The Malik Report
by George Malik on 10/24/13 at 01:31 PM ET
Upated 2x at 2:48 PM: Amongst this afternoon's Red Wings-related news stories, subsequent to the Wings' 6-1 loss to Ottawa, and during what is probably a CBA-mandated "off day"...
The NHL and HBO Sports are joining forces for a third season of "24/7," this time featuring two Original Six rivals, the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, as they prepare to meet at the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2014.
HBO will debut a new episode of "24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs: Road to the NHL Winter Classic" on four consecutive Saturday nights, beginning Dec. 14. The series follows the teams simultaneously, chronicling their highs and lows each week, and builds to the sixth edition of the Winter Classic, with more than 100,000 fans expected to attend the game at the "Big House" on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.
"Taking our '24/7' reality series into the world of the National Hockey League has been a riveting experience that our subscribers have thoroughly enjoyed," said Rick Bernstein, executive producer of HBO Sports. "The '24/7' franchise is fashioned on larger-than-life personalities, engaging storylines and unrestricted access. The cooperation provided by the teams, coaches and players is the special ingredient that has made this program a landmark series."
For the first time, Sportsnet will give fans in Canada access to the series, which will be available in 8.5 million households. Sportsnet, which holds regional television rights to the Maple Leafs and four other Canadian teams, will show the series on four consecutive Sundays, beginning Dec. 15.
This is the third edition of "24/7" to highlight NHL teams as they prepare for the Winter Classic. HBO followed the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins prior to the 2011 game and did the same with the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers prior to the 2012 Winter Classic.
"HBO's '24/7' has been a game-changer for us," said John Collins, NHL chief operating officer. "The wide-open access our clubs provide on and off the ice gives a real sense of what it takes to play in the NHL and just how special our players are. Our fans love it, and there's no question new fans have been attracted by watching the games and the personalities come alive through the lens of HBO's storytelling.
"Red Wings-Maple Leafs will provide no shortage of great stories, and having Sportsnet as our first partner in Canada will make this year's edition bigger than ever."
Detroit and Toronto are longtime rivals. The organizations first played each other Jan. 4, 1927, and the teams have met seven times in the Stanley Cup Final. As part of the NHL's realignment for the 2013-14 season, the Red Wings and Maple Leafs are in the same division, the Atlantic, for the first time since 1997-98.
"Our players are acutely aware of the tremendous marketing value derived from the HBO '24/7' series, and we are excited, as are all hockey fans, to see this initiative return to the NHL," said Mike Ouellet, chief of business affairs for the NHL Players Association. "The NHLPA is looking forward once again to having our players participate and provide viewers with an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at some of the greatest athletes in the world."
Sportsnet will indeed air the series in Canada, and their president of broadcasting, Scott Moore, insisted that the series would not be
edited "sanitized" in a conversation with the Globe and Mail's Steve Ladurantaye (but Sportsnet has to bleep out the f***s).
As you might expect, the whole, "Are the Senators better off with Bobby Ryan in the lineup instead of Daniel Alfredsson?" debate continues this afternoon, with the Hockey News's Ryan Kennedy weighing in on both the Wings-Sens rivalry and #6 vs. #11 as follows...
Essential Water Cooler: Daniel Alfredsson played his first game against his old team from Ottawa and the Senators ended up thrashing his Red Wings 6-1. The split between Bytown’s favorite and the franchise really came down to a contract negotiation gone wrong and the ensuing grass-is-greener possibilities in Detroit, but did Alfie make the right decision? On one hand, Detroit may have a slight edge over Ottawa in terms of chasing the Stanley Cup, but on the other hand, it’s not much of an edge and playing for one franchise your whole career is pretty special.
Men of the Night: Bobby Ryan, Ottawa: Alfredsson’s replacement had two goals for the Senators, including a firecracker of a wrister that was as pretty as they come. New captain Jason Spezza also had a pair.
Better Luck Next Time: Jimmy Howard was excellent against San Jose Monday, but got strafed by the Senators, who tagged him for three goals on eight shots before the Wings netminder was pulled in favor of Jonas Gustavsson. ‘The Monster’ fared only slightly better, giving up three on 20 shots.
And ESPN's Craig Custance penned an Insider-only blog entry that goes into significant detail in analyzing the "deal"...
