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Red Wings-Sabres game-day updates: expect Cowen to dodge supplemental discipline

Update: No surprise here:

Update #2:

Update #3:

Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk did not accompany his teammates to Buffalo for today's game against the Sabres (5 PM EST, FSD/MSG Buffalo/1270 AM) because Datsyuk was hit in the jaw by Senators defensman Jared Cowen with about 7:50 left in the 3rd period of the Wings' 4-2 loss to Ottawa on Saturday evening (and again, thanks to Puck Daddy for the video)...

And the Free Press's Helene St. James both reports that the NHL's reviewing the hit....

And she adds a lineup note...

As well as mid-morning confirmation of GM Ken Holland's comments regarding the Wings' judicious use of precautionary measures to preserve the most important brain in the Wings' locker room:

"He was not feeling right," Holland said. "We're going through concussion protocol. We'll see how it goes, see how he feels on Tuesday. This isn't a black-and-white injury."

The Wings play at Buffalo Sunday afternoon. Daniel Alfredsson is ready to play after being sidelined by a groin injury.

Todd Bertuzzi is out with an undisclosed upper-body injury, but it is not his back.

Datsyuk wasn't feeling well after taking an elbow to the head by Ottawa's Jared Cowen late in the third period. No penalty was called on the play. Captain Henrik Zetterberg drily noted afterwards how "the combined eight eyes out there didn't see it," referring to the two referees and two linesmen that make up an officiating crew.

"If you don't see it, you can't call it. He just had the puck, kind of strange no one saw a star player like that."

Datsyuk continued to play, but sat out the final two minutes of the two-goal game.

Datsyuk will be reevaluated daily. If it turns out he is concussed, protocol requires players be symptom free for seven days before returning to play.

Datsyuk posited a fan-comforting Tweet, but he did so while kind-of-sort-of failing his English as a Second Language versus iPhone Spellchecker Test:

I hope he's back in the lineup soon, too, but one could argue that Datsyuk's split an infinitive in two, and that's not necessarily a good sign.

If I may be blunt, I don't expect Cowen to be fined, much less suspended, because Datsyuk "cuts against the grain" at the last second in a Datsyukian deke, attempting to reverse his direction in very near the exact moment that Cowen sticks his elbow out. I happen to believe that Cowen commits what's at least a fine-worthy infraction in deliberately placing his elbow out in an attempt to catch Datsyuk's face, but I think he's going to get away with this one because he and the Senators' coach/management will be able to argue that Datsyuk essentially "skated into the elbow."

Is that a stupid defense? Yup, but the Senators play in Carolina at 5 PM--their late-afternoon matinee is the only game opposite the Wings-Sabres "Turdburger Jersey-Unveiling" affair--and between the lack of time with which to conduct a proper review (these things usually take a day or two for the NHL to process and allowShanahan to be lobbied by teams, their GM's, owners and opposite the player-employing factions, the NHLPA) and the Datsyukian shoulder-juke, I can't see the league suspending Cowen.

Otherwise, this quip from USA Today's Kevin Allen is all we've got in terms of "morning skate" news as the Bufflao News's Mike Harrington simply confirmed the Wings' lineup issues (Datsyuk out, Alfredsson in) over the course of his "morning skate" entry in the Buffalo News's Sabres Edge blog:

With Gustav Nyquist now needing to clear waivers to be sent to the minors, the Red Wings have a significant challenge managing their salary cap.

They have no maneuvering room, unless someone goes on the long-term injured list.

The Red Wings could end up playing with five defensemen if there  is an injury. Jakub Kindl left Saturday’s game, but Mlive.com is reporting that he is expected to play today.

(expect Jonas Gustavsson to start opposite Ryan Miller today, and the Sabres' prospective lineup for today's game can be found here)

The Wings can apply for another cap-exempt "roster emergency" of the Luke Glendening-style recall variety if they can't dress 18 skaters, but something tells me that the NHL won't let the Wings go to that well very often.

That, and Allen completely ignores the precipitous decline of the Russian developmental hockey system at the grass-roots and amateur levels in overestimating the KHL's influence on the drastically-diminished presence of Russian hockey players in the NHL. Aside from diamonds-in-the-rough like Datsyuk, if you are not the son of a wealthy parent (see: Alex Ovechkin's mom, an Olympic athlete) or find yourself in the right circumstances (see: Evgeni Malkin growing up under Metallurg Magnitogorsk's powerful developmental umbrella), the less-than-wealthy can't benefit from the kind of Soviet-style sports schooling and physical education programs that were dying while Datsyuk bounced from team to team and to Vladimir Krikunov's Dynamo-Energiya in the late 90's.

