Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings-Senators game-day updates: Alfredsson, Weiss remain out for Wings

Updated 11x at 3:59 PM: The Detroit Red Wings snapped a 7-game losing streak when the Nyquist-powered Wings defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Thursday night, a.k.a. "Influenza Night at the Joe" (given that Jimmy Howard and Brian Lashoff succumbed to the flu prior to and during the game, respectively), and the Wings will battle Daniel Alfredsson's former employer this evening (7 PM EST, FSD/CBC in Windsor/1270 AM) hoping to sustain a winning track...

But the Wings will be collecting cold-weather clothing and distributing Alfredsson bobbleheads minus #11 himself. So the main event in terms of media coverage will--barring some sort of morning skate miracle--have to wait until the Wings and Alfredsson head to Ottawa on Monday, December 1st.

The Wings are kicking off a slate of back-to-backs, with the Senators visiting the Joe tonight and the Sabres hosting the Wings tomorrow (a 5 PM start), and the Wings will have a pair of "off days" prior to a big barometer game against the Sabres on Thanksgiving Eve, but we're at a point where the Wings have to earn a win and at least another "one-point victory" over the next two games for the 10-6-and-7 Wings to be doing anything more than skating uphill going into American Thanksgiving.

All of that being said, tonight's about proving that the Wings' 6-1 loss to Ottawa a month ago was an anomaly and not "the new normal" that we've all become far too accustomed to and annoyed with over the course of the past three weeks.

The Senators are coming off a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday, and Ottawa's lost 3 straight and 4 of their past 5 games; the Wings, as you already know, snapped an 0-2-and-5 slate of mostly OT and shootout losses and an 8-game home losing streak when they won a slightly sloppy 4-3 decision over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

Yesterday we were told that a) the lines are in flux depending on whether Stephen Weiss can return and who's healthy, and b) Nyquist is here to stay, even though the Wings will have to make some sort of move to clear cap space when Danny DeKeyser returns from his separated shoulder in 3-6 weeks.

The Ottawa Citizen's Wayne Scanlan was the first scribe to peer in upon the morning skate...

Red Wings at their morning skate. http://pic.twitter.com/D1bhrbdchK

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They've won a few titles at the Joe. http://pic.twitter.com/tymgfrolQ1

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Alfredsson is on the ice for optional skate. #11 http://pic.twitter.com/fHZ20n1AKs

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Alfredsson moving well on the ice but is not expected to play vs Sens tonight. #wings

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Detroit G Jimmy Howard will start vs Sens against . . We will know soon.

The Senators "arrived early," too:

The #Sens have arrived at the Joe! Neiler is prepping the lumber for tonight's game vs Red Wings http://t.co/9ObrH1834B

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Some of the guys are out on the bench doing a little homework during the Wings' morning skate. instagram.com/p/hD_2H8I-l3/

I would know more faster regarding the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch's Tweets if we could "make up," but he's blocked me and won't unblock me:

Senators are on the ice at 1130. #Sens

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The Wings are filtering onto the ice for their 10:30 AM skate. #Sens

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Wings having an optional. #Sens http://pic.twitter.com/g05mlkR3Hg

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Expect to see Jimmy Howard here tonight vs. #Sens. Daniel Alfredsson will likely play Wednesday. #Sens

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They celebrate champions here #Sens http://pic.twitter.com/pDvEMgqu6O

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Alfredsson was on the ice here for optional skate with Wings, Yes. #Sens #Wings

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Jimmy Howard says he has already put the last loss to Senators out of his mind. #Sens

Via the Red Wings, this is a *wee bit* ironic:

Fun Fact: 86 years ago today, the Detroit Cougars played their first game at Olympia Stadium; oddly enough, against the Ottawa Senators.

The Wings' Game-Day Blog also sets up tonight's game as follows...

Wings Look to Start New Streak Against Sens

Detroit got the monkey off its back by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena. Newly-recalled forward Gustav Nyquist led the way with a pair of goals, including the game-winner with 4:02 left in the third. The 24-year old Swedish forward, called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday, might be the spark the Red Wings need.