It wasn't necessarily meant to be a Ryan replacing Alfredsson exchange, but that's how it was perceived. Right now, it's an exchange that is benefiting the Senators. Taking the emotion and the magnitude of a player of Alfredsson's class and leadership out of the equation, Ottawa is a better team with Ryan than with Alfredsson.
"Oh yeah. Absolutely," agreed a Western Conference scout. "Alfredsson has been a real good player for them, but at some point in time, you need to move on, and there's a lot of youth there [with Ryan] and size and he's good. He's real good."
Noting that the Red Wings hope to capitalize upon the 40-year-old's desire to win the Cup while challenging himself in a new situation:
"My own experience was with Dallas Drake; that was a really good experience," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan in recounting his time in Detroit, when the Red Wings won the 2008 Stanley Cup, fueled in part by a desire to win one for the popular Drake. "I ran into Jamal Mayers in St. Louis when we were there, and he was kind of [Chicago's] veteran guy that was in there and played a long time and hadn't won. Maybe there is something to it."
When talking about Alfredsson, his teammates point out the small things he does on the ice. Getting pucks in, getting pucks out. Finishing a check when he needs to. Bringing a calm presence that is important for a team still transitioning younger players into bigger roles. Stephen Weiss recounted one moment this year when Alfredsson's patience and savvy immediately paid off.
"There was a play in Colorado. He was coming down his off-wing, sold the shot, the D-man slid and he held on to it, let him slide by and found Pavel [Datsyuk] in the slot, which ended up in a goal," Weiss said. "You put him with some of the players we have here and they're just going to continue to get better."
Alfredsson has nine points in 11 games, so his offensive production is there. In a bit of an uncharacteristic trend, the Red Wings are being outshot this season and have allowed 31.7 shots per game, which isn't a good trend for a club that likes to possess the puck. But at even strength, when Alfredsson is on the ice, 52.3 percent of the shots attempted are at the opposing goal (per ExtraSkater.com). At 40 years old, his contributions are extending beyond veteran presence.
"I thought he looked real fresh. If he can stay that way, I think he'll bring pretty good value to them," said one scout after watching Alfredsson. "As they get older, guys start slowing down and getting worn out. But they can manage his ice time. It's not like he has to go hard every game. They play with the puck a lot, you don't have to work as hard. It suits an older-type player. They use their smarts instead of their legs."
Custance continues, but I can't quote his entire article.
In more significant Red Wings-Senators tailings, DetroitRedWings.com's Andrea Nelson talked about Niklas Kronwall's up-and-down return to the lineup, with the "down" involving taking a puck to the face during the game-day skate...
“It was your regular 2-on-1 drill and one of the guys went to pass it over my stick and I got my stick in there,” explained Kronwall. “It bounced right off my blade right to my mouth.”
After 15 stitches and visits to the hospital and dentist, Kronwall was questionable to return to the Red Wings’ lineup against the Senators because of maxillofacial damage. Xavier Ouellet was recalled to Detroit for the evening in case Kronwall couldn’t skate, but the rookie’s services weren’t needed. Kronwall wasn’t about to let another blow to his head keep him from missing another game.
“That’s how it goes sometimes,” the defenseman said. “Don’t feel sorry for yourself that’s just how it is, put it behind you and move on.”
Kronwall started the night sporting a half shield over his lower mouth for extra protection, but quickly realized that it was more of a distraction than anything else.
“I used it during warm-ups, I wanted to see if it could be protecting around the mouth area a little bit better,” he said. “But I thought it was more in the way than helping really.”
Nothing stood in the way of Ottawa Wednesday night. The Senators broke out to a 3-0 lead over Detroit in the first period, and finished the game scoring another three unanswered goals en route to a 6-1 victory. Kronwall’s stitches weren’t bothering him after the game, but how he felt about his performance was another matter.
“It’s feeling good, obviously not very happy with our performance, my performance,” Kronwall said. “There’s a lot of things that has to get better.”
And the Free Press's Helene St. James pondered what the Wings need to do next in a day-after-the-game article:
"We played a good game against San Jose," forward Daniel Alfredsson said. "We took a step back. We've got to get back with a good effort Saturday."
So ugly was the Ottawa game that it brought to mind last season's opener, when the Wings got blasted, 6-0, at St. Louis. The Wings recovered from that reeling experience, starting with the next game. There isn't a team in the NHL that doesn't deliver a dud during the season.
