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Red Wings Saturday practice post in progress: resting bumps and bruises

Updated 6x with lots of video at 3:45 PM: Red Bird III is scheduled to take off at 3:12 PM today to ferry the Red Wings to Chicago, where they'll meet the Blackhawks on Sunday evening (7 PM on FSD and AM 1270). The Wings will have a wee bit of an advantage in terms of rest as the Blackhawks are playing in Columbus tonight, but the Hawks are also 4-and-0 going into their Saturday night tilt.

Thus far, it appears that little news is good news at Joe Louis Arena:

Update: Via RedWingsFeed, this is good news regarding one Jonathan Ericsson:

Update #1.5:

Update #2: Stuff I missed: the Hockey News's Rory Boylen ranked the Wings 19th in his slate of power rankings after ONE FRICKIN' GAME, and this quip from Lyle "Spector" Richardson just scares me:

Another Avalanche player worth watching is defenseman Shane O'Brien, who was a healthy scratch for their opening three games of the season.

O'Brien, re-signed to a three-year, $6-million contract last summer, doesn't appear out of shape, nor has he said or done anything which would explain his banishment to the press box.  

With several NHL teams (Ottawa Senators, LA Kings, Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings) reportedly seeking experienced blueliners, O'Brien could become a trade target.

The 29-year-old, 6'3," 230-lb O'Brien is fiercely physical and fights regularly, but he's a penalty minute machine, and the Sports Forecaster describes him as follows:

ASSETS: Is an impressive physical specimen who uses his size effectively. Can intimidate the opposition, fight on occasion and generally play an in-your-face style of defense. On occasion, he likes to jump up into the play.

FLAWS: Struggles against quick forwards as a general rule. Will at times take bad penalties that place his team in trouble. Doesn't have a ton of offensive ability and will get caught out of position due to his wandering ways.

CAREER POTENTIAL: Veteran physical defenseman.

The Wings need a puck-rushing veteran defenseman who can skate well and pass and shoot extremely well, not a more physical version of Kyle Quincey.


Update #3: Here's Ansar Khan's practice report:

Coach Mike Babcock said he believes defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (hip, shoulder) will be able to play Sunday in Chicago (7 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit), but he won't know for sure until just before game time. He has missed the past three games.

“A little bit better, no setback yet, so that's good,'' Ericsson said. "We'll see tomorrow.''

Forward Valtteri Filppula (knee) didn't skate and center Darren Helm (back) left practice midway through, but Babcock said both are fine and will play Sunday.

“I said get off the ice (to Helm),'' Babcock said. "Anybody's who's got a bump, we didn't even take them out today and we're not going to the rink tomorrow morning (for a gameday skate) on purpose. We're going to do a lot more of that. We just have to, with the schedule the way it is.''

Wow, that's rare as rare can be.

Here are the lines they skated with:

Johan Franzen-Henrik Zetterberg-Damien Brunner

Patrick Eaves (for Filppula)-Pavel Datsyuk-Todd Bertuzzi

Daniel Cleary-Darren Helm-Justin Abdelkader

Drew Miller-Cory Emmerton-Jordin Tootoo

Niklas Kronwall-Brian Lashoff

Kyle Quincey-Brendan Smith

Kent Huskins-Jakub Kindl

Jonathan Ericsson

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Tom McCollum

Forward Mikael Samuelsson (groin) and goaltender Jonas Gustavsson (groin) did not skate and will not travel to Chicago.

Update #3.5:

Update #3.75: Per the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:

Quote of the day … Henrik Zetterberg

DETROIT — “We joked before the season, see how many games we will get, 2 ½ this year,” Henrik Zetterberg joked of his short time on a regular forward unit with Pavel Datsyuk. “It was a good run.”

The pair began the season paired together and got broken up midway through Game 3 against the Dallas Stars.

Zetterberg and Datsyuk still play on the first power play unit together.

“We enjoy playing together,” Zetterberg said. “We see each other on the power play.”

Update #4: The Free Press's Carlos Monarrez also filed a practice report:

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is expected to play against the host Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

It would be Ericsson’s first game since he injured his shoulder last Sunday in practice and his return would be a big boost for the young defense that has struggled this season.

Both Ericsson and coach Mike Babcock were encouraged by the big defenseman’s progress after today’s short practice at Joe Louis Arena.

“A little bit better,” Ericsson said of his shoulder. “No steps back yet, so that’s good. I’ll rest the rest of the day here and we’ll see tomorrow.”

Valtteri Filppula (knee) didn’t participate in the 35-minute practice and Darren Helm (back) was sent off the ice early as Babcock works to manage health and fatigue early in the compacted season.

Babcock said the Wings won’t have a morning skate Sunday to conserve energy for the game.

Update #5: The Red Wings' website hasn't posted any Saturday practice stories, but they've offered post-practice video clips of Jimmy Howard...


Kyle Quincey...



Kent "Laser Beam" Huskins...



Niklas Kronwall...



Lots of talk about the new standards of rule enforcement that the refs are calling, and in the case of Red Wings coach Mike Babcock?

Babcock: "I'm gonna make some shit up today!"

