have exact numbers, but it was less than I had expected. He played on both the power play and penalty kill, and he was on the ice moving in front of Paterson when the Colts scored their power play goal.

He's good with puck and had several good scoring opportunities that either just missed the net, or Paterson got in front of. What bothered me was how he played when he didn't have the puck. Without the puck he mostly stayed to the outside and either called for the puck, or waited for his teammates to try to get it to him. He was much more aggressive during the Prospects Tournament so I know he's capable of going in and fighting to get the puck himself. I don't know why he played the way he did, but it was disappointing to see.

The Spirit scored early 3rd period goals only 6 seconds apart, and after that Athanasiou's ice time seemed to decrease noticeably. He also tried to get way too fancy and was not very effective. Mid way through the 3rd period when the Spirit had a 4-1 lead, Athanasiou looked like he didn't really care and just wanted the game to be over.

FYI:

Update #2: is this the Griffins rubbing things in?

One shooter. One goalie. One high-stakes opportunity to propel your team to victory.

The shootout arguably provides the best edge-of-your-seat action that hockey has to offer. When regulation and overtime play fail to yield a victor, the shootout becomes the ultimate determinant of worthiness. Furthermore, fans revel in the exhilaration of pitting two players against one another in such a bare bones method.

For the Grand Rapids Griffins this season, post-regulation play has already reared its thrilling head towards the team. The Griffins have been to overtime in three out of eight matches in their 2013-14 campaign, with two of those games resulting in a shootout. Currently ranked second in the Midwest Division with 10 points, Grand Rapids has earned four of those points beyond the first three frames.

When asked about his opinion on the intense environment of the shootout, where one wrong move could cause devastating a loss, Gustav Nyquist had one thing to say:

“I like the shootout.”

Nyquist’s affinity for the shootout comes as no surprise, considering the fact that he has enthralled thousands of fans with his flashy techniques and, more importantly, has posted commendable results for the Griffins.

Nyquist currently holds a perfect shootout record this season after effortlessly maneuvering the puck past Hamilton Bulldogs netminder Robert Mayer in an Oct. 12 shootout victory and then casually befuddling Rockford IceHogs goaltender Antti Raanta in Grand Rapids’ shootout loss on Oct. 19. In his 2012-13 Calder Cup-winning season with the Griffins, he buried three out of seven attempts, producing a 42.9% shootout success rate.

“I think it’s a fun way to win the game. Some people don’t like it, some people do,” Nyquist said. “I think it’s a good way to play for the extra point and give the crowd a little bit of excitement while they see some fun moves on the ice.”

Update #3: Here's MLive's Khan in text form:

Quick update from Detroit Red Wings practice Monday at Joe Louis Arena:

Johan Franzen is not skating and has been ruled out for Wednesday's game at Vancouver due to an unspecified injury. General manager Ken Holland said the club is hoping Friday will be ready for Friday's game at Calgary.

Franzen has two goals, five points and a minsu-1 rating in 12 games.

The Red Wings have recalled center Luke Glendening from the Grand Rapids Griffins. Glendening has appeared in five games for Detroit this season (no points, minus-1).

Wednesday's game is the start of a four-game Western Canada trip for the Red Wings (6-4-2), who are looking to end a four-game winless skid (0-2-2).

Update #3.5: From the Henrik Zetterberg Foundation's Facebook page:

Before the game on October 15th, the Detroit Red Wings announced that Captain Henrik Zetterberg was the recipient of the 2013 NHL Foundation Award, which recognizes the NHL player who applies the core values of hockey - commitment, perseverance and teamwork - to enrich the lives of people in his community.

The NHL Foundation presented a $25,000 check to the Zetterberg Foundation for the work Henrik and Emma did in their community, including hosting children's charities at each home game in the Zetterberg Foundation Suite, Smoke Detector awareness and distribution, and sponsoring an annual high school hockey scholarship for underprivileged students who are excelling in their studies.