"He was a big factor in this game," captain Henrik Zetterberg said of Nyquist. "He comes in right away and scores on his first shift and he creates a lot of speed and energy. And it looks like he's got confidence."

Tonight, the Wings will look to keep the ball rolling against the Senators.

And it offers Ken Kal's Keys to the Game:

RAM Keys to the Game with Ken Kal

Win Faceoff Battle - Gain possession of the puck off the draw. Gather the puck, dictate the tempo and control the play.

Get Shots to the Net - The Wings had 47 shots last game, 40 percent coming from the D-Men. Continue that same pace tonight and get shots through.

Get Balanced Scoring - All four lines need to contribute. Bear down on scoring chances and try to capitalize on chances.

Meanwhile in Buffalo, from Buffalo Hockey Beat's Bill Hoppe...

John Scott practicing with D today. Could be out against Detroit. #Sabres

Post-morning skate stuff from Scanlan...

Wings coach Mike Babcock on the Sens 6-1 win last time. "Everything they shot went in the net."

And Garrioch:

Jimmy Howard says he has already put the last loss to Senators out of his mind. #Sens

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Mike Babcock says he can't assure people Alfredsson will play next Sunday. #Sens

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Alfredsson and Weiss have sent word to the coach they are ready. Neither will play tonight vs. Ottawa. #Sens #Wings.

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Babcock says "it was nice of Paul MacLean" to call off the dogs in the last game. #Sens

Not surprisingly, the CBC took note of Alfredsson's probable absence...

Alfredsson, who left Ottawa after 17 seasons as the franchise's all-time leading scorer to sign with Detroit (10-6-7) in July, recorded two shots but no points during the Red Wings' 6-1 home loss to the Senators on Oct. 23.

Even with Detroit honouring Alfredsson with his own bobblehead night Saturday, it appears a groin injury will keep him out of action. Though Alfredsson is skating, he's not likely to return for about a week, meaning he could play when the Red Wings visit Ottawa on Dec. 1.

He's third on the team with 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in 19 games.

Forward Stephen Weiss, who signed with the Red Wings during the off-season, also is dealing with a groin injury that could keep him out of a seventh straight contest.

Detroit, meanwhile, looks to keep heading in a positive direction after snapping an 0-2-5 slide with a 4-3 win over Carolina on Thursday.

"Obviously we needed the win," said coach Mike Babcock, whose team lost twice in overtime and three times in a shootout during the skid. "It was a good win for us. There were a lot of positives."

Called up earlier in the day from the team's AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, Gustav Nyquist scored twice in his season debut. One of Detroit's best forwards during training camp, Nyquist started the season in the AHL because of salary cap reasons but could stick with the team after defenceman Danny DeKeyser suffered a shoulder injury during Tuesday's 2-0 loss to Nashville.

And the Ottawa Citizen's Graeme Nichols penned a set of "Gameday Preview" storylines:

Riding a three game losing streak in which they’ve allowed four goals in each of their losses, the Ottawa Senators arrive in the Motor City. It was here where the Senators enjoyed their best 60 minute effort this season – a 6-1 victory on Oct. 23.

Conspicuously absent from Detroit’s lineup will be former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. Including tonight’s game, he will miss his fifth straight game due to a groin injury. It is expected that he will make his highly anticipated return to the lineup for his Dec. 1 return to Ottawa, however.

Thriving in his place was prospect Gustav Nyquist. The highly touted fourth-round pick from the 2008 draft (121st overall) scored two goals in his season debut and helped Detroit end its seven-game losing streak (0-2-5) on Thursday versus Carolina. For those unaware, it was widely held at the end of the preseason that Nyquist had earned a roster spot based on the strength of his play, but because of cap constraints, he was returned to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins (where he tallied 7 goals and 21 points in 15 games).

The biggest news coming out of yesterday’s morning practice is another shuffling of the lines:

MacArthur-Turris-Ryan

Michalek-Spezza-Zibanejad

Conacher-Smith-Neil

Greening-Grant-Condra

Methot-Karlsson

Cowen-Wiercioch

Phillips-Borowiecki

The starting goaltender has not been named, however, it’s expected that Craig Anderson will get the nod.

