Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings-Predators game-day updates: NSH’s Hornqvist out; Quincey scratched, Lashoff demoted

Updated 10x at 3:42 PM: The Detroit Red Wings find themselves in a must-win situation as they prepare to battle the Nashville Predators tonight (7:30 PM EDT, FSD/FS Tennessee/NBCSN/97.1 FM, and whatever the heck was messed up in the game set-up and overnight report post has been fixed), and it appears that the Wings will face a Predators team minus a particularly effective Wing-killer...

The Predators won't have the services of Gabriel Bourque, Mike Fisher, Brandon Yip, Paul Gaustad and Colin Wilson due to injuries.

No surprise here:

Warm fuzzies!

As for the Red Wings, I guess we'd better get used to hearing this...

I hate the "Brunner at the point" experiment, but that's just me...

We may have to get used to these kinds of statements, too:

The Wings' plight's mentioned in the NHL's version of Puck Daddy's "Playoff Death Watch" this morning, with NHL.com's John Kreiser stating the obvious:

Detroit at Nashville: The Detroit Red Wings find themselves on the outside looking in at the top eight in the Western Conference as they prepare to visit the Nashville Predators. Back-to-back shootout losses to the San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks cost the Red Wings a pair of valuable points, and they start Sunday with 45, leaving them behind the eighth-place Dallas Stars on a tiebreaker. A date with the Predators could be just what the doctor ordered for Detroit -- Nashville is mired in a five-game losing streak during which it has scored just six goals. Expect Swedish rookie Filip Forsberg, the 11th player taken in the 2012 NHL Draft, to make his debut for the Predators. He was acquired from Washington for Martin Erat on April 3.

As far as the AP's game preview's concerned, the doctor's out:

Detroit is 2-6-1 in its last nine against Nashville (15-19-8), including last year's postseason. The Predators have won four of the last five meetings at home, with all being decided by one goal.

For the record, while fans like you and me are incredibly frustrated by and worried about the Wings' plight, the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger's take on the Wings' status summarizes the out-of-town take on what's transpired this season:

If the Detroit Red Wings somehow don’t make the post-season, Ken Holland and the rest of the organization should still hold their heads high.

The fact that they have reached the playoffs in 21 consecutive seasons is incredible, especially given the fact that the Leafs haven’t even qualified for the post-season dance since 2004.

Perhaps the best way to put perspective on the Wings remarkable run: Detroit defenceman Danny DeKeyser, 22, wasn’t born when the streak began.

I kind of thought that this "story" was an obvious one, but nonetheless, the Buffalo News's Bucky Gleason notes that the "Ryan Miller to Detroit" talk is all but officially dead...

The chances of him landing there were slim, anyway, but Miller might as well scratch Detroit from his list of eventual destinations after he leaves Buffalo. The Red Wings were finalizing details on an extension with Jimmy Howard.

The Red Wings for years didn’t spend big money on goaltenders because they would rather distribute the dough to the rest of their players. Howard is set to sign a six-year deal worth $31.8 million. It’s high for them but reasonable for him.

“It’s really, really, really close. Pretty much just the little stuff,” Howard told reporters in Motown. “I wanted to be here. I get along great with everyone here, and I believe in this organization and I want to get the job done.”

Howard is finishing up the final year of his current deal, which paid him $2.25 million that was prorated to about $1.3 million with the shortened season. He’ll take a $5.3 million cap hit starting next year, which is 11th-highest among NHL goalies.

It’s a good deal for the Syracuse native, who had a 2.41 GAA and .917 save percentage in 226 career games. He had a 2.39 GAA (20th) and a .918 save percentage (16th) this season. He appeared in 34 of the Red Wings’ first 40 games this season.

And in after-the-morning-skate news...

That's a little odd given that the Griffins don't play again until next Friday, but with the Wings heading out West either tomorrow afternoon or on Tuesday, I guess the move had to be made in advance.

I fully believe that Lashoff has a bright future with the Wings, but with Colaiacovo healthy, he's caught up in a " numbers game."

I really do hate saying this, but I wonder whether the Wings may just stand pat this summer on defense--minus buying out Colaiacovo--and go with Kronwall, Ericsson, Smith, Kindl, DeKeyser, Lashoff and Quincey as their seven defensemen. If they plan on adding a free agent, one of Quincey, Kindl or Lashoff may find themselves out of the mix.

Update: Sometimes I really like Babcock's bluster...

Update #1.5: Speaking of the Puck Daddy "Death Watch," they estimate that the Wings have a 50.5% chance of making the playoffs. Ouch.