Here's hoping that he being is back soon.


Update: For what it's worth, MLive's Ansar Khan's with-quotes recap of Saturday's loss didn't post until 8 AM (the timestamp says 6:09 but I was up then)...

Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg, whose club lost 4-2 at Joe Louis Arena, stopped short of calling it “chippy.’’

“It was Saturday night, Hockey Night in Canada, everyone was excited,’’ Zetterberg said. “Last game (vs. Ottawa) we know the result (6-1 for the Senators on Oct. 23); we wanted to come out and play better. So there was a lot of emotion. It was a fun game to play.’’


The Red Wings had three five-on-three power plays, totaling 3:45, but managed only three shots and one goal – by Datsyuk at 1:08 of the third, which tied it 2-2. But penalties to Darren Helm and Kyle Quincey 39 seconds apart set up the Senators for the deciding goal. Clarke MacArthur scored his second goal of the game, on the power play, with 4:02 remaining for insurance.

The Red Wings took six penalties in the third period. Each club went 2-for-8 on the power play for the game

“You can’t kill penalties all night long,’’ Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I didn’t like the (Niklas) Kronwall penalty (roughing at 14:09 of the third); I thought it was an awful call, but other than that you deserve what you get. You have to look after your stick or you’re going to be in the box all night and no one gets any rhythm like that.’’

Said Red Wings forward Mikael Samuelsson: “They got the game where they wanted to, more physical, and after the whistles as well. They got away with some of the calls and we got frustrated and took penalties.”


“I thought they had three chances in the first period and two of them went in,’’ Babcock said. “The other team is going to get some chances. We just have to find a way to execute and not break down. Bottom line is we have to be mentally tough to win games and we didn’t find a way tonight.’’

And MLive's Brendan Savage's game-day article sheds more light on the Sabres...3rd jersey.

Update #2: The Red Wings' Game Day Blog offers a game-day set-up...

Wings Look to Get Back on Track in Buffalo

Detroit travels to Buffalo after completing a three-game homestand, and their opponent may be one who can help them get back to their winning ways. The Red Wings are 10-1-1 in their past 12 games against the Sabres, including a 2-1 win earlier this season. "We've got a big game (tonight)," said Darren Helm, "that we have to have a big effort for."

A historical note...

On This Day in Red Wings' History...On November 24

1926: Detroit Cougars (before being re-named the Red Wings) recorded their first win in franchise history, 1-0, over the Black Hawks at Chicago. Frank Frederickson scored the game-winner, while Hap Holmes recorded the first shutout of his rookie season.

2006: Detroit's Chris Chelios became the all-time leader in games played by a U.S.- born player, when he appeared in the 1,496th game of his NHL career, a 3-2 loss to the visiting St. Louis Blues. He broke the record held by Phil Housley.

And Ken Kal's Keys to the Game:

RAM Keys to the Game with Ken Kal

Stay Out of the Penalty Box - Too many penalties last night. Be disciplined against Buffalo because playing on the PK all night is draining.

Get Off to a Good Start - Short turnaround for the Red Wings, playing a late afternoon game after a rolling into Buffalo around 1:30 AM. They've got to fight off the fatigue. Take it to the Sabres early.

Win Faceoffs - Winning faceoffs allows the team to control and possess the puck. It's a precursor to dictate the play and the tempo.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



With Gustav Nyquist now needing to clear waivers to be sent to the minors, the Red Wings have a significant challenge managing their salary cap.

They have no maneuvering room, unless someone goes on the long-term injured list.

The Red Wings could end up playing with five defensemen if there is an injury. Jakub Kindl left Saturday’s game, but Mlive.com is reporting that he is expected to play today.
What a joke of roster management. Absolutely ridiculous. Waive Cleary and Quincey now Holland. Cleary has 3 points in 24 games, and has gone pointless in the last 2 playing with PAVEL DATSYUK!!!!! Quincey now leads the NHL with a -14, and was on the ice for 2 goals last night while his double minor high sticking penalty costed another goal. Great effort Quincey. Even if an NHLer was trying to suck as bad as you, they still wouldn’t succeed.