What should be of bigger concern is the overall trend that has seen the Wings have a hard time scoring. Their 2.27 goals-per-game average ranks among the bottom third of the league. Of the 25 goals scored over 11 games, 11 of them have come from Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, and Bertuzzi has three. Johan Franzen needs to find some firepower — both of his goals came in one game. Daniel Cleary has been quiet, with one goal and one assist. Stephen Weiss has two goals, but he is adjusting to a new system, and he missed so much time last season because of injuries that it should be expected that he needs breathing room to rebound.
Again, as noted in the overnight report, Weiss played in 17 games before having surgery on his left wrist, so the, "He needs some time to shake off the rust/get back up to game strength" argument has merit here.
Tomas Tatar, at least, has used these two games to argue why he should be a regular in the lineup. He has been strong on the puck and had one of the better chances against Ottawa when he strode in from the right boards, maneuvering the puck with one hand on his stick while holding off a defender with the other. The organization wants to bring Gustav Nyquist up from the minors and get him into the mix as well, but something will have to give in order to make room on the roster and with the salary cap.
Tatar looked very, very good, and Ken Holland just told Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery that:
A) Nyquist is "hurt" and will miss this weekend's Griffins games;
B) The team does plan on making moves to bring him up sooner than later.
More immediately, forward Patrick Eaves said he has recovered from a sprained knee and is ready to come off long-term injured reserve in time for Saturday’s game. He'll need a couple of weeks to regain his timing. Forward Darren Helm, should he ever recover from back and groin pain, will need closer to a couple of months. At the moment, Helm's return is loosely attached to the trip to western Canada.
The Wings depart Monday night for their longest trek of the season, playing at Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. First up are the Rangers, who hover near bottom dwellers Philadelphia and Buffalo in the East.
The Wings need to bank some points after gaining just one in their last three games, but as bad as the Senators game looked, it's good to put it in perspective. It came a week after the Wings dismantled the Avalanche, still the only team to do so. It's the opening month, the Wings are near the top of the Eastern Conference, and come April, this week is going to be a blur.
Senators 6, Red Wings 1
* Jason Spezza (OTT): 2 goals; 6 goals in last 4 games
* Jimmy Howard (DET): pulled after giving up 3 goals in 1st 14:14; 0 goals allowed in 65 minutes vs Sharks Monday
* Daniel Alfredsson (DET): 1st game vs Senators; played first 1,178 games with Senators before joining Red Wings this season
In terms of ye olde Power Rakings, Sportsnet's Luke Fox is a little late to the party:
8 [Detroit Red Wings, last week 8]: You know a team is playing well when Jonas Gustavsson is named the league’s star of the week and you’re shutting out teams in the games you lose. Good news: Niklas Kronwall’s injury isn’t as bad as it looked.
We can also feel some warm fuzzies via the Canadian Press's Stephen Whyno, who noted that Daniel Alfredsson and former houseguest Eirk Karlsson renewed acquaintances when Karlsson was invited to the Alfredsson household for dinner on Tuesday:
"It was nice, for a change, to be back in that situation," Karlsson said. "I came over as soon as we got here, all the kids were up and we had dinner together. Everybody didn't eat at the same time because there was a lot of running around. It felt normal."
Alfredsson served Karlsson "good life lessons" starting when the young defenceman lived with him in Ottawa. But the as Karlsson developed into a Norris Trophy-winner, he returned the favour in a major way.
"I think he is one of the reasons I'm still playing," the 40-year-old Alfredsson said. "When he came in, he was a really good player from the beginning and I think I was able to be there for him and give him some guidance and help out. But he also brought a lot to the table with his energy and enthusiasm and, I guess, a great personality and fun to be around. He made me feel younger."
Karlsson said it felt good to hear that but credited the longtime Senators captain for doing his own thing to remain in the NHL.
"I've seen how he was when I came and how he's developed and how much more fun he thinks it is to play," he said. "Obviously one of the biggest reasons I think is that his body's healthy and he's feeling good. He's still doing the things he used to do when he was 30."
At 23, Karlsson can still do plenty, and youthful exuberance is part of his style. He takes chances on the ice, and sometimes it pays off while others it backfires. But he also grew up under the tutelage of Alfredsson, who said he'd be comfortable leaving Karlsson to watch his four sons, Hugo, Loui, Fenix and William.
"That's good to hear," Karlsson said. "I don't have any kids myself yet, so I'm happy to hear that I'm doing well with them."