Media: "That's our favorite"

He then discusses the Wings' match-up against Chicago, the Wings' evolutionary improvements and the team's overall play--with Babcock stating that the team was "below average" against both St. Louis and Minnesota:


Regarding penalties, the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness offers more on that subject (va  RedWingsFeed):

“I just think the standard each and every night is the standard and you got to respect what’s being called and keep your stick on the puck and not on hands,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “They made it very clear to us, they sent us video of how the game was going to be called, when you put your stick on another guy’s hand you’re going to the box.”

In Friday night’s 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild, the Wings were shorthanded eight times.

“I don’t even know what’s allowed and what’s not,” Todd Bertuzzi said. “I’m just keeping my stick to myself and try not to touch anyone else’s glove because I know I’ll end up in the penalty box pretty quick. It’s whatever, you adapt to it and figure it out. You do a lot of sitting around if you’re not a special team’s guy.”

Against the Wild Detroit was penalized for hooking and interference infractions three times each, tripping and holding one time each.

“We tried to follow the new rules,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “If you look at our last game and (Friday), it’s tough to know if you touched a glove and get two minutes and sometimes you don’t. It’s tough playing all your career one way and all the sudden you can’t touch the other player’s glove or you get two minutes.”

The Wings’ penalty kill has improved since allowing four power play goals in the season opener with the St. Louis Blues, killing off seven of Minnesota’s chances Friday. The only goal allowed came in the final seconds of a 5-on-3.

“A few times (Friday) night we stopped moving our feet and we had to take a holding call,” Kyle Quincey said. “I was telling Kronner I can remember growing up and they teach you to get on the hands so they can’t make plays and now it’s the furthest thing from what you want to do. The biggest thing, when you’re going stick on puck, a lot of times they’re stepping on your stick and it’s a tripping penalty now,” Quincey continued. “You’ve got to be very very careful what you do and it’s almost like they want to get 5-6-7 power plays a game, so they’re looking for stuff. Hopefully it dies down in the next couple of weeks, but for now we got to be very careful.”

And I can't quote all of Pleiness's article, but Babcock offered this take on the team's identity given that it's missing Ian White, Carlo Colaiacovo and Mikael Samuelsson's offensive abilities:

“We’d like to be better,” Babcock said. “The bottom line is the type of team we have, we’re going to see a lot of games where it’s going to be a grind-fest. That’s just the reality of the situation. So embrace what you’ve got and be the best that you’re capable of, and that’s what we’re trying to do."

Update #6: One more thing. I don't know why Fox Sports Detroit isn't uploading Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond's post-game recap, or why it's taking them forever to post their post-game interviews--last night's included Todd Bertuzzi and Mike Babcock--but it seems like all the regional Fox networks are having the same, "We will upload videos...Sometime...before the next game..." issues.

So here's Bertuzzi and Babcock, much delayed:


Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


WingedRider's avatar

So if E52 comes back Kindl is out and Eaves back for Emmerton?

Kindl and Quincey crapped the bed that the Mule was already sleeping in against the Wild.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 01/26/13 at 02:05 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Kindl will be out, yes. And Franzen looked a little better. Bertuzzi pushes Franzen to use his size more effectively.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/26/13 at 02:12 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Eaves back for Emmerton?

But that leaves Abby at center, and I think he’s much more successful on the wing.  Eaves may push Miller.

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/26/13 at 02:13 PM ET


What will the D pairing be with Ericsson back.  Lashoff (sp) was filling in for him and not do to bad. If Lashoff is still in what pairing are he/Ericsson on?

Posted by mtuwingsfan on 01/26/13 at 02:51 PM ET


If Lashoff is still in what pairing are he/Ericsson on?

My guess/hope is that he replaces Kindl.

Posted by Garth on 01/26/13 at 03:16 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

At this point, I’d think that the Wings would go with Huskins and Ericsson, but that’s just my guess.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/26/13 at 03:20 PM ET


So exactly what spot does Samuelsson fill when he returns?  Still puzzled by this signing last summer, especially the NTC part.

Posted by maltby18 on 01/26/13 at 03:27 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Samuelsson will probably slide onto the third line. I’m still a Cleary-Helm-Tootoo fan, but Cleary Helm and Samuelsson really do give the Wings’ third line some scoring punch. Then you’ve got Miller, Abdelkader and Tootoo on the fourth line.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/26/13 at 03:46 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Sorry George, I think I prefer Kent “Popcorn” Huskins.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 01/26/13 at 05:31 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

“The Wings need a puck-rushing veteran defenceman who can skate well and pass and shoot extremely well, not a more physical version of Kyle Quincey.”

Geez ... that description sounds an awful lot like ... ummmm ... Wade Redden ??

Either the guy has lost a step or 2 in the last few years or Renney said some awful things about him. Any other year, he woulda been a Red Wing based on just his experience.

Heres hoping he has a great season with St. Louis just like Souray did with Dallas last season.

Yeah ... I’m still pissed about that ... 2 shots at Souray and they passed.

I doubt we’d be complaining as much about our D if it looked like this:

Kronwall - Souray
Redden - Smith
White - Ericsson/Kindl

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 01/26/13 at 08:15 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

So what does Wade Redden do in his 2nd game back ??
He scores a goal !!!
20+ shifts per game ... 17 mins.+ per game ... geeeee I wish we had an experienced Dman like that.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 01/27/13 at 01:37 AM 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.