What a joke.

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 11/24/13 at 12:15 PM ET


Paul, It pains me to think you are right. But…

It looks more like Datysuk stops because he has already passed the puck away. Because he was hit and collapsed on the play, I do not see how it can be determined what his next move was.

Cowen, being behind Datysuk, should have been able to see that he no longer had the puck and should have been able to control his body from at least checking Datsyuk in the back - had he continued forward.

Datsyuk is, arguably, the smartest player in the league - if not, in the top five - Detroit could easily rebuttal that he was stopping because he knew he was about to get hit in the back and avoiding injury.

In this situation, the responsibility should be on the “down ice player” on the play to not cause undue contact - especially with a part of the body that is meant to cause harm. No one checks with the pointy end of their elbow. I could be wrong but I don’t think pointy elbow checking is in the rule book as legal checks.

Atleast I hope the league sees it that [my] way. But I am biased.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 11/24/13 at 12:22 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

Holland should have retired when TPH did. After all, those were his own words. He seems to have lost his talent to ice a good team. Instead of going with young men,  the Wings now play in a league that is “No Country for Old Men.” 

Let’s Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 11/24/13 at 12:27 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 11/24/13 at 12:27 PM ET

Sorry, wrong thread.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 11/24/13 at 12:30 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Not Paul today, George is back, and least that’s what I tell me… And yeah, Datsyuk changes direction very rapidly.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/24/13 at 12:32 PM ET


He seems to have lost his talent to ice a good team. Instead of going with young men,  the Wings now play in a league that is “No Country for Old Men.”
No, it just came to light that Scotty Bowman actually controlled our personnel decisions but KH got credit for it because he has the job title of “General Manager.” Same goes for the drafting table and Jim Nill.

We haven’t been to the final since 09, coincidentally the year Scotty left. Holland seems to have gone overboard on Scotty’s whole “veteran teams win Cups.” Yes, there’s a perfect mix of veterans and youth (look at 97, 98, 02, 08). Scotty Bowman had a hand in all of those teams. What have the Wings done since? Absolutely nothing. Where did Scotty go? Chicago and won 2 in 4 years. Coincidence? No.

It really hurts to admit it as a Wings fan because I’ve been drinking the kool-aid for so long, but KH is just an average GM without his guys behind the scenes. And this season is proof of that (choosing Cleary over Nyquist is just one example out of many).

And Babcock. The players just ignore him nowadays. He’s a good coach but his time in Hockeytown is over. He has no effect anymore. His personnel moves are questionable at best (Cleary on 1st line? who are you kidding?).

What a mess.

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 11/24/13 at 12:33 PM ET

awould's avatar

Regardless of what Datsyuk did, Cowen clearly reached out with his elbow and connected with Datsyuk’s face. If the league were at all serious about head shots, this would be at least one game.

Posted by awould on 11/24/13 at 12:48 PM ET


I agree he changes direction quickly, but that being said, Cowen was attempting to elbow, an illegal infraction and hits him the head. If he isn’t trying to elbow, he doesn’t hit him in the head. I think one game, at least.

Posted by timbits on 11/24/13 at 12:48 PM ET


I might have to stop reading the comments here. It’s nothing but melodrama and histrionics.

The Wings didn’t roll over and give up last night. They fought, made mistakes, and got out of control. We don’t need a Too too. The first period of that game is what they need more of.

There’s no reason to give up on Babcock. He’s kept us going through a lot of lineup challenges over the last few seasons. He knows how to deal with the players, and it seems ludicrous to think they don’t respect him enough to listen anymore.

Ken Holland screwed up at his job. We all do. He’s doing what he can to fix it now. That’s why Nyquist is up. He knows who belongs on the team and who doesn’t. You’re not a GM. Just accept where we are and let the season unfold the way it will.

Seriously. Who knows where we’ll be 40 games from now?

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 11/24/13 at 12:49 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Still concerns me that no one went after Cowen. They saw the bloody replay. They know what happened. With Bertuzzi on the ice, this shouldn’t have happened. Franzen has the size and strength to be a Shanahan-like player (like Bertuzzi), but never seems to answer the bell.