In the prospect department, the Grand Rapids Griffins posted a trio of articles from their latest issue of "Griffiti" (which you can read in full online via Issu), including Mark Newman's tale about the Calder Cup's travels...
In 1994, the New York Rangers started a tradition that enables each member of the Stanley Cup-winning team to retain the trophy for a day.
No such tradition officially exists for the Calder Cup, the trophy awarded to the champions of the American Hockey League and named for Frank Calder, who served as the first president of the National Hockey League from 1917 to 1943.
When Jeff Hoggan won the Calder Cup as a member of the Houston Aeros in 2003, his time with the second-oldest actively awarded professional ice hockey playoff trophy was limited. "You didn't really get to savor it," he said. "You just got ready for the next year."
So when Grand Rapids won its first Calder Cup, Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill felt it was time for a new tradition.
"Blash thought it would be great if a few guys could spend some time with it," said Hoggan, who served as captain of the 2012-13 championship team. "So we had a great summer, even if it was short."
Logistics and timing prevented the Calder Cup from traveling overseas, but the trophy made its way across North America, going from Marysville, Mich., the home of Chad Billins, to Whittier, Calif., a city about 12 miles southeast of Los Angeles, where Mitch Callahan spends his summers.
A Newman article about Martin Frk's transition to pro hockey, with Newman noting that Frk's status as someone who was dominating the QMJHL alongside #1 and #2 draft picks Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin (with the Halfiax Mooseheads) is yielding a more difficult pro transition for Frk:
Frk knows things may not be so easy this season, but his motivation has never been higher. "I'm very excited for my first pro season," he said. "It will be a big step from junior hockey, but hopefully I will do well and our team will do well, too." He knows he has work to do. Although scouts have praised his tools – his shot, his hands, his vision, his strength on the puck – they feel he needs to improve his conditioning, his skating and his defense.
Frk was tired after a long season, but he went back to the Czech Republic this summer for only a couple of weeks before heading to Montreal, where he trained alongside several NHL players including skaters Martin Havlat, Milan Michalek and Michael Frolik and goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Ondrej Pavelec.
"I spent a lot of time in the gym," said Frk, who is striving to improve his core strength and foot speed. My legs don't always go like they're supposed to go. I have to be ready for the season."
His defensive play is likely to be a work-in-progress. "With the Mooseheads, we didn't have to worry too much about defense – it was all offense," he said. "Now I might be on the third line in Grand Rapids, so I will have to learn to play defense more. That's my job now."
Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill is confident that Frk is up to the challenge, but concedes it might take time.
"He's very competitive," Blashill said. "He wants to be a good player and with that, he's hard on himself. He will have to learn to work through the frustration that it's harder to have success in pro than in junior hockey."
Blashill believes the AHL will be a good test for Frk.
"He came from a line that had three great players and every night they had the puck all the time. Now he's going to have to learn how to create the same offense, but in tighter areas and against tighter checking, and that will be a process," Blashill said. "For Frk to improve, he's going to have to stay with it."
And finally, a Newman story about Tomas Jurco:
Jurco was thrilled to win the Calder Cup in his rookie season, but on the plane trip back from Syracuse, he looked miserable. He was battling the effects of a badly infected elbow.
"I felt terrible, watching everyone celebrating," Jurco said. "I know how it feels to win and I wanted to be able to celebrate with the team, but I couldn't. My elbow was sore, I felt cold and I had a bad headache. I wanted to be happy, but I had the worst couple of days."
Jurco stayed in Grand Rapids a couple of extra days until the doctors were sure that he was improving. He was glad to get home – glad to be eating his mom's cooking again – but now he is eager to continue his career trajectory. Blashill is confident that Jurco is up for the task.
"He's got skills that other guys don't have," Blashill said. "He's got a chance to be a top-six forward in the NHL, and very few guys get that opportunity. What he has to do now is take his play and turn it into production on a consistent basis without sacrificing anything from his defense or team game. That's the challenge of learning to be a go-to guy. He's going to face the other team's best defenders on a more regular basis, and he's going to have to learn to be successful while facing those guys. Tatar learned it. Nyquist learned it. Now he's going to learn it, and that's going to be the next step in his maturation process."
Jurco is ready for the challenge.
"I'm hoping to be a leader on the ice," he said. "I want to have a good year and, to be honest, play a couple of games with the Red Wings. That's my dream, and I feel I'm more ready than I was last year. I want to play there one day; that's why I'm here."