Update #1.75:

Update #2: MLive's Ansar Khan reports that Brian Lashoff's comfortable with being demoted:

“We're sending Lash down not because he hasn't been good, he's been excellent,'' coach Mike Babcock said. “I don't want a young kid not playing.''

Lashoff had been a fixture in the lineup for most of the season, but has been scratched the past five games, including Sunday at Nashville, because the team has nine healthy defensemen.

“Right now, with the amount of guys we have, it's better for me to play games and not be sitting and watching,'' Lashoff said. “It'll be good,. We got a good team down there. It's a good atmosphere, a lot of good guys, we've all grown up together last couple years. They kept it going after the lockout, kept playing well. It'll be fun to go down there and hopefully go in the playoffs.''

The Griffins have clinched a playoff berth. They have three games remaining – Friday through Sunday. Lashoff has played in 31 games for the Red Wings (one goal, four assists, minus-10) and 37 games for the Griffins (two goals, four assists, plus-2).

“If you sit for a while you get a little stale,'' Lashoff said. “I've played about 70 games already, so not playing is a little odd for me right now. It'll be good to get some games.''

The Wings won't be able to recall Lashoff unless there's a "roster emergency," so the Wings are going to go with Kronwall, Ericsson, Kindl, Smith, DeKeyser, Quincey and Colaiacovo [edit: and yes, Ian White] for the rest of the regular season, barring any injuries.

Update #3: Here's the Tennessean's Josh Cooper's game-day update:

On the one hand, the Predators are trying to ratchet down expectations for 18-year-old prospect Filip Forsberg in his NHL debut Sunday night against Detroit.

“Great potential. That’s always a dangerous word because it means he hasn’t done it yet,” coach Barry Trotz said.

But he also described Forsberg’s cutlery of skills, which includes a heavy shot that at one point fooled goaltender Pekka Rinne in Sunday’s morning skate, and there was a sense of anticipation in Trotz to see the 6-foot-1, 186-pound Forsberg in game action.

“He’s big, he’s 18 years old and he’s a load,” Trotz said. “You can see the skill set. He shoots the puck hard, you can see he has good mobility for a young guy. You’re excited.”

...

For Sunday’s game it appears he will play on a line centered by David Legwand. Taylor Beck was on the other wing, at least in practice.

“Everybody in here knows how we act, and I think that will rub off on him,” captain Shea Weber said. “I don’t think you need to say too much. He seems like a good kid, and haven’t heard any bad things about him. I don’t think there’s anything you need to point out to him.”

The Predators' website posted a video clip of Forsberg speaking to the media, and the Nashville Examiner's Jim Diamond penned an article about Forsberg as well.

The Red Wings' Game Day Blog offers a historical note...

On April 14, 1955: Gordie Howe scores the winning goal in Game 7 of the 1955 Stanley Cup Finals to lead the Red Wings past the Montreal Canadiens and hoist Lord Stanley for the second straight year!

And Ken Kal's "Keys to the Game":

Control the Neutral Zone - Make it tough for the Preds to get through. Also, be mindful of turnovers in the neutral zone; try to limit your own and take advantage of Nashville's turnovers.

Be Heavy in the Offensive Zone - The Wings have to spend time in the offensive zone, try to wear the Preds out. Cycle and grind in there, try to get a number of chances, and have the mindset that no one shot trips will get it done.

Execute Defensively - Have clean breakouts out of the defensive zone with active defensemen joining the rush. The boys in red need quick transitions against Nashville D and Pekka Rinne.

If you find this sort of thing interesting, I found a video of someone explaining the construction of the Fox Sports Detroit "April in the D" Nicklas Lidstrom bobblehead, which was designed by "The Bobbblehead LLC," which is based in Kansas City, Missouri (seriously):

Update #4: Here's the Tennessean's Josh Cooper's non-Forsberg-related game-day update:

It felt like the middle of an intersection outside the Predators locker room earlier. That’s because the Vancouver Canucks were set to practice following Nashville’s and Detroit’s morning skate in advance of their game tonight. So basically, three teams were trying to go through one small area of the building.

The Canucks will play the Predators tomorrow. This will be the second home back-to-back for Nashville in this lockout-shortened condensed 48-game schedule. The previous was March 8 and 9 when Nashville beat Edmonton 6-0 on Friday and lost 2-1 to Minnesota in a shootout on Saturday.

“I think it’s an advantage, and we should use it,” defenseman Hal Gill said. “We have home ice and there’s no shortage of hate between (Nashville and Detroit), and then Vancouver as well. We want to play well, we want to play hard, we want to beat these guys, and it’s a good opportunity for us.”