Should the Senators drop a fourth consecutive game, expect changes. Bryan Murray has aggressively been working the phones, but at the very least, the Sens could see some bodies move between Binghamton and the parent club.

And then the Senators' skate got underway...

The #Sens are taking to the ice at the Joe - morning skate is getting underway. http://instagram.com/p/hEFT9OI-gM/

The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa confirmed the statuses of the Wings' injured forwards:

after red wings morning, pre-game skate, babcock says alfredsson and weiss both came in and said they are ready to play... 1/2

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2/2 after groin injuries. not in lineup today. ruled out earlier for saturday, babcock now says, "we'll see."

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asked by ottawa media to promise senators fans alfredsson will be in lineup dec. 1 in ottawa, babcock said, "i can't do that for you."

Update #0.5: Here's more from Krupa...

clearly to play with datysuk and bertuzzi, again, tonight.... 1/3.

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asked about cleary's slump, babcock said, "... not enough. the bottom line is confidence is a tough thing in this league." 2/3

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3/3. asked to assess his confidence, good or bad, cleary said, "about in the middle."

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btw, it is pretty clear alfredsson will be back by a week from tomorrow, if not sooner. babcock response more about "promise," than alfie.

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senators in game mornings warm-up now. game at 7 p.m.

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hockey night in canada crew here. much buzz across the river, of course, about the olympics in 11 weeks, and babcock's major role,

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gustav nyquist remains on line with zetterberg and franzen, tonight, for obvious reasons. blooming of "the swedish connection?"

And MLive's Ansar Khan:

Same lines and D pairs for Wings tonight as last game: 71-13-44, 14-40-93, 21-43-8, 20-18-37; 52-55, 27-2, 23-4. Howard in goal.

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Babcock didn't rule out possibility of Alfredsson and/or Weiss playing tomorrow. Wednesday for sure.

And here's a bit from Scanlan...

Had a good chat with Alfie. He could return to Wings lineup for Sunday, but Wednesday, latest.

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Alfredsson's injury is his left groin and not related to the training camp injury. "That was more of a back," he said.

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Alfredsson's entire family will be in Ottawa for the weekend of Dec. 1 game. "It's Thanksgiving so the kids have a few days off school."

And Garrioch:

Alfredsson says he will play Wednesday for sure. Maybe tomorrow. #Sens

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Anderson is in the Senators end for what that is worth. #Sens

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Alfredsson said he wanted to play tonight "given what happened last time." #Sens

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Lehner out at skate here #Sens http://pic.twitter.com/mhRZ9vE6ML

Update #0.75: Scanlan's posting the Senators' lines...

Expected lines/pairings for Sens tonight: 16-7-6; 9-19-93; 89-15-25; 14-57-22; 65-3; 2-46; 4-74

As is Garrioch...Sort of:

There was no change to the lines from yesterday: Michalek-Spezza-Zibanejad;

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Senators AM skate is over after 15 minutes. #Sens

Update #1: I guess it's Robin Lehner vs. Howard, per Scanlan...

Lehner first off.

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Looks like Lehner vs Howard tonight.

And Garrioch:

Lehner is the first goalie off the ice. #Sens

Update #2: The Free Press's Helene St. James focuses on Daniel Cleary in her game-day article:

Cleary has three points after 22 games, as bad a stretch he’s gone through since joining the Wings in 2005. His one goal dates back six weeks.

“It’s not enough,” coach Mike Babcock said. “The bottom line though, is confidence is a tough thing in the league. We’re hoping ideally that playing him with Pav might help him. Pav is a pretty good player. We need Pav to be going big-time for us to have success, and helping him is probably more important in someways that helping Cleary, but that’s our thought process right now.”

Todd Bertuzzi is on the other wing.

Cleary’s slump stands out especially in light of how he came to stay with the Wings. He rejected two- and three-year offers in June, went unsigned as training camp neared, then had a verbal agreement on three-year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers on the even of camp. Cleary didn’t want to leave the Wings, though, so he made a last-ditch pitch to Babcock and general manager Ken Holland, ultimately resulting in a one-year deal worth $1.75 million.