Henrik was chosen for this award over 30 other generous and community minded NHL players who were nominated.

Update #4: Here come the post-practice Tweets, from Pleiness...

Eaves says as of now he's in Wednesday against Vancouver.

Khan...

Darren Helm said he won't play Wednesday at Vancouver. Hoping for Friday at Calgary or least durian the trip. Feels good. No setbacks.

...

Patrick Eaves said he expects to make his season debut on Wednesday.

...

Babcock said Miller left early because of the flu. He said he hasn't decided on lineup for Wednesday but Eaves is in and Helm not ready.

Stating the obvious: If Franzen's hurt and misisng 1 game, he won't go on the IR, so the Wings will still have to make a move to accommodate Helm's return.

Update #5: The Wings have confirmed Glendening's recall:

Here's the Wings' text confirmation:

DETROIT RECALLS LUKE GLENDENING
… Grand Rapids Native has Skated in Five Games with Detroit This Season …

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today recalled center Luke Glendening from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins.

Glendening, 24, made his NHL debut with Detroit on Oct. 12 versus Philadelphia, logging two shots on goal and 7:32 of ice time in the team’s 5-2 win. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native has appeared in five games with the Red Wings this season, recording two penalty minutes and six shots on goal while averaging 9:31 of ice time. He has also tallied three points (1-2-3) and a plus-three rating in five games with the Griffins in his second professional season.

As a rookie last season, Glendening helped his hometown team to its first-ever Calder Cup championship, registering 26 points (8-18-26) in 51 regular season games and 16 points (6-10-16) in 24 postseason games. Glendening also spent four seasons with the University of Michigan from 2008-12, recording 70 points (31-39-70) in 165 collegiate games and serving as the team’s captain as a junior and senior.

Update #6: The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reports that Babcock didn't clarify Franzen's injury at all, and that he was grumpy when asked about injured players returning...

“I’m not even thinking about that,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said when asked about Helm’s status. “When they tell me he can play. He didn’t look like he was playing to me today.”

...

“Eaves will be playing,” Babcock said. “He’s smart and he shoots the puck cause we don’t shoot the puck I need someone to shoot the puck and I need someone smart. If he’s looking at the bigger picture and if he’s looking for a larger chunk of cheese there’s lots out there cause lots of guys have left it out there for him.”

As for the State of the Wings...

“You can’t continue to give up 40 shots a night and hope to win,” Babcock said. “I said it earlier when we were winning when Gus was in the net that it’s fool’s gold and that’s exactly what it is. There’s a right way to play and a wrong way to play. We’re cheating the system and we’re paying for it. The bottom line is the second period is the hardest period,” Babcock added. “When we’re playing good it’s where we always eat the other team alive. They can’t get their people on the ice and we wear them out. We gave up 10 scoring chances. When you think of our team, we don’t execute coming out of our own zone so we spend too much time in our own zone in the second period and that means you end up out there tired.

“We don’t spend enough time in the O-zone because we’re too light on the puck,” Babcock continued. “We don’t get enough shots because we won’t shoot the puck. We don’t get through the neutral zone good because we don’t execute. That’s not a lot of positive things there, but in saying all that when I go through all the tape, rewind it, fast forward and back and forth and go over it over and over again we’re not that far away, but we’re a million miles away if we don’t execute and that’s us right now.”

Detroit is 0-2-2 in its last four games and have scored five goals in that stretch.

“We don’t score any goals, at least not what I’ve seen so let’s not give up 40 shots, let’s give up 20 shots, let’s continue to score no goals and let’s win 2-1,” Babcock said. “How’s about that. Sound like a plan.”

Babcock ended his interview with a CliffsNotes version of how his team has been, “We’re not very good right now, we’re going to be.”

Update #6.5: Khan noted Babcock's quip, too:

Babcock, summing up state of the team: "Here’s the Cliff Notes version: We’re not very good right now, we’re going to be.''

Update #7: Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's practice post. Is the Wings' lineup set for Wednesday? Nope:

“I’ve got a flight today and I’ve got tomorrow and by then I’ll know,’’ Babcock said.

