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Red Wings Saturday practice post: Colaiacovo won’t play Sunday, Howard starts vs. Ducks

Updated 3x at 7:10 PM: For an "off day" and a Saturday, today's been incredibly busy in the Red Wings news department. We've received two takes on FSD's firing of Larry Murphy, Carlo Colaiacovo's been cleared to play, Danny DeKeyser watch has begun, and Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau vowed that his team would play better coming off last night's 5-1 Wings win.

It turns out that the Wings did not take Saturday "off" after all, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan...

The Free Press's Helene St. James and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

Erm, uh...

Regarding DeKeyser, from the Free Press's St. James:

The Red Wings have been trying to improve on defense since last off-season's retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom, and will now turn their eyes toward Western Michigan's Danny DeKeyser. DeKeyser is a 23-year-old high-end talent out of Western Michigan, who became an unrestricted free agent available to everyone Saturday when his Broncos career officially ended.

"The agent says they are going through process and will take a few days to make a decision," general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press.

DeKeyser is good enough to step into an NHL lineup right away. His assets include size — he's 6-foot-3, about 200 pounds — and headsy play at both ends of the rink. He can make a good outlet pass, and plays well without the puck.

The Wings have been looking to add to their blueline since losing both Lidstrom and Brad Stuart last summer. Efforts to land Ryan Suter, Shea Weber and Sami Salo didn't pan out, and the Wings settled for adding Carlo Colaiacovo just before the lockout. He was removed from injured reserve today after being sidelined since opening weekend with a sore shoulder.

Kyle Quincey, though, is out indefinitely with a fractured cheekbone, but even if that wasn't the case, the Wings would pursue DeKeyser. Part of the attraction is that he can be had just for money — no need to fork over a first-round pick or prospect via a trade.

To some extent, this is good to hear:



If you are going to Sunday night's game, per the Ducks' website...

The Ducks will host “Animal Shelter Night” at Honda Center this Sunday, Mar. 24 vs. Detroit. Fans are encouraged to visit The Hockey Spot (outside the North doors of Honda Center) from 3-5 p.m. on Sunday to become educated on OC Animal Care’s efforts to find adoptive homes for local pets. The open-admission shelter provides temporary shelter and medical care to local animals and will have lost, owned or stray dogs on-hand for fans to interact with at The Hockey Spot.

Fans are also asked to donate pet food, toys and new or gently used towels and blankets for use at OC Animal Care’s shelter. The donations can be brought to the shelter’s informational booth at The Hockey Spot. All dogs at The Hockey Spot on Sunday will be available for adoption beginning Monday morning (Mar. 25) at OC Animal Care (561 The City Dr. South, Orange). In addition, a silent auction of Ducks pet-themed merchandise will take place at Section 214 throughout Sunday’s game. Items including a Teemu Selanne-autographed dog jersey, as well as an autographed Ducks dog bowl, will be available. All proceeds will benefit OC Animal Care through the Anaheim Ducks Foundation.

The Hockey Spot takes place prior to every Sunday home game on the North side of Honda Center. Open two hours prior to the start of every Sunday home game, The Hockey Spot offers interactive hockey games and other family activities.

Update #1: An understated Piano Man:

Update #2: The LA Times' Lance Pugmire penned a Ducks practice report:

[Viktor] Fasth, who also gave up three goals in a Monday win over San Jose, said he's not experiencing any effects from an upper-body injury suffered March 8. The greater effect, Fasth said, was Detroit's patient, crisp passing. They put only 23 shots on goal but made five, including two that got past Jonas Hiller, who had stopped 263 of 282 prior shots while going 8-0-2 in starts before Friday's relief role.

"We know they're a team that likes to pass the puck a lot," Fasth said. "They're looking to the seams. Even though we knew that, we let them do it. We weren't good enough."

[Cam]Fowler said the Ducks focused on the letdown nature of the game Friday after the team had knocked off Western Conference leader Chicago in a stirring Wednesday performance.

"We knew the emotional high we were coming off against Chicago and wanted to bring it again," Fowler said. "At times, we showed it. But you have a few shifts where bounces don't go your way, they make it hurt, and the next thing you know, you're behind the eight-ball.

"They're so good with their sticks, and knocking down passes, they can create offense immediately from that. We were aware of that. We've just got to clean that up."

Star Ducks wing Corey Perry also was silenced in his return from a four-game suspension, taking only two shots in 17:38 of ice time, with one shot blocked.

"We don't want it to happen again," [Bruce] Boudreau said. "We better bring our 'A' game, or it's not good."

Update #3: Via RedWingsFeed, here's MLive's Ansar Khan's practice report, confirming that Babcock wants Colaiacovo to work his way back into the lineup:

“I made it real clear, now that you've been cleared, you got to practice like you're ready to go, and when I see that, and when we need a change, then we'll make it,'' coach Mike Babcock said. “Be a part of practice first, get yourself in shape and then we'll go from there.''

Babcock said he's going with the same six defensemen that played on Friday.

Colaiacovo is relieved to be cleared more than a month before the playoffs. He has appeared in only two games. Dealing with a lot of frustration and the shoulder not responding as quick as I'd like,'' Colaiacovo said. “I busted my rear both on and off the ice. I feel like I'm in great shape from all the bag skating. Just a matter of be going out and playing. It's killing me not to be out there. But, the team is playing well. It's fun to be a part of this.''

Colaiacovo, who signed a two-year, $5 million contract on Sept. 14, isn't likely to get in until there is an injury or Babcock feels a change is needed after a bad game by somebody.

“Obviously, this season hasn't gone the way I'd like but at the end of the day I believe in myself, believe in my abilities,'' Colaiacovo said. “I believe I can help this team win.''

Babcock said he'll decide Sunday on whether to make a change at forward. The only option is inserting Jordin Tootoo. Jimmy Howard will start in goal.

Here are the lines they skated with:

Justin Abdelkader-Pavel Datsyuk-Johan Franzen

Valtteri Filppula-Henrik Zetterberg-Drew Miller/Damien Brunner

Daniel Cleary-Joakim Andersson-Patrick Eaves

Gustav Nyquist-Cory Emmerton-Jordin Tootoo

Brunner and Miller alternated on the Zetterberg line.

Niklas Kronwall-Jonathan Ericsson

Brian Lashoff-Brendan Smith

Jakub Kindl-Ian White

Kent Huskins-Carlo Colaiacovo

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Jonas Gustavsson



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perfection's avatar

why no conditioning stint for Colo? This seems like exactly the scenario it was invented for

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 03/23/13 at 06:57 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

So, is St. James suggesting that the Wings could sign Dekeyser right away and insert him directly into the lineup?

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/23/13 at 09:06 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

So, is St. James suggesting that the Wings could sign Dekeyser right away and insert him directly into the lineup?

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/23/13 at 09:06 PM ET

Shes saying he would play in the NHL right away

if the Wings wont offer him immediate NHL minutes, they aren’t likely to sign him, as several other teams will be more than willing to give him a spot, and with money being the same no matter where he goes, that will be the deciding factor

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 03/23/13 at 09:27 PM ET

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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.