One of the consequences of that event was the Wings having so many forwards, Gustav Nyquist was sent to the minors to relieve the log jam. Nyquist was called up Thursday, scored twice, and is up for good. He’ll be back with Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen tonight. The fact that Cleary has struggled to produce stands out all the more in contrast.

“You want to score and provide offense,” Cleary said. “Got to go do it. You’ve just got to be good defensively and do the little things, and believe your game will come out of it.”

It doesn’t get much sweeter for a winger than playing with Datsyuk, a gifted and skilled a player as there is in hockey. A winger is guaranteed to get some sweet passes, and solid scoring opportunities.

“Playing with Pavel, you’re very lucky,” Cleary said. “He’s a great player, and you’ve got to try to get open and go to the net. He’s very creative.”

 

Update #1.5: DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose confirms the goalie match-up...

Robin Lehner will start in goal tonight for @Senators. Only other start vs. #RedWings came in game when Johan Franzen scored five goals.

And here's more from Garrioch:

Appears Corvo and Gryba will be out tonight vs. the Wings. #Sens

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Anderson says he expects to play tomorrow. #Sens

Update #1.75: I know how they feel, per FSD's John Keating:

Wings healthier.  Howard & Lashoff back in tonite as they meet a Sens team which has lost 3 straight.RWLive@ 6:30-FSD http://pic.twitter.com/MQkfYTAl8Z

And the goaltending match-up is official, per the Senators:

#Sens coach MacLean informs the media that @RobinLehner will start in goal tonight against Detroit. No other lineup changes for Ottawa.

Update #2: From the Red Wings' Game Day Blog:

Jimmy Howard will be back between the pipes tonight.

Gustav Nyquist will be up with the big club from now on.

"(Nyquist) gave our team a boost. Our confidence needed a little boost and 17 seconds into the game Gustav Nyquist scored a goal, so it was great for our team, great for Gus and then he scored another goal."- Ken Holland

"(Gustav) is confident and poised with the puck. He’s quick and makes good plays. Playing with Z and Franzen he fit in extremely well. He made plays and found open spots. You could tell he was excited. Playing the way he did he brought energy and made plays."-Daniel Alfredsson

Daniel Alfredsson is out tonight with a groin injury, but hopefully will be back Wednesday.

Stephen Weiss is doubtful with a groin injury of his own, but may be back tomorrow or Wednesday.

Update #3: Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's game-day update:

“They embarrassed us last time they were here,’’ Howard said. “I think that’s in the back of everyone’s mind. Now that we got the one win under our belts everyone’s going to be able to breathe better out there and I think you’re going to see a lot different team from here on out.’’

The Red Wings snapped a seven-game winless streak overall and eight-game home skid with a 4-3 win over Carolina on Thursday. The Senators (8-10-4) have lost three in a row and have gone 4-7-2 since beating the Red Wings.

“Last time they came in here, every time they shot the puck it went in the net,’’ Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “As I got through the game, at one point we were down 4-1 and the shots were 19-12, and we had 19. But every time they shot it it went in. They beat us badly. It was an embarrassing night for us. The game was way too long. (Ottawa coach) Paul MacLean called off the dogs about halfway through the third period. Not that the fourth line isn’t good on the power play but it was kind of him to do so.’’

The Red Wings hope Thursday’s win enables that to breathe a little.

“It just loosens you up, but in reality pressure means you have a chance,’’ Babcock said. “When you don’t have any pressure you have no chance to win. We like pressure. In saying that, it was obvious we were starting to squeeze our sticks. It’s a step in the right direction."

Said Howard: “It had been a while since we won at home; you could almost see the pressure come off everyone. Now you’re going to see us just get back to playing hockey.’’

Howard is back in goal after serving as the backup on Thursday due to the flu. Forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss remain out with groin injuries but are getting closer. Babcock didn’t rule out either for Sunday’s game at Buffalo, but they should return no later than Wednesday at home vs. Boston.

“(Alfredsson) and Weiss let our coaching staff know yesterday that they were ready to go, so we’ll see,’’ Babcock said.