Pekka Rinne will start in goal for Nashville. He did not play in the Predators’ Friday game against Dallas.

Also, forward Patric Hornqvist (“upper body” injury) is out for the next two games according to coach Barry Trotz.

Update #5: Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's story about Quincey being scratched...

“So we have eight D and there's a competition,'' Babcock said. “If you play good you get to play and if you don't then there's a rotation. So, the idea in pro sport is you get in, you grab your chunk of the cheese and you never let it go for 15 straight years.''

Quincey has played in four games since returning from a fractured cheek bone.

“There's three guys ready and waiting to play and they're all good defensemen, so that's the nature of the beast,'' Quincey said. “This isn't the time to panic. The team needs wins, that's the most important thing. My focus goes to the next game and just do everything in my power to get ready and get the two points in Calgary (on Wednesday).''

Babcock wasn't happy with his team's play without the puck in Friday's 3-2 shootout loss at Chicago.

“We made some big errors,'' Babcock said. “But … forwards are supposed to help you out. F-3 (third forward high) looks after your D and we didn't have F-3 enough. I thought we played hard, we competed like crazy, we gave ourselves a chance. In the end, we made too many errors in not having enough support for our D and their last goal I didn't like.''

Smith for Quincey is the only lineup change, Babcock said.

The Free Press's Helene St. James filed a story about the "desperate" situation the Wings find themselves in as a 9th-place team...

"You should know that it's a fairly urgent situation for us," coach Mike Babcock said this morning. "But it's been like that all year. I've heard lots of times that we're inconsistent. That's not true. We've been the most consistent Red Wings team I've ever coached. If you look at every month, we've been consistent. This is what we've been. We've been in the grinder since the start. We've been in and out of the playoffs all year. When you woke up this morning, you weren't in them. Doesn't make you feel very good. You want to be in them."

With both Dallas and Columbus winning Saturday, the Wings are now tied at 45 points with the Stars and Blue Jackets, but are behind Dallas because the Stars have more regulation or overtime wins. The Phoenix Coyotes are only two points behind Detroit.

"Every single night, you want to see what those teams are doing," Howard said. "But we are still in the driver's seat here. We've just got to get two points, win games."

Howard is starting for the ninth straight time, and in all likelihood will continue to do so the rest of the season. That's partly a reflection on how important every game is, and on how little faith the coaching staff has in backup Jonas Gustavsson.

"With how tight it is, I knew most likely I was going to be in every single night," Howard said. "There's nothing wrong with that. I enjoy competing out there for the guys."

And she reports that Todd Bertuzzi hopes to return to the lineup a week from Monday, when the Wings host Phoenix on April 22nd, despite battling through a pinched nerve in his right leg:

"I just keep pushing it," he said. "I'm hoping if it can stay the course, I'm going to see the doctor again, and then push for maybe out west. I need to get into a handful of skates where I'm not in pain. The problem is stopping and starting. You're not playing on this team if you can't stop and start."

Bertuzzi first said maybe he could play during the upcoming trip to Western Canada, which has dates Wednesday at Calgary and Saturday at Vancouver, where a decade ago Bertuzzi was at the prime of his career as a power forward.

However, because there isn't much time for practices ahead, he estimated the Coyotes game as more likely. That's the fourth-to-last game for the Wings.

"I'll just try to keep pushing, pushing, see if I can get back," Bertuzzi said. "But I've gone at least a couple days skating where I haven't felt the pain I've been having, so, hopefully it stays that way."

NHL.com's John Manasso penned an article about the Wings' playoff-desperate situation, too:

"I think the whole season we've had to battle through a lot of different things, injuries and travel and all the different things like that," said left wing Drew Miller, in his fourth season with the team. "We're battle-tested so we'll be pushing hard here the last seven games."

Miller said he follows the scores so he was aware of what happened on Saturday night.

"Oh, yeah, every day," he said. "I usually check in in no matter beginning of the season or the middle or the end. I think everyone's aware of what's going on. You can't get too up or down because we slipped to ninth or whatever. We've just got to take care of ourselves here at the end here and if you don't win, you don't even give yourselves a chance to get in."

Much of the Red Wings' playoff hopes rest on the shoulders of goalie Jimmy Howard, who has played in 13 of the last 14 games. Howard's 35 games (85 percent of Detroit's games) are tied for the eighth in the League. It's a bit of a heavier load for the 29-year-old, who has never played more than 63 games in the regular season (77 percent).

...

