The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/18/13 at 11:04 AM ET
Red Wings GM Ken Holland's witnessed half his roster miss time due to injuries, and Detroit remains an injury-ravaged team (see: Darren Helm, Todd Bertuzzi, Johan Franzen, Jan Mursak, Carlo Colaiacovo and Brendan Smith, with Johnas Gustavsson, Mikael Samuelsson, Pavel Datsyuk, Ian White, Patrick Eaves and Jonathan Ericsson having returned to health, Valtteri FIlppula nursing a nagging sore MCL and Kyle Quincey and Brian Lashoff getting "banged-up"), but Holland told the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson that he expected the 48-games-in-99-nights schedule to yield a demolition derby:
Detroit’s Holland feels the 48-game season is an absolute war of attrition. NHL teams’ medical rooms are so full that players are taking numbers for treatment with games being played three or four times a week and the energy level in every game ramped through the roof.
“It’s a playoff run from January to April — three-and-a-half months of games every second day, then the 16 finalists get to do it all over again in the playoffs,” Holland said. “There is the added intensity and the physicality, how hard people backcheck. It’s not even the hitting. It’s up and down the ice. There is no coasting. One hundred feet up the ice, 100 feet back, that’s taxing on players’ groins. We are pushing the players to the limit and coaches are taxing their best players. At the end of the day, it comes down to what clubs can stay the healthiest.”
Holland’s Red Wings have been hit hard this lockout-shortened season, so have the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche.
The Blackhawks have been extremely healthy.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Kings, who played the same six defencemen through 20 playoff games to their Stanley Cup victory last spring, have lost three of their top 6 in Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell and Alec Martinez Greene is possibly out for the season (back surgery) and Mitchell (knee) for an undetermined time.
“You lose a player for even a week now and that’s three or four games out of 48. And this league is all about parity right now. I don’t know if I’ve seen it like this before. It’s a hard game every night,” said Holland.
The Wings expect to get Jan Mursak (shoulder), Johan Franzen (hip flexor), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and Brendan Smith (shoulder) back into the lineup within the next week-to-10-days, and the team just recalled Jonas Gustavsson (groin) from Grand Rapids, but Darren Helm (back) and Todd Bertuzzi would be 2-to-3 weeks away from returning from their back injuries if their pain up and vanished today because they haven't been working out or skating.
Also of Red Wings-related note this morning: Both 97.1 the Ticket and the Free Press report that Red Wings director of pro scouing Mark Howe will be inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame tonight;
And the Ticket posted interviews from this past weekend's SporsFest with Howe...
And Tomas Holmstrom:
* The Red Wings have lost a season-high three straight and allowed at least goals in each of their last three games.
* FROM ELIAS: The Wild rallied for three goals in the second period to overcome a 2–0 deficit. Detroit suffered only one regulation loss in their previous 85 games in which it took a two-goal lead, dating back to February 2010 (The only loss came against Nashville in Dec. 2011).
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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.