This much he knows, Johan Franzen won’t be playing Wednesday due to an unspecified injury, but he is hoping to play Friday at Calgary. Darren Helm is not ready to play Wednesday but is confident he’ll return during the trip. Right wing Patrick Eaves will make his season debut Wednesday. He has been out since suffering a sprained medical collateral ligament and sprained ankle Sept. 19 during a collision in practice.

“I’m sick of watching hockey, ready to play,’’ Eaves said. “Hopefully I can jump in and help the team a little bit.’’

Eaves was skating on a line with Joakim Andersson and Todd Bertuzzi.

“He’s smart and he shoots the puck,’’ Babcock said. “Because we don’t shoot the puck I need someone to shoot the puck and I need someone smart.nIf he’s looking at the bigger picture, if he’s looking for a larger chunk of cheese, there’s lots out there because lots of guys have left it out there for him.’’

Babcock said forward Drew Miller, who left practice early, had the flu.nCenter Luke Glendening was recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins, but did not skate after playing three games in three days.

Here are the lines they skated with today, but Babcock indicated this isn’t necessarily how they’ll line up on Wednesday:

Tomas Tatar-Pavel Datsyuk-Daniel Cleary

Justin Abdelkader-Henrik Zetterberg-Daniel Alfredsson

(Darren Helm working in on the top two lines)

Todd Bertuzzi-Joakim Andersson-Patrick Eaves

Mikael Samuelsson (for Drew Miller)-Stephen Weiss-Jordin Tootoo

The defense pairs remained the same:

Niklas Kronwall-Brendan Smith

Danny DeKeyser-Kyle Quincey

Brian Lashoff-Jakub Kindl

Jimmy Howard

Jonas Gustavsson

 

Update #8: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's filed a practice post:

The Red Wings are going back to the basics and coach Mike Babcock is sharing the blame for the team's recent four-game winless streak, saying the struggles are due to lack of organization.

The Red Wings open up a four-game western Canada trip Wednesday at Vancouver, then play the Flames Friday before moving on to Edmonton Saturday and Winnipeg Monday.

"When I look at our team play, if I came from the outside and watched our team play I'd say they didn't have a coach, and that hurts my feelings," Babcock said after practice Monday at Joe Louis Arena. "But, it's the fact and I told the guys that today. We're not organized. We're not efficient. Face-off plays -- during a stoppage it's like football. You should be able to execute off a stoppage. You have to know what you're doing. So, we asked again, do we know what we're doing? Yeah, we know what we're doing. Well then, we better darn well do it."

Babcock went on and on about other areas of the game, asking players, "Do you know what you're doing?" The players' reply, "Yes, we do."

Babcock wants the Red Wings to tighten up defensively and take more shots at the offensive end.

"Let's work harder, let's work smarter, let's be more efficient, let's get more prepared and let's pay a price to win," Babcock said. "And, we don't score any goals, at least as far as I have seen. So let's not give up 40 shots, let's give up 20 shots, let's win 2-1.

"You can't continue to give up 40 shots a night and hope you're going to win. I said it earlier when we were winning with (Jonas) Gustavsson in the net there: It was fool's gold, and that's exactly what it is. There's a right way to play and a wrong way to play and we're cheating the system and we're paying for it."

 

Update #9: The Windsor Star's Dave Waddell, penning a column for Michigan Hockey, weighs in on the team's struggles:

Stats don’t always tell the full story – though they go a good way to do so here – but there are more troubling signs on display. Detroit has generally played inconsistent, passionless and frankly not very intelligent hockey for the most part this month. There’s been no tempo in the Wings’ game, but there have been a litany of errors on the most basic concepts of the game.

Bad pinches by defensemen, poor first passes out of their zone, no speed through the neutral zone, too many turnovers in every area of the ice and tendency to get too cute with goals evaporating faster than the patience of the Wings’ faithful. It all adds up to a team that’s mentally unfocused and unsure of who it is at this stage.