Update #4: Here's Bruce Garrioch's game-day update:

There will be no Daniel Alfredsson Saturday night against his former team. Though the Senators former captain wanted to be in the lineup against Ottawa his injured groin isn’t strong enough to allow him to play, but he should be back in time to make his homecoming next Sunday at Canadian Tire Centre.

Alfredsson said he expects to return to the Wings lineup Wednesday.

"They want to make sure it doesn’t become (a long-term issue),” said Alfredsson Saturday. “I wasn’t kind of targeting today. I agreed to it. You’ve got to be smart.”

The Senators won’t make any changes.

Goaltender Robin Lehner will make the start. He has never had the chance to play at Joe Louis Arena.

“I’m always happy when I get to play a good team. As I said before we’re desperate and need some wins,” said Lehner. “It’s a good team. They work hard and they’re very skilled. It’s a great building. It’s one of these teams you want to play growing up and Detroit is one of these teams you want to beat.”

Craig Anderson said he didn’t have any confirmation but he expects to play Sunday vs. the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh. Coach Paul MacLean said with back-to-backs that “alternating” the goalies was the best course of action.

Update #4.5: Here's the Ottawa Citizen's Wayne Scanlan's game-day update:

Robin Lehner starts in goal for the Senators against the Red Wings, amid talk by head coach Paul MacLean he may start “alternating” his goaltenders. At least in back to back situations, such as the Senators face this weekend with games in Detroit and Carolina.

“We have a number of back to back games and at this point we just feel if we alternate the goalies it gives them both some opportunities to get us some wins.”

That, of course, is a far cry from the “Craig Anderson is our No. 1 goalie” declarations in recent days. Anderson was in goal for Ottawa’s 4-3 home ice loss to Minnesota on Wednesday. Lehner played in the 5-2 loss to Philadelphia and is seeking to avenge his only other start against the Red Wings, when he was just a kid.

“I played them at home in my rookie year, when I was 19 – I got pulled,” Lehner said.

The Senators are looking to recapture the magic of a 6-1 beatdown of the Red Wings on Oct. 23, part of a surprising string of defeats suffered by the home team at the Joe Louis Arena. Prior to that loss, the Red Wings fell 1-0 to San Jose, which began a stretch of eight straight losses on home ice. The Wings did manage to secure overtime or shootout points in six of the eight games.

Detroit finally ended the run with a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday.

Former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson will not be in Detroit’s lineup as he continues to heal a groin injury. He could play as early as Sunday and he is looking forward to returning to Ottawa on Dec. 1. If he returns Wednesday, the game at Canadian Tire Centre could be the 1200th game of Alfredsson’s NHL career.

Update #5: The Senators posted Paul MacLean's morning skate presser in MP3 format...

And at present, St. James' game-day video only works as an MP4.

Update #6: NHL.com estimates the lines for both teams to look as follows:

SENATORS

Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Colin Greening

Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Bobby Ryan

Cory Conacher - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Mika Zibanejad - Derek Grant - Erik Condra

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Jared Cowen - Patrick Wiercioch

Chris Phillips - Mark Borowiecki

Robin Lehner

Craig Anderson

Scratched: Matt Kassian, Eric Gryba, Joe Corvo

RED WINGS

Henrik Zetterberg - Johan Franzen - Gustav Nyquist

Todd Bertuzzi - Pavel Datsyuk - Daniel Cleary

Justin Abdelkader - Darren Helm - Tomas Tatar

Drew Miller - Joakim Andersson - Mikael Samuelsson

Jonathan Ericsson - Niklas Kronwall

Brendan Smith - Kyle Quincey

Jakub Kindl - Brian Lashoff

Jimmy Howard

Jonas Gustavsson

Injured: Daniel Alfredsson (groin), Stephen Weiss (groin), Danny DeKeyser (separated shoulder)

The Senators' game-day blog also offers quips and quotes:

Paul MacLean met with the media after today's morning skate to discuss the lineup and tonight's matchup with the Red Wings. Here's what he had to say...

On tonight's lineup: Robin Lehner's the goalie but the rest of the lineup will stay the same.