Howard said in some ways it's easier for a goalie to play that much because they are not over-analyzing their game. They don't think as much and instead they just play more relaxed. That could be good advice for his teammates, as the urgency will get ramped up in the last two weeks of the season.

"We've been talking about it for a while now," Howard said. "The urgency has to be there. We need better starts than what we've had the last couple of nights."

Babcock talked with admiration on Sunday about the Stars, who traded three big-name veterans, called up young players and have gone 5-1 since. He said the Stars play a "north-south" style instead of "toe-dragging in the neutral zone." The Stars seem unfazed by the idea of pressure. Babcock seemed to say the same was true of his team.

"We've been in out and out of the playoffs all year," he said. "When you woke up this morning, you weren't in them. It doesn't make you feel very good. You want to be in them. But the great thing about it is we've got to win today."

Update #6: Cold comfort? The Nashville Predators sent Barry Trotz and GM David Poile to Toronto to attempt to court Danny DeKeyser, and the Nashville Preadtors' media was absolutely convinced that the Predators would land DeKeyser (the Oilers and Blues weren't far behind in the, "This is easy, he'll pick our team" department)...

So there's no small irony in the fact that the Tennessean's Cooper laments the "one who got away":

Detroit defenseman Danny DeKeyser has taken a more expanded role with the Red Wings of late. The rookie — who signed as a college free agent on March 30 — played 19:49 in the Red Wings’ Friday shootout loss to Chicago. It was DeKeyser’s most ice-time as a pro.

The Predators had a high-level of interest in DeKeyser, and met with him in Mississauga, Ontario when he was entertaining teams and offers. Coach Barry Trotz even made the trip to woo DeKeyser to Nashville.

“They needed someone to play on the left side with their defense core there, kind of the same thing that a few teams told me,” DeKeyser said of the Predators’ pitch. “They needed some young D to come in and try to fill some holes, so that’s what their pitch was for the most part.”

DeKeyser obviously chose the Red Wings for a multitude of reasons, “I wanted some good leadership in the locker room, I knew they had that here and I knew there would be a chance to play if I worked hard, so that’s what I was looking for when I came here.”

Update #7: Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's article about Bertuzzi...

Bertuzzi, who has sidelined with a pinched nerve that has sapped power from his leg, doesn't expect to be ready to play during the trip to Western Canada – Wednesday at Calgary, Saturday at Vancouver. But, he is hoping to return during the last week of the regular season, perhaps as early as April 22 against Phoenix.

“Just keep pushing it,'' Bertuzzi said. “I'm hoping if it can stay the course, go see the doctor again and then try to push for maybe something out West or right when I get back. I need to get a handful of skates where I'm not in pain.''

Skating the biggest issue right now.

“I'm trying to get as much skating,'' Bertuzzi said. “The problem is starting and stopping. You're not playing on this team is you can't stop and start.''

He added, “I've gone at least a couple days skating where I haven't felt the pain I've been having. Hopefully, it stays that way.''

And USA Today just posted an article in which Jillian Seach speaks to Gustav Nyquist about making the jump from the AHL to the NHL:

When he was called up to Detroit on March 20, he was leading the American Hockey League in scoring with 60 points in 58 games. He has two goals in 15 games at the NHL level.

"I've got to find a way to learn how to use my tricks up here," Nyquist said. "You kind of have your moves and that's what you want to do. It's just a matter of trying to find space here to do them and finding the right time. You can't turn the puck over."

With the Red Wings in a desperate struggle to secure a playoff spot in the Western Conference, they are looking for secondary scoring. The Red Wings have scored two or fewer goals in four of their last five games and they are looking for their forwards to step up down the stretch.

"Which comes first, opportunity or production?" Detroit general manager Ken Holland asked. "A player needs opportunity for production, but when your team is not producing offensively or winning as many games as you want, the team can't wait around for that player to get comfortable."

Nyquist might still be trying to get comfortable, but he has shown glimpses of being the dominant player he was for the AHL's Grand Rapids (Mich) Griffins. He had a recent span in which he had a goal and two assists over three games for Detroit . That included setting up Damien Brunner's game-winner against the Colorado Avalanche.

He concedes that he's still coping with the larger players and faster speed in the NHL.

"Obviously I'm not the biggest guy out there," Nyquist said.

Seach's article continues, and it's very good.

Update #8: The Predators' website posted Barry Trotz's game-day presser:

Update #9: Via RedWingsFeed, here's the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's game-day update. Regarding the "defensive rotation," i.e. Kyle Quincey coming out and brendan Smith playing...

"I don't have much to say on it," Quincey said. "Three guys are waiting and all ready to play and they're all good defensemen, so it's the nature of the beast."