Perhaps no players typify these problems, though they’re hardly alone in this issue, than newcomers Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson. In Alfredsson’s case, his 10-point production through 12 games has been more impressive than his play at times. He still looks a player adjusting to his new surroundings, unsure especially in his own end.

...

Stephen Weiss has struggled since arriving in Detroit for the 2012-13 season. (Photo by Jen Hefner/MiHockey) The former Florida Panther center has two goals and is minus-5. He looks lost too often and has even found duty centering the third line while Babcock has toyed with using another early underachiever, Johan Franzen, at the pivot position.

...

What also needs to happen is general manager Ken Holland clearing out some bodies up front. The Wings badly miss the energy a healthy Darren Helm and Gustav Nyquist would bring. Helm should be back in a matter of days, but Nyquist is trapped in Grand Rapids by salary cap issues until Holland can sort his way out of this financial maze.

Instead of calling up Nyquist, the team has opted for Grand Rapids native Luke Glendening on two occasions (today being the most recent). Yet Glendening doesn’t pack the offensive punch that Nyquist does, as he is viewed as more of a defensive-minded center.

If the Wings continue to struggle to score goals as they have, four in the last four games, the Wings are going to have seriously consider eating some salary to gain enough space to finally ice their best team and not the one out there due to financial constraints.

 

Update #10: Here's the Detroit Free Press's George Sipple's practice update:

Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen is out with an undisclosed injury for Wednesday’s game at the Vancouver Canucks, and forward Luke Glendening (Michigan) has been recalled from Grand Rapids of the AHL. Asked about his lineup, coach Mike Babcock said: “I’ve got a flight today and tomorrow, and by then, I’ll know.”

Babcock did confirm that forward Patrick Eaves has been cleared to play and will be in the lineup against the Canucks. Babcock said he has not yet considered the possibility of forward Darren Helm returning. Eaves has been out all season with a sprained knee and ankle injury. Helm has been out all season with groin soreness.

“They tell me he can play,” Babcock said, “it didn’t look like he was playing, to me, today.”

Note: Count Babcock as someone who was ready to call it a loss for the Detroit Lions after the Dallas Cowboys took a 27-17 lead with a touchdown less than a minute after the Lions scored in the fourth quarter on Sunday. The Lions came back to win the game, 31-30.

“C’mon, let’s go the fridge and get a beer and write this baby off, and the next thing you know, what a play, what a series,” Babcock said.

The Wings are going through a tough stretch, but they haven’t had any outburst like Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant on the sidelines in Sunday’s game.

Asked whether he has any Bryants on his team, Babcock said: “You know what, we don’t know what we’ve got on this team yet. We’ve gotta find it.”

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Avatar

Regarding the inevitable “Why Not Nyquist?” comments, the Wings will not recall him until/if) they (ever) solve their cap issues, and we most likely won’t see him at all until the roster/cap limits are lifted after the trade deadline, so stop asking.

Fixed that for you.

Posted by Garth on 10/28/13 at 12:39 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

The other aspect to Nyquist is they need to make room for him on a semi-permanent basis. They can’t really send him back to the minors without clearing waivers once he plays two more NHL games. His next call-up will be his last.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 10/28/13 at 12:53 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Weiss appears to have been demoted to fourth line. He’s skating with Tootoo and Samuelsson.

That’ll get him goin

Posted by Hootinani on 10/28/13 at 12:54 PM ET

Avatar

Cleary up in top six. Skating with Datsyuk and Tatar.

Well, there is your solution to the scoring problem.
Cleary will make everything better.

Posted by George0211 on 10/28/13 at 01:09 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

That’ll get him goin

I would line up Weiss with Franzen and Tatar.  Leave Z, Pav, and Alf together.  Charlie Buckets is a line killer. I’d put Andersson with Bert and Abbie. 

