The Malik Report
by George Malik on 09/26/13 at 11:32 AM ET
Updated 6x at 4:17 PM:The Wings recalled Tomas Jurco and Luke Glendening and demoted Riley Sheahan and Teemu Pulkkinen: The Red Wings received some good news at practice, as previously noted...
And they entertained visitors as well...
No Tootoo or Kindl as of yet...Never mind!
He filed a report about the Wings' second line of Daniel Alfredsson (groin), Stephen Weiss and Johan Franzen...
“I would love to play a couple more,” Alfredsson said. “But it is what it is and you got to be smart, especially now when you have the time but I’m hoping to play Friday and get a game in here before we start for real.”
Franzen missed some time with a hip flexor.
“We’re looking to get just get the first one,” Weiss said. “It is what it is this time of the year, guys go down with stuff and they work other guys into the lineup and kind of work with what you’ve got. For me it’s been kind of tough cause I’ve had new guys every night and working with that has been a bit of a challenge, but hopefully tomorrow we can that line together and try to at least get one game in before we get going for real here,” Weiss added.
Babcock would love to dress an “NHL lineup” for Friday’s home preseason game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“When you play eight exhibition games, your lineup is spread out big time,” Babcock said. “You have to just to keep guys alive. Obviously we dressed a pretty good lineup there in Boston, that happened because a few guys got dinged and we had to move a few guys around. Since that time I’ve had full intention to … Pittsburgh came here with an NHL team and wanted to play an NHL team. And they got here, maybe they got something out of it, but they would have got way more out of it had they played against an NHL team.
“I don’t know what to do about that,” Babcock continued. “We can play two less exhibition games and we can have more guys in the lineup or we can continue to do what we’ve done and that’s the way it is.”
And Pleiness also took note of the HBO 24/7 crew's presence:
“I really liked (the show), it was pretty cool,” Brendan Smith said. “What I’ve told people is it’s interesting to see some of these tough guys or goons or chippy kind of players and then they’re kind of soft hearted sweethearts back home with their families. It’s cool to see other people’s sides and what they’re like on different teams and how they hold themselves, so it’s a pretty cool experience and it’ll be cool for people to see what our team is like.”
Wings coach Mike Babcock isn’t a big fan, but he’ll do his part.
“I just know my kids, I remember a few years back, thought it was awesome,” Babcock said. “To be honest with you I can go without it totally, but doesn’t have anything to do with me. I’m just hoping someone else is first star.”
Babcock recalled players tending to shy away during the taping of Nicklas Lidstrom 360.
“No one would go near him,” Babcock said. “I assume since these guys are around here for so long you become immune to it a little bit. Obviously, just like in your own life do you want everything on TV or YouTube, or is there anything you do that you don’t want it to be (broadcast). It’s the same for these guys. That’s part of promoting the sport so they feel it’s a good thing for the sport.”
Update #2: Here's MLive's Ansar Khan's practice report:
Forward Justin Abdelkader practiced today, one day after needing just two stitches to close a cut in his left index finger, sustained during a fight with Pittsburgh's Robert Bortuzzo late in Wednesday's game.
“Nothing big. I should be fine,'' Abdelkader said. “Holding the stick can be tough, it's on my bottom hand. Trainers did a good job of patching it up, protecting it.''
Right wing Daniel Alfredsson (groin) returned to practice after staying off the ice on Wednesday.
“It's pretty good,'' Alfredsson said. “I felt pretty good after the practice (Tuesday) but wasn't really as good the next day as I was hoping, so precautionary. Good skate today. Skate tomorrow morning and go from there, but I'm hopeful of playing tomorrow.''
Defenseman Brendan Smith left practice a little early favoring his left leg following a collision with Gustav Nyquist, but said he'll be available for Friday.
“Went into the boards a little bit, but nothing crazy, so I'm OK,'' Smith said.
Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (groin) skated today after staying off the ice for a day. His status will be determined in the morning.
Update #3.5: The Hockey News's Adam Proteau also weighed in on the Wings' status while ranking each and every one of the NHL's 30 teams:
4. Detroit. For me, there’s not much difference between the Senators, Red Wings and Rangers in that they all have some strengths necessary for a deep playoff run – as well as the potential to finish second or third in their division thanks to at least one question mark. The Wings have an imposing top-six forward group, but they’re awfully old and their defense as currently constructed hasn’t proven they’re completely over Nicklas Lidstrom. Remember, Detroit finished seventh in the West last season and could’ve missed the playoffs in an 82-game season; they’re in an easier conference now, but that doesn’t mean they’re assured a spot at the top.
Yes, awfully old. Terriibly terribly old.
Update #3.75: Hockey Prospectus' Ryan Wagman ranks Jimmy Howard as the NHL's 6th-best goalie in an Insider-only article:
6. Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings
2013-14 projection: 58 games | .914 save percentage | 12.3 GVT
The proud recipient of a new six-year contract with an annual cap hit of more than $5 million, Howard is still expected to do more to earn his salary than most of the nine goalies making bigger bucks. Although not young at 29 years old, the former Maine Black Bear has gradually improved his production every campaign since a slight sophomore slump three seasons ago.
Among the front-runners for one of the three coveted spots on the 2014 U.S. Olympic team, Howard is justifiably praised for his consistency. Over the past two seasons, his rate numbers have been nearly identical, although his GVT was held back by below-average production in shootouts. Considering his past successes in the skills competition, we should expect that to be a short-season blip and for Howard to put together another fine season in net for the Red Wings.
Update #4: NOOOOOOOOOOO!!
Mike Babcock said DeKeyser "bumped his knee" in a play Wednesday against Pittsburgh.
"I don't think it's very serious, but we'll see," Babcock said.
Smith said he was just fine after he was driven into the end boards during a drill, remained on the ice for a moment and then flexed his leg considerably, before returning immediately to the drill.
"They're all, ‘We'll see,’” Babcock said about their playing status. "If we were playing a regular-season game, I assume they're playing. But we'll see what happens."
Babcock and the several of the players spoke about a stretch of poorly-played games, since the Red Wings trounced the Bruins 8-2 one week ago. None were overly concerned, and most chalked it up to the general preseason experience and the fact that lineups can be so uneven, from game to game.
"When you play eight exhibition games, your lineup is spread out, big time," Babcock said. "You have to just try to keep guys alive. And, obviously, we dressed a pretty good lineup that night in Boston. It's just that that happened while a few guys got dinged, so we had to move guys around.
"PIttsburgh came here with an NHL team and they wanted to play an NHL team -- and maybe they got something out of it -- but they would have got a lot more out of it, if they played an NHL team," he said, referring to the two lineups the Penguins and Red Wings skated, Wednesday, in an ugly 5-1 loss. "And, so, I don't know what to do about that. We could play two less exhibition games and we can have more guys in the lineup, or we can do what we've done. And that's the way it is."
Update #6: FYI:
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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.