Smith hadn't played in three of the last four games. Smith said it's important not to overanalyze every mistake or misplay on the ice.

"When you're out there you're playing, if you analyze during the game, that's when you get in trouble and it becomes a snowball effect," Smith said.

There's no rotation among the defensemen, said Babcock, but rather players attempting to stay in the lineup.

"You guys ask me about rotations — there's no rotation," Babcock said. "If you play good, you get to play and if you don't play good, there's a rotation. The idea in pro sports is to grab your chunk of the cheese and not let go of it for 15 years."

And regarding the Wings' lack of offense:

Forward Valtteri Filppula has one point (a goal) in the last 12 games. Babcock said Filppula is playing too much on the perimeter.

"Get in the inside," said Babcock, of how to get out of a slump. "When you're not scoring, and you think you're a scorer, get on the inside and one of the defensemen will shoot it off your foot and you'll get scoring. You have to get on the inside to score."

Of Filppula specifically, Babocck said, "We could use some offense."

Man, ain't that the truth.

Update #10: NHL.com's John Manasso believes that the Wings and Predators will dress the following lineups (and they follow a story about Forsberg's debut):

PREDATORS

Taylor Beck - David Legwand - Filip Forsberg

Sergei Kostitsyn - Nick Spaling - Matt Halischuk

Rich Clune - Austin Watson - Craig Smith

Daniel Bang - Chris Mueller - Bobby Butler

Shea Weber - Roman Josi

Kevin Klein - Victor Bartley

Hal Gill - Jon Blum

Pekka Rinne

Chris Mason

Out: Brandon Yip, Paul Gaustad, Gabriel Bourque, Patric Hornqvist, Mike Fisher.

RED WINGS

Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader

Johan Franzen - Valtteri Filppula - Danny Cleary

Gustav Nyquist - Joakim Andersson - Damien Brunner

Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Jordin Tootoo

Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson

Brendan Smith - Carlo Colaiacovo

Danny DeKeyser - Jakub Kindl

Jimmy Howard

Jonas Gustavsson

Out: Patrick Eaves, Brian Lashoff, Kyle Quincey, Mikael Samuelsson, Todd Bertuzzi, Darren Helm

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

Tony Perkis's avatar

I agree, George. Nothing against Brunner, I’m just sort of against any forward on the point on the PP. Even with guys like Ovi and Kovy, I still think they’re better off at the top of the circle cycling with 2 d-men who have experience playing D. But I’m no pharmacist or coach.

Also, I’ve been too busy and missed the past few games. But I saw most of the Hawks game and DeKeyser looked fine from what I saw. How has he been holding up?

Posted by Tony Perkis from Drinking at Robert's Lounge with Billy Batts on 04/14/13 at 12:31 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

DeKeyser’s played as promised. Big, lanky, superb skater (his lateral mobility and backwards skating abilities are better than his forward speed), good first pass, heavy shot, very defensively sound, physical and absolutely invisible in the best ways when he’s not standing out. He has been physically overpowered in front of the net several times, however, and he’s made some rookie mistakes. He’s not perfect but he’s really solid. Makes the simple play most of the time, has a very low panic level.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/14/13 at 12:44 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Not trying to step out of line, I know everyone knows my opinions on everything, not trying to clutter up the comments section. 

We have two of the worlds best set-up guys and 1 trigger-man.  That trigger-man is KNOWN for disappearing for LONG stretches (see 1 goal after 5 goal game in Feb last year)

We only draft skilled offensive guys.

The F’s are playing either A) like Franzen (see Filpulla) constantly and consistently skating AWAY from the net TOWARDS the boards, everytime.  Or B) playing too defensively, or anticipating the shift back to defense instead of putting the skate to throat on offense, that we aren’t generating.  Doesn’t help we’re not winning the battles to extend OZ time and sustain pressure enough to force the other team into mistakes or even get much luck really.

I think not addressing the D, again, would be a mistake.  Honestly, Rafalski was a huge part of the identity of this team that’s overlooked, Kronwall’s a good Listrom temperment but we don’t really have any Rafalski’s “I don’t give a shit, just get it done”.. without the Mr. Rogers cardigan’s and loafers.

Shoring up the D will make it easier on our young F’s to contribute offensively.

This is not an indictment of KH, for the record, I know everyeone already knows all my opinions, again sorry.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/14/13 at 12:57 PM ET

Avatar

I really do hate saying this, but I wonder whether the Wings may just stand pat this summer on defense—minus buying out Colaiacovo—and go with Kronwall, Ericsson, Smith, Kindl, DeKeyser, Lashoff and Quincey as their seven defensemen. If they plan on adding a free agent, one of Quincey, Kindl or Lashoff may find themselves out of the mix.

