The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/21/13 at 10:17 AM ET
Updated 2x w/ trade talk at 11:36 AM: Doubly redirected: Via RedWingsFeed and Pro Hockey Talk's Mike Halford, Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall's ill-timed hit on Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle apparently won't receive an NHL review. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Michael Russo reports that the hit was deemed to be aimed at Coyle's body, not his head:
The fact that Kronwall received a 4-minute penalty for high-sticking instead of a 2-minute head-checking penalty (as wisely noted by Greg "Puck Daddy" Wyshynski) probably played into the league's decision.
Given Kronwall's own take on his heavy hits--that he's trying his best to aim lower with his shoulder, body and stick, but is a work in progress--he'd probably agree that he got off a little lucky here, but we won't know what he thinks for a bit as the Wings are scheduled to fly out to Anaheim at 11:41 AM and won't land till about 4 PM EDT (no word as to whether the Wings will practice in Anaheim today, though I'd weigh the odds of the team doing so as 60-40 against).
Also: The Detroit Free Press didn't update their website until after 6 AM EDT, so I made the executive decision to go to bed without including the Free Press's George Sipple's stories in my wrap-up at sometime around 4 AM.
"We spent a lot of the night chasing the game," Babcock said. "We knew what kind of game it was going to be before we started. We knew they were going to play tight. We knew we had to get through it and get on top of them. It was going to be hard to get to their net. In the end, their specialty teams got two and we didn't. I guess we got one on an empty-netter."
"The first (power-play goal) is a real gift," Babcock said. "They're going to score power-play goals, but you can't give them a gift."
Gustav Nyquist, recalled earlier in the day to play in place of Patrick Eaves (jaw), scored unassisted on a breakaway at 9:09.
"I think we lost, 4-1, so that puts everybody in the same position, but Gus showed good speed going through the neutral zone there," Babcock said.
The Wild answered with a goal by Mikko Koivu at 10:49, before Setoguchi's power-play goal put the Wild ahead by three. On Setoguchi's second goal, Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard made the initial save on a shot by Heatley. Wings defenseman Brian Lashoff couldn't find the puck at his skates. Setoguchi gained control and shot in a quick rebound.
"Tonight was a disappointing night for us," Babcock said. "We're getting ready to go on the road again. We thought we'd be pretty fresh. We've had some time off and some practice time, and we thought we'd be better than we were."
Amongst Sipple's notes and quotes...
Ovation for Vlady: Fans at Joe Louis Arena gave Vladimir Konstantinov a standing ovation when he was introduced on the scoreboard during the first period. Konstantinov turned 46 on Tuesday. Several Wild players joined in by tapping their sticks on the ice.
Overheard: "I think we had enough (shots) to score, more than they did," said Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg. "Unfortunately they got the first one early. I don't think they had much in the first. I think we played better. Unfortunately we weren't effective enough."
And Gustav Nyquist's breakaway goal was perhaps the highlight of the game...
Nyquist told Sipple that he was happy about scoring, but that he felt that the goal didn't necessarily mean all that much given that it came in a losing efffort:
"It was kind of a broken play on the blue line," Nyquist said. "Got it behind the (defenseman) and kind of skated around him and was in all alone and tried to make a move and fortunately it went in."
Nyquist had played for the Griffins in Peoria on Tuesday night. Wings coach Mike Babcock joked that after a 6-hour bus ride, Nyquist would get a chance to get some sleep before having to face the Wild.
"It's fun to be up here," Nyquist said of being with the Wings. "You're always excited. I'm still young, so I've got pretty fresh legs. I was good."
Nyquist, 23, has proven he can score at the AHL level, but had not been able to carry that over when he has had opportunities to play in NHL. He has 23 goals and 37 assists in 58 games for the Griffins this season. With his goal Wednesday, Nyquist has two goals and six assists in 23 career NHL games. He has one goal and one assist in five games with the Wings this season.
"It's a tough loss, that's what matters," Nyquist said when asked about the confidence he'd get from his goal. "Of course it's nice to get a goal. I haven't had too many in this league so far. So it's always nice to get my confidence up a little bit."
Again, Babcock issued a challenge to Nyquist regarding playing more demonstratively, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan:
“He’s got some skill, he’s obviously a real good player,'' Babcock said. “He’s led everywhere he’s ever played in scoring. The problem with the NHL is you have to come up and grab hold of something.We called Andy up for a game. He’s still playing, just because he grabbed hold of something. That’s what Gus has to do.''
Nyquist is leading the AHL in scoring with 60 points (23 goals, 37 assists).
“So, if you’re Gus and you get in there tonight and you do great things, guess what happens?'' Babcock said. “I think Cal Ripken played shortstop for 22 straight years, or something like that, didn’t he?”
Close. Ripken played a Major League-record 2,632 consecutive games during a 17-year stretch with the Baltimore Orioles.
Anderson, who has seven points (three goals, four assists) and a plus-6 rating in 19 games, has maintained hi spot for a variety of reasons.
“His hockey-sense,'' Babcock said. “He competes hard, he understands the game and he’s a big body. Knows how to play. You can put him on the ice, you’re not scared. He seems to get points. He’s just a hockey player.”
Mission accomplished for one game, anyway.
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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.