On the thought process selecting a goalie:  Well we have lots of discussions within the coaching staff, we do some research on everything, but mostly it just comes down to who we feel gives us the best opportunity to win. Right now we're playing back-to-back games on multiple occasions and at this point we feel that if we just alternate the goalies we'll give them both an opportunity to get us some wins.

On earning a win tonight: I read the other day that they're the most desperate team in hockey they needed a win so bad so it was like, wow, they have lots of wins... I thought that was ours. I think any time you come here to play the Red Wings, no matter how good you're playing or how bad you're playing, it's always a fun night. I think we're looking forward to the opportunity again. We had some success in here last time and all that's going to do is make them a little more prepared for the game and we have to make sure we're ready to play.

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On playing well against top teams: Fear is a pretty good motivator, but when you play some of the elite teams in the league it's always a challenge so you want to make sure you're ready for that game and when you play teams that are even with you I guess sometimes we're a little bit more ho-hum about some of those games, but you know if you're not ready to play here tonight it could get ugly pretty quick.

On moving on without Alfredsson:  We've adjusted just fine, we all have tons of respect for Alfie and the stuff he did in Ottawa, but he's not here. We don't have any concern about him and we're moving along just fine.

Update #7: Here's MacLean on video...

And here's a quick quip from Jason Spezza:

 

Update #8: Here's a bit more about Alfredsson from Garrioch:

There will be no Daniel Alfredsson Saturday night against his former team. Though the Senators former captain wanted to be in the lineup against Ottawa his injured groin isn’t strong enough to allow him to play, but he should be back in time to make his homecoming next Sunday at Canadian Tire Centre.

Alfredsson said he expects to return to the Wings lineup Wednesday.

“They want to make sure it doesn’t become (a long-term issue),” said Alfredsson Saturday. “I wasn’t kind of targeting today. I agreed to it. You’ve got to be smart.”

The Senators won’t make any changes.

Goaltender Robin Lehner will make the start. He has never had the chance to play at Joe Louis Arena.

“I’m always happy when I get to play a good team. As I said before we’re desperate and need some wins,” said Lehner. “It’s a good team. They work hard and they’re very skilled. It’s a great building. It’s one of these teams you want to play growing up and Detroit is one of these teams you want to beat.”

Update #9: Here's DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose's game-day update:

Cleary’s slump predates the Wings’ worst loss of the season. He’s been slumping for more than a month, something he says he’s not experienced in his nine seasons in Detroit. He has one goal and three points in 22 games, but he’s produced just one point in his last 16 games.

“Got to go out and do it.” Cleary said. “You just got to be good defensively, do the little things and we’ve always believed your game will come out of it.”

Cleary knows his confidence isn’t where it needs to be, saying Saturday morning that “It’s in the middle.” By moving Cleary up from the third line, coach Mike Babcock sees an opportunity to help the veteran forward shake out of his offensive recession.

“The bottom line is confidence is a tough thing in the league,” Babcock said. “We’re hoping ideally that playing with Pav might help him. Pav’s a pretty good player and yet we need Pav to be going big-time for us to have success and helping him in some ways is probably more important than helping Cleary. That’s our though process right now. We’ll see what happens.”

In Thursday’s 4-3 victory over Carolina – in the first game that the Red Wings split up Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg – Datsyuk was on the ice for all three of the Hurricanes’ goals and finished with a minus-3 rating. But the win snapped a seven-game winless streak for the Red Wings, who will host a team tonight that has dropped three straight in regulation.

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Being prepared to play along side Datsyuk is a big challenge for Cleary, but also gives him a golden opportunity to snap out of his slump.

“When you play with Pavel, you’re out there a lot more, you also have to get yourself open and be ready to shoot, be ready to go to the net, be ready for the unexpected,” Cleary said. “You have to stay positive, have to stay confident. That’s the only way to get through it.”

Update #10: From the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness, via RedWingsFeed:

“Last time they came in here, every time they shot the puck it went in the net,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “As I got through the game, at one point we were down 4-1 and the shots were 19-12 and we had 19. But every time they shot it went in.