Jurco knows he has to be patient. "Obviously, I'm only 20 and although I'll be 21 soon, I'm still young," he said. But getting a taste of the NHL would be like icing on the cake – and almost as good as mom's cooking.
Via RedWingsFeed, if you haven't seen it, the NHL's YouTube channel posted Kathryn Tappen's interview with Jimmy Howard...
Amongst ESPN's Scott Burnside's chat comments...
Kevin (Chicago, IL): Scott - What do you make of the Red Wings? On paper and vs. some top teams like Boston, we look like a Cup contender. Then other nights like last night vs. Ottawa or Phoenix, we look lost. Whats you take?
Scott Burnside: Kevin; Yes, weird up and down start for the Wings. Injuries continue to dog them and for a team that relies on a kind of blue line by committee it doesn't take much to upset the rhythm there. Not sure Stephen Weiss is completely comfortable yet - I remain skeptical he'll be the kind of point-producer the Wings expect him to be - combined with a completely new conference of teams and different style of play from the west and I think it adds up to uneven results. Lots of time though for Mike Babcock to get this team into a groove.
In terms of contests and broadcast news, with some of the following coming from RedWingsFeed and some from me:
97.1 the Ticket's Jeff Riger will be broadcasting from the Joe this Saturday, and 97.1's most Wings-friendly broadcasters not named Pat Caputo and Dennis Fithian will be broadcasting from the Joe for a significant chunk of the Wings' schedule starting in November:
Join 97.1 The Ticket at Joe Louis Arena before every home Detroit Red Wings game. You’ll find the Ticket Chicks and Street team near the Gordie Howe Statue and also roaming around the Joe Louis Arena concourse. Jamie & Wojo will be broadcasting LIVE at select home games. This is your chance to win awesome Red Wings and Ticket swag with your home of the Detroit Red Wings, 97.1 The Ticket!
Jamie & Wojo LIVE Broadcast Dates/Times:
November 7th- Red Wings vs. Stars
November 15th- Red Wings vs. Capitals
November 27th- Red Wings vs. Bruins
December 4th- Red Wings vs. Flyers
December 14th- Red WIngs vs. Penguins*
*Talent & Time TBD
January 1st- Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs*
*Talent & Time TBD
January 22nd- Red Wings vs. Blackhawks
January 24th- Red Wings vs. Canadiens
January 31st- Red Wings vs. Capitals
February 3rd- Red Wings vs. Canucks
March 6th- Red Wings vs. Avalanche
March 7th- Red WIngs vs. Devils
March 14th- Red Wings vs. Oilers
March 18th- Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs
March 20th- Red Wings vs. Penguins
March 27th- Red Wings vs. Canadiens
April 2nd- Red Wings vs. Bruins
April 11th- Red Wings vs. Hurricanes
And WWJ Newsradio 950 will be giving away tickets to the Wings' November 7th game vs. Dallas during their broadcast on Monday, October 28th.
In the Twitter department...
And finally, for the record, we're trying to snag Ken Holland's interview on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM, and Holland stated that:
A) Gustav Nyquist is "hurt" and won't take part in the Griffins' 3-games-in-3-nights weekend;
B) The team does plan on making the cap moves necessary to bring Nyquist up sooner than later.
Update: On Twitter...
And the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner reports that Landon Ferraro was on the Wings' roster for an extended period of time due to a broken foot, and now he's back on track in GR:
The 22-year-old winger played last weekend in what has been a fast recovery from a hairline fracture to his right foot, the result of blocking a shot by Brent Seabrook during a Detroit Red Wings preseason game against Chicago on Sept. 22.
“I’d never had a broken foot before, so my original fear was that I would be out two months,” Ferraro said. “That’s what popped in my head. But then when they said two, three weeks, I wasn’t too worried.”
Well, the Griffins were. The coaching staff has high expectations after Ferraro's totals last season: 24 goals (first on the team), 47 points (third) and an AHL-leading seven shorthanded points (3-4-7). His point total was more than double his 20 in his first full season in 2011-12.
“We look to him to be in all situations for us – lots of five on five, a guy on our power play, and on our penalty play,” said coach Jeff Blashill. “So his impact will be real significant on our team.”
Ferraro played in two games last week on a makeshift line with Darren Helm, on a conditioning stint from Detroit, and Riley Sheahan. That changes this week as he’s been paired with Luke Glendening and Jeff Hoggan in hopes of tweaking a magical line from last year’s playoffs.