And no, I’m not saying the Wings need a goon, far from it. But they need to play friggin’ harder than they are. Be hard on the puck, commit to the system, whichever system makes the most sense for the personnel they have. And if they can’t make them pay on the powerplay (like they used to), then for gods sake show other teams you won’t take things lying down, like they did last night.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 11/24/13 at 12:52 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Scotty was a consultant. I’ve thought about that myself but the honest truth is that Scotty spent the vast majority of the year in Sarasota—as he does now—and every interaction I’ve had with the team’s management has suggested that Holland has the final say amongst the management team, and that he’s the one who’s got the odd fascination with bringing back “known quantities.”

I was one of the people who had to speak with Tomas Tatar after Daniel Cleary was re-signed. I saw how ash-gray his face turned and how all of the Wings’ “bubble boy” forwards seemed to have an, “Oh f***ing hell” look on their faces. There is no doubt in my mind that St. James has the narrative right on that story, too, even though she’s a Cleary fan, in stating that the coach and GM and the leadership group signed off on that move.

Holland admitted that the 2012 signings were “on him” and the team does make decisions to make sure that Babcock has the best roster to work with under the circumstances, if only belatedly.

The Hawks got incredibly lucky with their draft picks all panning out and they had an incredibly good GM who built the team and parlayed off the right “expendables” in Dale Tallon, not Scotty or Stan Bowman, so Stan inherited a team that had sucked for such an extended period of time—remember the days of Tyler Arnason, Kyle Calder and Mark Bell being the “Next Ones?”—that it would’ve been criminal if the team didn’t reload.

The Wings have taken a different path, a path I endorse in not tearing down the machine, and while I’m still baffled as to why the Wings didn’t have a back-up plan in the Suter sweepstakes two summers ago, that was the agreed-upon course of direction from Mr. I on down.

This team needs another top-four defenseman. I hope they find one at the trade deadline.

This team is struggling like nobody’s business, but I’m not willing to call it done like dinner, and blaming the GM and/or coach alone exempts the players from the higher standards we’re allowed to hold them to, from Jimmy Howard on out.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/24/13 at 12:58 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Where’s the, “Oh dear God, I’ve been padding the comments section for weeks, and somebody goes along and takes a deep breath before posting” smiliey?

I don’t have a problem with discontent or second or third or fourth-guessing the coach, GM or personnel, but I don’t understand this concept of being in constant and almost total war with the franchise regardless of whether it wins or loses as normal as normal can be. Sometimes I think, “I get it, you’re pissed off, I’m angry too, but where is that line between being a disgruntled sports fan, which is as normal as can be, and plain old loving to hate your team?”

That’s why I brought up the DSR a couple of days ago, because those guys literally make a profession out of utterly despising Detroit’s sports teams, blaming *everything* on the coach and management (and a player or two), warring with the media and even despising fellow fans who don’t toe the Ryan Lambert-style, “Your team sucks, your favorite player sucks, and you suck” line.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/24/13 at 01:13 PM ET

babymachine's avatar

Tired of this constant whining by Wings fans. It’s been a frustrating year, but all the calls for Holland and Babs’ heads seems like the easy route. We’re still in the playoffs at this point, so realistically a good run could change things. The Cleary/Samuelsson/Tootoo signings were not successful, no arguing that.

I agree with George-this team needs another threat offensively at D. Besides Kronner, no one is really doing much to help out, and I even think at times Kronner needs to shoot more and jump in more like Lidstrom used to do. One thing I did notice last night was Howie looking out of place. Nothing he could do on their 4th goal, but he seemed overly aggressive and wasn’t able to get back in his crease after initially committing to the shooter. Some of that could have been bad bounces which led to him being caught, tho…

I also think it’s a matter of time with Cleary. He had some jump last night early, but I noticed times when his lack of puck control and speed cost us. I expect him to be a regular healthy scratch or sent down soon.

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 11/24/13 at 02:09 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Updated with Garrioch’s no-supplemental-discipline Tweet.

If I was to go on my gut feeling and only my gut feeling, setting all sense into the wind, I would tell you that by the end of the season, the Wings would go after Alex Edler ($5 million cap hit) and most likely have Buffalo’s Christian Ehrhoff ($4 million cap hit, $8 million salary for the next three years) in their lineup, with Ehrhoff more likely, and I would say that Florida’s Eddie Jovanovski ($4.125 million) or Tom Gilbert ($900K) would be “outside possibilities.”