The Wings won’t be able to recall Lashoff unless there’s a “roster emergency,” so the Wings are going to go with Kronwall, Ericsson, Kindl, Smith, DeKeyser, Quincey and Colaiacovo for the rest of the regular season, barring any injuries.

Did you just forget about White in both of those paragraphs or did I miss him going bye bye?

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 04/14/13 at 01:36 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I forgot Ian White. Like Babcock wink

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/14/13 at 01:45 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

” I wonder whether the Wings may just stand pat this summer on defense—minus buying out Colaiacovo”

That would be a huge mistake George for 2 reasons.

#1 - Like Overhaul mentioned, our forwards are coming back to play defence too often instead of making an offencive charge.  Why ??  Because our D can’t move the puck up the ice effectively.

#2 - Kronwall is over-worked and less “Kronwallish” because he has to do too much while he’s out there.

Pairing him up with Lashoff or DeKeyser will be great once they get a little more experience. They can stay back and be defencive while Kronwall takes a little more time to hit something or shoot the puck.

I think its obvious that after a poor showing after his acquisition last season and the mistakes he continues to make this season, Queasy MUST go.  Holland is going to have to swallow his pride and admit he made a mistake in re-acquiring him. He should have left well enough alone and never wasted a 1st rounder to get him back.

What they get for him ??  That’s up to Holland and how well he can sell the fact Queasy doesn’t suck playing anywhere else ... just here in Detroit.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 04/14/13 at 02:18 PM ET

Avatar

The fact that you think they are going to stand pat this summer really bothers me.  The fact that a lot of people on here defend KH and think he is still the best in the league frustrates me.  I understand that it is not reasonable to expect your name on the cup every year.  It is reasonable to expect them to be competitive.  In a league where 53% of the teams make the playoffs it is upsetting to be in the 47%.  When you see perennial cellar dwellers make the decision to compete after years of trying not to spend money because they didn’t care about there record(see cap floor) supplant you in the playoffs that is disheartening.  There has been a change in the will of the ownership.  The Tigers are now the favorite child.  KH hasn’t made a significant move since getting Stuart.  We have not spent near the cap since Rafi left.  Lots of talk of making big moves but no one knows if we were even close on them.  Every time a major free agent is available the media states we are in the running, but are we doing more than kicking the tires?  Diminishing product, year after lockout, what do we do to reward the loyal fans, raise ticket prices.  In thread you mentioned that several teams were interested in Fil, all of them in the east.  If that was true I don’t mind him not being moved.  I can’t believe it was only east teams asking though.  White it a scratch Lashoff gets sent down because of no roster space.  Why wasn’t the dead weight traded?  If no moves are made this summer, the simple truth is winning isn’t as important as making money.  Management would rather have a sellout streak instead of a playoff streak.

Posted by murph1jj on 04/14/13 at 03:20 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’m *worried* that he’s going to stand pat.

In my opinion, the Wings absolutely have to prey upon those cap-compliance buy-outs to add a top-pair defenseman and a scoring forward to the mix, and they need to make some hard decisions on players like Quincey, Colaiacovo, White, Gustavsson Samuelsson, Cleary, Miller and even Eaves and Emmerton in order to ensure that we see a stronger blueline,a reliable back-up goaltender, and a forward corps that includes a healthy Helm and all of Nyquist, Tatar and Andersson playing in the NHL…

But I fear that with the cap going down, the management may say, “Well, okay, we’re gonna look to flip Filppula and say goodbye to Cleary, Samuelsson, White and Colaiacovo, but we’ve got a strong group of kids on defense, and with Tatar and Nyquist coming up, we should be okay offensively, so let’s see whether the kids can do better and we can hang on till next year’s trade deadline because we can add players who we will actually be able to re-sign at that time.”

My gut feeling says that the latter is an entirely probable scenario. I hope the former prevails.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/14/13 at 03:35 PM ET

Primis's avatar

#2 - Kronwall is over-worked and less “Kronwallish” because he has to do too much while he’s out there.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 04/14/13 at 02:18 PM ET

So, so incredibly true.  I know he takes flak, but he’s in an impossible position.  He’s made hay in previous years by cheating a bit, often sneaking into the slot for a quick pass and shot, or cheating up to drill somoene.  Now, he’s THE guy and all the responsibility falls on him because his partners are inept, so he can’t cheat a bit.  And yet, everyone’s still wanting him to cheat and score and drill guys.  He simply can’t do both, it’s an impossible situation for him.  All the more reason Holland HAD to get a 1st-line d-man at the deadline to help him.  A guy like Bouwmeester could have been put int he Stuart role… “Look, stay rock-solid defensively first, and move the puck, and let Nik do his thing”.  Alas.