“At the end of last year we had Glendening Hoggan and (Jan) Mursak, and Mursak gave that line a lot of speed and tenacity,” Blashill said. “I think Landon is a similar player and I think that could be a real good line.”
Ferraro played in three preseason games with the Red Wings and felt he played well to show progress. With the Griffins this season, the former second round pick of Detroit in 2009 looks to build on his overall play.
“I know I can score and I know I can put up points,” Ferraro said. “That’s not the focus for me. It’s being good on the O end, on PKs, being better at blocking shots. I felt I did a good job at that last year, but there were still times where there were still some shots I should have had.”
Per the Blackburn News's Josh Boyce:
The Detroit Red Wings Alumni hockey team is playing a special benefit game against the Port Huron First Responders on Saturday night in Port Huron.
Proceeds will support construction of the “River Walk” to be built along a mile stretch of the Black River in Port Huron.
They’re also paying tribute to first responders and to Sarnia native Shawn Burr who passed away earlier this year.
The Red Wings Alumni Team includes Sarnia’s Dino Ciccarelli, Paul Ysebart, and Craig Neinhuis. Alex Delvecchio will be on hand signing autographs.
The game gets underway at 7pm Saturday at the McMorran Arena. Tickets are 5 dollars and can be purchased at the Box Office or through Ticket Master.
And I quote:
Darren McCarty, former Detroit Red Wings star, will be signing copies of “My Last Fight” at the following locations:
12/3/13 7:00 PM
Barnes & Noble
3120 Fairlane Dr,
Allen Park, MI 48101
12/4/13 7:00 PM
Barnes & Noble
3235 Washtenaw Ave,
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Looking back on a memorable career, Darren McCarty recounts his time as one of the most visible and beloved members of the Detroit Red Wings as well as his personal struggles with addiction, finances, and women and his daily battles to overcome them. As a member of four Red Wings’ Stanley Cup–winning teams, McCarty played the role of enforcer from 1993 to 2004 and returning again in 2008 and 2009. His “Grind Line” with teammates Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby physically overmatched some of the best offensive lines in the NHL, but he was more than just a brawler: his 127 career goals included several of the highlight variety, including an inside-out move against Philadelphia in the clinching game of the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals. As colorful a character as any NHL player, he has arms adorned with tattoos, and he was the lead singer in the hard rock band Grinder during the offseason. Yet this autobiography details what may have endeared him most to his fans: the honest, open way he has dealt with his struggles in life off the ice. Whether dealing with substance abuse, bankruptcy, divorce, or the death of his father, Darren McCarty has always seemed to persevere. You can order his book here on Amazon.
And MLive's Brendan Savage penned a much-delayed article about Daniel Alfredsson's reunion with the Senators:
"It was a different game, the way it turned out," said Alfredsson. "It didn't feel too crazy. The warm-up was what it was and once the game got going you're really into it. The game didn't turn into a good battle, which is what I expected. It's disappointing for us to lose the way we did at home tonight. I would have loved to win this one, no question. But we played a good game against San Jose (Monday) and now we took a step back. We have to get back with a good effort on Saturday and move it in the right direction."
Warmups were a bit unusual since it was the first time in his career Alfredsson was on the opposite side of the ice from the Senators.
"It was OK actually," said Alfredsson, 40. "It was different seeing them on the other side. Once the puck dropped in the game you focus on what you're going to do out on the ice. It didn't feel as awkward as I thought it would. I thought I kept it pretty simple today. This was a game we were down three or four goals and we had to try and give it a push. We did, but Ottawa did a good job in the neutral zone."
Like most of the Red Wings, Alfredsson didn't do much during his 16:12 of ice time. He had two shots on goal, spent 2:27 on the power play, didn't see any time on the penalty killing units and took the final penalty of the game, a tripping minor at 10:57 of the third period.
Todd Bertuzzi scored the only goal for Detroit, which had went 133 minutes, 12 seconds since it previous goal dating back to last week's 5-2 loss in Phoenix. The Red Wings got blanked Monday in a 1-0 shootout loss to San Jose.
"We have what it takes to score more goals and create more offensively, there's no question," said Alfredsson, who leads the Red Wings with eight assists. "When you don't score you better make sure you don't let in a lot of goals. When you're up like Ottawa today, three or four goals, you sit back in the neutral zone and force us to make things happen. We had to go on the offense and didn't manage the puck too well in the neutral zone."
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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.