The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/26/14 at 05:19 AM ET
This morning's crop of Red Wings stories is quite thin, but that happens at this time of year.
First, if you speak Czech, you might get quite a few chuckles out of Tomas Nosek's 9-minute interview with HC CSOB Pojistovna Pardubice's YouTube channel (or website, if you prefer), but I'm linguistically-limited to English, some German and some written Swedish, so...Not so much for me. I know that he references Richard Nedomlel at one point and that he talks about the excitement of taking part in the Wings' summer camp, as well as the fact that he wore Tomas Kopecky's #82 and that Axel Holmstrom wore Tomas Holmstrom's 96, but that's all I got out of it.
Second, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan wrapped up his survey of the Red Wings' forwards (with photo gallery's worth of quips included) and defensemen (ditto) with something of an anticlimactic survey of the team's goaltenders. This time, Ken Holland doesn't make an appearance, and instead, Kulfan focuses on Jimmy Howard's admission that he didn't have a super 2013-2014 season before moving on to Jonas Gustavsson and "blurbs" about Petr Mrazek and Tom McCollum. Quoth Howard:
“By no means was it a good season,” said Howard, who termed it an “OK season” but nothing beyond that. “I can be a lot better, a lot more consistent.”
Like several other units this season, the goaltenders will look very familiar in 2014-15. Howard is No. 1, followed by Jonas Gustavsson. And if either is injured — or ineffective — the first phone call to Grand Rapids will be to Petr Mrazek.
But it’s up to Howard to improve on the numbers he posted last season and be “better across the board.” Howard was 21-19-11 with a .910 save percentage and 2.66 goals-against average. And after a 1-2 start in the playoffs, he missed the last two games of the series loss to the Bruins because of the flu.
Still, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland and coach Mike Babcock have said Howard, in the second year of a six-year, $31.75 million deal, is the goaltender they will count on for at least 60 games.
Kulfan continues, discussing Jonas Gustavsson's groin and Petr Mrazek and Tom McCollum's respective statuses as the team's closest-to-the-NHL goaltender and someone who played his way back into the goaltending equation, but that's it.
I didn't expect Kulfan to wrap his stories up with a big red wrapping-bow's conclusion, but he weaved a pretty dang good narrative together--Forward corps = health may be the biggest addition and defensemen = free agency strike-out yields "the kids" (for now), but then the balloon pops. Jimmy Howard is probably overpaid and Jonas Gustavsson may or may not be healthy, ta-da?
Anyway, Twitter will save us, right?
Meh. Better than ending with a thud?
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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.