George, I think that latter scenario already *is* the plan or else it would have been addressed already when Kenny had the chance.

The kids really are fine mostly, but they need help.

Posted by Primis on 04/14/13 at 03:43 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I think, with the kids brought up, the right people let walk, all you need is an “veteran warrior” for the top pair, that Chelios and ideally a little size up front with a physical edge that he wont shy away from driving the net or who can move Dmen in front of the net.

Those two things and we’re cup contenders again or at least a year or so away with what we have ready to come up.

That’d give us scoring a la 08.  We need some tenacity though to keep everyone engaged.  Some tenacity up top.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/14/13 at 03:50 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I agree about Kronwall being over-extended, agree completely…

And the good news, I suppose, is that the two things Ken Holland and Kris Draper have repeatedly stated for over a year and a half now is that they want to find a top-pair defenseman and a big forward who can either score goals and/or make room for his teammates. Those are the team’s targets.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/14/13 at 03:53 PM ET

Avatar

George, I fear they may stay put also, what ever they can do for the least money, and stay competitive enough to keep the seats full.  I fear we are going to waste the remaining productive years of Z and Pav.  The latter being a lot sooner than anyone wants,  especially if we get no one to help him.  Pominville would have been nice and I don’t think what I have seen Phoenix wants for Yandle is to expensive.  I think our major needs are at least one top two D men.  I am not sold on Kronwall as a top pair, but he hasn’t had any help either.  I also think we need 2 top six forwards.  One of which will replace Franzen.  To much of a loafer and liability even though his points per cap hit are good.

Posted by murph1jj on 04/14/13 at 03:54 PM ET

Primis's avatar

By the way, I know I talk a lot about defense (Jimmy needs help badly) but if the Wings could ever jettison their forward deadweight (Cleary, Bertuzzi, Sammy, etc) I wouldn’t be opposed to getting an impact forward. 

Here’s what Ken will probably do at forward:  let Miller go (huge, stupid, unforgivable mistake if he does), keep Sammy and Bert (instead of buying them out, both are 35+ guys, over $5m between those two), and continue to give the kid forwards lip service about the future while continuing to pencil in broken-a** has-beens or never-weres because Kenny Holland is loyal, dammit and that’s what matters!

Posted by Primis on 04/14/13 at 03:57 PM ET

Slumpy's avatar

“Babcock said Filppula is playing too much on the perimeter.”

Haha, I’ve noticed most of his teammates having the same problem like the slot high and low is some sort of yard boundary and the Red Wing players are wearing electronic collars that zap them when they leave the “perimeter”

The fact Ian White and Quincey can’t beat these other rookie defenseman for playing time makes Kenny’s signing of these two look bad on him. Maybe the lockout had something to do with these two veteran d-men playing like scrubs this season or maybe they have desire anymore to play in this league.

Preds are decimated with injures so I predict they beat our Wings 5-0 tonight.
Daniel Bang? whot the F is that?
Regulation win tonight or dust off your golf clubs boys.

 

 

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 04/14/13 at 04:10 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

First ... i’m glad the masses recognize the situation Kronner is in.

Second ... I agree with Overhaul when he said we’re just a couple of players away from being a serious playoff contender.  That’s what makes all of this non-movement so frustrating for us armchair GMs.

Third ... primus ... why are so many people enamoured with Bouwmeester ??  Sure he plays 30 mins. a game but what does he do ??  He’s a little bit of everything but not dominant in anything.  I would much rather they sent Queasy, White and a 4th rounder to Calgary for Wideman.  If you saw last nights Calgary Edmonton game on HNIC then you’d understand why I say that.

Could Holland’s big move come this summer when salary cap limits force teams to trim marquee players from their rosters ??  We’ll have to wait and see who is made available and what salaries they demand.

If this high salary demand crap continues, all of the 30 something veterans could price themselves out of a job and the NHL will become a league filled with kids in their 20’s that have next to no experience.  Everyone that really knows how to play will end up making the money they expect over in Europe.

I still say a jaw dropping surprise of a trade is coming. Someone we expect to stay will go and the player acquired will be way off the radar of anybody outside of the organ-i-zation.  I’ll be very disappointed if that doesn’t happen this summer.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 04/14/13 at 04:42 PM ET

Avatar

Wouldn’t mind them taking a run at Ron Hainsey to replace E on the top d pairing. White, gone. Cola buy-out or trade. D would be Kronwall, Hainsey, Smith, Ericsson, DD, Q, Kindl, and Lash.