“They had two on the power play,” Babcock continued. “We weren’t good enough. They beat us badly. It was an embarrassing night for us. The game was way too long. Paul MacLean called off the dogs about halfway through the third period. Not that the fourth line isn’t good on the power play but it was kind of him to do so.”

The Wings come in with a bit of confidence after snapping their seven-long seven game winless streak after their 4-3 win over Carolina on Thursday.

“Now that we’ve got the one win under our belts everyone’s going to be able to breathe better out there,” Babcock said. “I think you’re going to see a lot different team from here on out.”

The win also ended an eight-game winless streak on home ice.

“Well, I read the other day that they’re the most desperate team in hockey that they needed a win so bad the other day,” said Ottawa coach Paul MacLean, whose team has lost three in a row. “I was like, ‘Wow! They have lots of wins.’ I thought that was ours. We had some success in here last year (2011-12), all that’s going to do is make them a little more prepared for the game and we have to make sure we’re ready to play.”

Ottawa, which has lost three in a row, has gone 4-7-2 since beating the Wings.

 

Update #11: Here's the Red Wings website's game-day preview...

MLive's Brendan Savage asks fans to name the Wings' starting six Swedes from Thursday...

And Ansar Khan penned a story about Cleary:

"The bottom line is confidence is a tough thing in the league,’’ Babcock said after the morning skate. “We’re hoping ideally that playing with Pav might help him. Pav’s a pretty good player and yet we need Pav to be going big-time for us to have success and helping him in some ways is probably more important than helping Cleary. That’s our thought process right now. We’ll see what happens.’’

The chance to play with Datsyuk or Zetterberg is often referred to inside the room as “winning the lottery,’’ a term Babcock used again on Saturday. The opportunity arose after Babcock split up Datsyuk and Zetterberg prior to Thursday’s game, in an effort to spread the offense.

“Playing with Pavel, you’re very lucky,’’ Cleary said. “Great player. You got to try to go out and get yourself open, go to the net. He’s very creative. When you play with Pavel, you’re out there a lot more; you also have to get yourself open and be ready to shoot, be ready to go to the net, be ready for the unexpected.’’

Cleary is hard-pressed to come up with new explanations for his struggles, which prompted Babcock to make him a healthy scratch for the Nov. 12 game. He has gone 16 games without a goal.

“Got to go out and do it,’’ Cleary said. “You just got to be good defensively, do the little things and we’ve always believed your game will come out of it.’’

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Comments

Avatar

Gustav to the rescue!!!

Posted by ZandPasha11 on 11/23/13 at 12:42 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

RE: the roster dilemma.  I keep hoping Holland will come up with something creative.  I just posted this on the last A2Y thread, but thought I’d post it here as well.  If Sammy and Cleary provide such great “veteran leadership,” couldn’t they be sold on going down to GR to act as player/coaches?  I’m asking this seriously.  Is something like that possible?

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 11/23/13 at 12:59 PM ET

Avatar

I’m actually pretty good with keeping the Helm Tater Abby line together. It did a nice job the other night. The down side is who Dats has to play with. Eventually, Weiss and Alfie will come back and they are upgrades over Dats’ current line mates, even though I think Bert has been pretty good this year. Pushing Bert down to the 4th line and scratching cleary when Weiss and Alfie get back gives the Wings nice options on all 4 lines.

Posted by teldar on 11/23/13 at 01:38 PM ET

SYF's avatar

“They embarrassed us last time they were here,’’ Howard said. “I think that’s in the back of everyone’s mind. Now that we got the one win under our belts everyone’s going to be able to breathe better out there and I think you’re going to see a lot different team from here on out.’’

I’m not holding my breath.  Just play.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 11/23/13 at 02:31 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Ahhhh…third cuppa joe and a hearty serving of Malik.  Let the day begin.

G….Looking pretty BA in the photo! wink

LGRW !!!!!

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, hanging with Dan Cleary.... on 11/23/13 at 02:37 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Mike Babcock said. “The bottom line though, is confidence is a tough thing in the league. We’re hoping ideally that playing him with Pav might help him. Pav is a pretty good player. We need Pav to be going big-time for us to have success, and helping (Pavel) is probably more important in someways (than) helping Cleary...