I’m tired of the wisdom of you need a big guy with no hands to go to the net, or keep the flies off, or retrieve pucks (and then stand around) in order to be successful. We need better entries and the ability to possess the puck.

Is it too late to hire Larionov to coach this team?

Posted by MoreShoot on 10/28/13 at 01:10 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Glendening has proven to be an NHL ready 3-4 center.  He has a very steady game defensively and can pass.  He looks for his opportunities on offense.  I see him sticking with the big club soon.

Franzen had just started to look like he was playing hockey and not curling.  If I remember correctly, he has a chronic back issue and I hope that is not what is going on.

Hey Hoot, I believe that Weiss might be more comfortable playing with Tootoo as he is used to the helter-skelter dump and chase game and Tootoo excels in that chaos.  Smauelsson excels at, well so far this season, not much of anything.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 10/28/13 at 01:12 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

I’m tired of the wisdom of you need a big guy with no hands to go to the net, or keep the flies off, or retrieve pucks (and then stand around) in order to be successful. We need better entries and the ability to possess the puck.
Is it too late to hire Larionov to coach this team?
Posted by MoreShoot on 10/28/13 at 01:10 PM ET

So true. well said. Movement creates space, space creates opportunties for possession and scoring.
Other than being a great consideration, I don’t think Larionov has any designs on coaching whatsoever.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 10/28/13 at 01:15 PM ET

Avatar

I dont think Weiss should be demoted. He needs to play with players who like to shoot the puck. Look at who he has always played with. Put him with Zetty and Alfie. Lines should be:
Tats - Dat - Abby
Zetty - Weiss - Alfie
Cleary - Andy - Bert
Eaves - Glen - Tootoo

Posted by Anderj8 on 10/28/13 at 01:32 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Cleary in the Top Six.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 10/28/13 at 01:42 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by Anderj8 on 10/28/13 at 01:32 PM ET

I hope Paul gives you your own blog so you can post you preferred lines in your own blog rather than in the comments section of every single TMR post.

Posted by Garth on 10/28/13 at 02:05 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

I hope Paul gives you your own blog so you can post you preferred lines in your own blog

The Member Blog is readily available.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 10/28/13 at 02:11 PM ET

Avatar

Pav, z, weiss, andy, abby (that’s 5), helm sometime on trip makes 6 are all natural centers. nice try justifying glen over nyq though. he’s not coming up and we all know why.

Posted by jkm2011 on 10/28/13 at 02:12 PM ET

Avatar

Oh my God, the lines are getting worse.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 10/28/13 at 02:21 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Luke Glendenning is a good, smart hockey player and I would LOVE it if he could “stick” with the big club.

And sorry, Garth, but I’ve been thinking about some lines I’d like to see. How ‘bout:

Z/Pav/Abby
Fred*/Weiss/Eaves
Nyquist/Glendenning/Tatar
Miller/Andersson/Tootoo

*Fred = Alfredsson (I don’t like “Alfie”)

Obviously, I’m dreaming here, because we all know the Wings have the super-effective, always-reliable Franzen, Bert, Cleary and Sammy.

tongue rolleye

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 10/28/13 at 02:27 PM ET

Avatar

I like to read peoples opinions on the line combos and what they think would be effective ones, hense why I post mine.

Posted by Anderj8 on 10/28/13 at 02:51 PM ET

Avatar

And sorry, Garth, but I’ve been thinking about some lines I’d like to see.

Posting your thoughts on line combos (or anything else) is great, I just hope you’re not planning on re-posting the exact same comment in eleventeen consecutive TMR posts.

Also, I think your forward combos are interesting and if we lived in a world where Babcock would ever actually choose young talent over veteran mediocrity, they could work.

Posted by Garth on 10/28/13 at 03:07 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Posting your thoughts on line combos (or anything else) is great, I just hope you’re not planning on re-posting the exact same comment in eleventeen consecutive TMR posts.

Posted by Garth on 10/28/13 at 03:07 PM ET

Aye.