Given that the Wings are in the Sabres and Panthers’ division, I still believe that Ehrhoff’s the best player available to the Wings at this time—given that the Coyotes’ new ownership = no way in hell that Keith Yandle is on the market anymore—and I would still not be all that surprised from a “gut” perspective if the Wings shipped a top prospect or two to Buffalo for Ehrhoff, and I *strongly* believe that the Wings will aggressively pursue a top-four defenseman at the trade deadline *and* will try to sign a top-four defenseman this summer.

But that’s my hockey gut talking.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/24/13 at 02:10 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The “whining,” I can handle. The self-flagellation and suggestions that being a Wings fan is the worst torture that can be imposed upon a human being = a little much for me.

And we’re at the point where the same people who were demanding Nyquist’s recall were damning Holland and Babcock for sending Tootoo down last night on Twitter—vociferously so, to the point that I yelled at one dude who seems to believe that the salary cap doesn’t apply, that prospects can be recalled at will, and that players on guaranteed contracts can be “cut” or banished to Grand Rapids or other parts unknown.

I’m about as happy about the Wings’ 10-7-and-7 record as anyone else is (by Wings fans, that’s flat-out embarrassing), but I’m not going to go into full Mosh Pit mode over it, and I’m not going to spend the wins the team does earn lamenting bad personnel or cap management along the way.

I also believe that we’re seeing what we’re seeing with Cleary because, at some point, if he continues to play this way, the Wings will trade him or waive him. He can only go on like this for so long before the team makes a “hard decision” about someone who’s made Stephen Weiss look like Steven Stamkos.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/24/13 at 02:33 PM ET


blaming the GM and/or coach alone exempts the players from the higher standards we’re allowed to hold them to, from Jimmy Howard on out.

I agree with a lot of what you’ve said above George, but I don’t think blaming the GM or coach exempts anyone.  In fact, it is because of the GM and coach that the Wings aren’t living up to the high standards.  Cleary and Samuelsson aren’t to blame for being the players they are, the GM is to blame for signing them and the coach is to blame for choosing Samuelsson over Tatar at the beginning of the year and for putting Cleary in a top six role right now.

Samuelsson isn’t the one who said “tie goes to the veteran” and Cleary didn’t, at least publicly, demand to be on Datsyuk’s wing.

At the end of the day of course the players have to play the games, but as a team you can only expect a certain level based on the team the GM puts in front of the coach and the players the coach dressed and the lines he puts together.

Your thoughts in the d are interesting.  Ehrhoff is interesting and his long, long contract is somewhat offset by his low cap hit -which, it sounds like, would be an instant improvement on Quincey for essentially the same price- and the fact that his salary will never be more than his cap hit for the rest of his career.  Gilbert is also intriguing and Edler could be interesting if available but I really hope they aren’t seriously looking at Jovo.

Posted by Garth on 11/24/13 at 02:44 PM ET


Sorry for the rant-filled post above. I’m really at a loss for words this year. I wasn’t around for the “Dead Wings era” so all I’ve ever known is excellence. To see the Red Wings slip to mediocrity is troublesome. We haven’t been in this position in my life time and it just seems that we’re swimming upstream. I don’t know what to fix exactly. I think we have more than one problem, beginning with moving the puck from the back end up to our forwards. If we can’t pass tape-to-tape with consistency out of our own zone then we can’t play puck possession. We can’t really fix these problems since we’re so close to the cap so the current guys, like George has noted time and again, must come through. I just don’t know from where. Franzen needs to be more engaged. We need DD back. Quincey needs to play hockey. Everyone must score. We need to protect Pav and Z.

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 11/24/13 at 02:51 PM ET

perfection's avatar

I get why they can’t suspend the elbow in and of itself because of the sudden move from Dats. but it WAS a dirty elbow by an inferior player who can’t make that move with Pav. I do wish the league could take into account that Ottawa clearly came out with a strategy of “punishing” or basically trying to injure the red wings on every shift. Skirmishes after every whistle and the repeated slashes and other unpunished goonery basically climaxed with this elbow. By not at least levying a fine, the league not only validates that strategy, but validates the extremely poor game management by the officials. If they got the thuggery under control early, that elbow probably never happens.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 11/24/13 at 04:47 PM ET

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