Let me try to get this straight. Cleary is with Pavel in order to get Cleary going, even though Babcock thinks the most important thing is to get Pavel going. So in spite of watching Cleary do absolutely nothing for 22 games to help anyone get going, he’s still chosen to keep him with Pavel.

...but that’s our thought process right now.”

Um, that’s not a “thought process,” Babs. That’s a perfect example of what Einstein meant when he said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

But at least Babcock does recognize that Pavel “is a pretty good player.” So, even though he is insane, at least he’s not stupid. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/23/13 at 03:14 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Poor Pav.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 11/23/13 at 04:01 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Hey George, a question for you or any other non-ideologue who understands the cap…

I’m just curious about our ACTUAL cap situation in regards to Nyquist. I really don’t care about anyone’s opinions, but rather what actual dollar amount will need to be trimmed once DeKeyser comes back assuming no other injuries. The LTIR relief really confuses me and makes this too complicated. Before DDK went down, it was reported that we would be able to bring up Gus permanently in mid-Jan without trimming salary. So now that DDK is put on LTIR, is that date moved forward in theory? The only reports I’ve read are that no moves will need to be made until DeKeyser comes back, meaning a move would then have to be made (and they are saying for cap space and not simply roster space). I think given Cleary’s versatility and playoff record as well as Miller’s PK abilities, that Sammy is quite obviously the most expendable player in the lineup (again, if you disagree that’s fine, I don’t care right now. I’m just curious about the dollars). I realize we would only get a sliver of Sammy’s salary in cap relief, but my question is simply would that sliver be enough to accommodate Gus? Is there a conclusive answer to this anywhere that anyone can point me to?  Thanks

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 11/23/13 at 04:18 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

You’re asking me a question to which I cannot give you a straight answer. If you plug in *today’s* roster into Capgeek’s Armchair GM feature and add DeKeyser to it, the Wings would be $360,667 over the cap.

If DeKeyser remains on the LTIR for another three weeks, that figure’s going to go down. By how much? I don’t know, because Capgeek doesn’t allow you to move the roster forward to an arbitrary date and determine how LTIR credits matriculate over time.

The rules as far as I understand them state that no moves have to be made until DeKeyser comes off the LTIR, at which point the Wings would have to make a move. *At this point* it appears that the salary that needs to be moved would be over the $100,000 in cap relief that waiving Samuelsson would bring.

That’s my best guess and that’s all I can give you. We are dealing with salary cap calculus here, not straight math.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/23/13 at 04:56 PM ET

Avatar

A guy on LTIR only allows a team to exceed the cap by at most the LTIR’d guys salary to replace him,  A guy on LTIR does not, in any way, add accumulated cap space to a team.

When Dekeyser returns the Wings will have to move dollar for dollar cap space in order to re-integrate him into the roster.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/23/13 at 05:52 PM ET

perfection's avatar

that can’t possibly be the case if we were previously able to bring up Gus in Jan due to accumulation of players on LTIR, which was reported by media, no? Otherwise, we’d simply not be able to bring him up all season regardless of who got injured. Clearly, as George said, there is calculus involved and it’s not nearly as simple as you are portraying

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 11/23/13 at 06:42 PM ET

Avatar

just thinking outside the box a little:

Here in Tampa with Stamkos out & StevieY talking about bringing some veteran leadership AND not giving up kids to do.

Could we package Sammy ($3M) and Cleary ($1.75M) for Ryan Malone ($4.5M)?

Tampa gets 2x vets to balance their kid-heavy line-up & gets rid of Malone (2 years remaining at $4.5M but some nights plays on their 4th line.) 

Even if we can’t really get than much out of Malone, he is a big body & this deal helps alleviate the logjam among the forwards.

Maybe each side adds a “disappointing” young player to keep it “interesting.”

Posted by vfsvfl on 11/23/13 at 09:18 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/23/13 at 04:52 PM ET

Wow. After that statement I felt myself go into the fetal position.

Anyone else?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 11/24/13 at 12:49 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.