Posted by AZWinger on 04/14/13 at 04:58 PM ET

Avatar

Could Holland’s big move come this summer when salary cap limits force teams to trim marquee players from their rosters ?

No, because marguee players aren’t going to be trimmed from the rosters.

The guys who get bought out are going to be the 29 other teams’ versions of Samuelsson and Colaiacovo.

Posted by Garth on 04/14/13 at 05:00 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

as far as scoring, anyone know why Gus and Tatar aren’t switched right now?>  Tatar is hands down the most consistent forward as far as driving the net goes and Andersson hasn’t looked as slick since Tatar was sent back down.  Still being good defensively but no consistently good scoring opportunities like he and Tatar were able to generate.  I know Gus is more defensively responsible, but we’re getting shut out in these key games.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/14/13 at 05:02 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I’d be perfectly happy if the Wings stayed put on defense.  They don’t “need” a defenseman beyond a stop gap player while some of the youngsters mature. 

The Wing’s biggest problem is that their forwards are for whatever reason are one and done on offense, and moreover incapable of grinding out a game.  Just take Zetterberg, the team’s second best puck handler… he’s enormously predictable with the puck.  Invariably he brings the it in along the boards and peels off, tries to deke through three guys and gets separated from the puck, or drives behind the net to take a stupid off angle shot.  Considering that the next guy down on the depth chart is Filpulla, well its no wonder the Wings are having it rough.  Just watch the Sharks the next time they play the Wings.  They know that all you have to do is corral Z and company along the boards and they’ll cough up the puck one way or another.  Other than Datsyuk and Z, the top sixers on this team are shy about battling for the puck.  The Wings need forward, forwards, and forwards.  The D is gonna be just fine real soon.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/14/13 at 05:05 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

See Bez, I see bad puck support, Z always gets separated because his wingers hang high and away so he’s left fighting 3 guys himself instead of getting buddies in to help win.  Also they hang back to far, so when the puck pops free, the other team always wins the race to it.  I feel they do this because they’re anticipating the loss of possession and hang back for D transition to avoid a fumble at the blueline and an oddman rush coming back at us.

I dont’ necessarily think we’re lacking skill in the D corp, but we’re lacking confidence.  That Chelios/Rafalski type confidence that doesn’t come and go, those guys always thought they were the shit, day to day, regardless if they were.  Mentally SOLID.  We need a guy like that in our D corp, to settle people down, especially as young as our group is.  Doesn’t necessarily mean we have to trdae the farm or spend all our cap space on that person.  I’m thinking more of a Mike Ricci on D, what he brought to the Bruins.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/14/13 at 05:30 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

It won’t be ALL 3rd & 4th line depth guys that get cut this summer.  There will be a very small batch of decent talent that gets cut (Heatley in Minni?).  The concern I have is that Kenny hasn’t lured any of these big names/talents since he signed Hossa 5 years ago.  And no, DeKeyser doesn’t count as a “big name” signing.  So, even if a sniper like Heatley or a top D-man like Yandle show up on the cutting room floor, I’m not at all confident that we can sweep them up.  I’d really love it if Ken Holland proved me wrong this summer.

But enough looking ahead, we’ve got some games to win NOW!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/14/13 at 05:44 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/14/13 at 05:30 PM ET

I think it would be easy for the two us get into a chicken or the egg discussion here, But I tend to think a strong forecheck and puck cycling would take care of most of our defensive woes.  If the forwards are hanging back for defensive reasons, I have serious questions for the coaching staff.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/14/13 at 07:36 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/14/13 at 05:44 PM ET

Yandle as a buyout is a pipe dream, but other than that, you’r right.

Holland talks about free agency but hasn’t done anything significantly positive in free agency since Hossa’s agent called him about playing in Detroit.

We all know that Detroit isn’t the destination that it once was, they don’t seem to be willing to pay more than others for free agents (except, paradoxically, the ones that nobody else shows interest in, like Samuelsson and Colaiacovo), and Holland doesn’t seem to be willing to take a risk making a trade, so I don’t know where that leaves Detroit’s rebuild/reload/refresh/whatever.

Posted by Garth on 04/15/13 at 01:02 PM ET

Avatar

They don’t “need” a defenseman beyond a stop gap player while some of the youngsters mature.

True, but they can certainly get better stop gaps than Quincey or Colaiacovo.

Posted by Garth on 04/15/13 at 01:02 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

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.