Also, I think your forward combos are interesting and if we lived in a world where Babcock would ever actually choose young talent over veteran mediocrity, they could work.

Posted by Garth on 10/28/13 at 03:07 PM ET

What I don’t understand is how Babs went with a rookie third line in the playoffs this spring and it worked in almost every situation he threw it out there for yet it’s gone and it’s seemingly the last thing on his mind now.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 10/28/13 at 03:19 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Posted by Garth on 10/28/13 at 03:07 PM ET

cool smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 10/28/13 at 03:21 PM ET

Avatar

What I don’t understand is how Babs went with a rookie third line in the playoffs this spring and it worked in almost every situation he threw it out there for yet it’s gone and it’s seemingly the last thing on his mind now.

I think it’s a combination of two things.  First is that even he knew that he couldn’t just replace those rookies with now-healthy vets who missed a lot of time without looking like an idiot, even though he will always, always choose a veteran over a young player if he can.  Second is that, by putting all the rookies together on one line, if they don’t produce he could blame them AND replace as many of those rookies with vets and be able to defend himself.

And, of course, a new season is a blank slate.  I found his stupid comment about “tie goes to the vet” to be very telling.  We all knew that Nyquist was going to at least start the season in GR because it is an easy fix for the roster and cap crunch, but for Babcock to pretend that Tatar (who so many people have said was among the very best of the forward corps in the pre-season, nevermind that being the Calder Cup MVP should give him a leg up on a roster spot) and Sammy were “tied” going into the season is completely ludicrous.

Posted by Garth on 10/28/13 at 04:13 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Update: Regarding the inevitable “Why Not Nyquist?” comments, Nyquist’s cap hit is $950K, and Glendening’s is $575K. The Wings have to clear cap space and roster space to accommodate Darren Helm’s return, and as Franzen was playing center, the Wings need to both plug in a positional replacement and save as much cap space as they are able to save.

The waiver issue for Nyquist—he’s no longer waiver exempt after 2 more NHL games played—is irrelevant here.

I hope Nyquist remembers this season and goes elsewhere the first chance he gets. If I were him I would be pissed. The Brain Trust completely fubared the cap, so the Wings can’t ice the best team available, and Nyquist is paying the price.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 10/28/13 at 04:56 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I hope Nyquist remembers this season and goes elsewhere the first chance he gets. If I were him I would be pissed. The Brain Trust completely fubared the cap, so the Wings can’t ice the best team available, and Nyquist is paying the price.

Not only is Nyq Fubared. Jarnkrök, who was projected to be better than Nyquist, Jurco, Frk. I’m sure they’re all paying attention—and maybe also at how other teams (cough, Chicago) manage to actually transition their roster, moving out some cetsmandnplugging in young forwards who magically survive.

Posted by MoreShoot on 10/28/13 at 05:33 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

What I don’t understand is how Babs went with a rookie third line in the playoffs this spring and it worked in almost every situation he threw it out there for yet it’s gone and it’s seemingly the last thing on his mind now.
Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 10/28/13 at 03:19 PM ET

Injuries. Babs only played the kids because of injuries. He’d play Murph over Smith even now if he could.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 10/28/13 at 05:38 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Babs only played the kids because of injuries. He’d play Murph over Smith even now if he could.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 10/28/13 at 05:38 PM ET

Murph over Smith sounds good to me. Remember, Babs played Smith over Ian White, and defended Smith every single time he lost us a big game. Heck, he even praised his play.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 10/28/13 at 07:41 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Well, if Smith is/was a dumpster fire, White, last season, was a garbage dump fire.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 10/28/13 at 09:20 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Smith definitely has to get his game together. If he doesn’t, he’s going to be packaged in a deal for a more veteran top-four guy…

But if he’s a dumpster fire, Ian White was Erta Ale.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/28/13 at 09:36 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

But if he’s a dumpster fire, Ian White was Erta Ale.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/28/13 at 09:36 PM ET

Heh. Yes. That.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 10/29/13 at 01:13 AM ET

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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.