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Red Wings Wednesday practice post: Eaves, Helm skate; Tootoo good to go; Howard’s ‘pink’ mask

Updated 5x at 3:34 PM: The Red Wings returned to work this morning after a welcome "off day" on Tuesday, preparing to play four games over the course of six nights, starting with Tomorrow's tilt against Phoenix (7:30 PM, FSD/97.1 FM) and continuing with games against Philadelphia (7 PM on Saturday the 12th), Boston (1 PM on Monday the 14th) and Columbus (7 PM on Tuesday the 15th), as well as a quick trip out West (to Colorado on Thursday the 17th and Phoenix on Saturday the 19th)...

And as you know by now, the Wings have a significant to-do list to work on, including getting the 3rd line going and jump-starting the team's moribund power play.

We'll begin with some historical notes...

It's apparently a busy day at JLA...

3,200 smoke detectors plus $22,800...

All present and accounted for?

For the record, in Sweden, AIK Stockholm's struggling, and while this is garbled Google-translated Swedish, Expressen's Henrik Sjoberg reports that Mattias Janmark's speaking out:

- We can not be a team that gives away three points to opponents at home, it is unsustainable in the end. You know yourself how nice it is away from home when the home team stops playing and you basically get three points. It happens far too often for us here at home, says AIK's Mattias Janmark.

Was it you who did the talking players or coaches?

- The leaders were also there and talked but today it was more players we talked. The sheep did not look like it did today and everyone needs to know why it is so for us to work on.

And now, back to your regularly-scheduled practice Tweets:

LTIR = 10 games + 24 days missed. Maybe he's going to Grand Rapids for a conditioning stint?

This is a "roll call" Tweet:

Via RedWingsFeed, this is quite the "throwback" video...

This ain't bad, either:


We'll have to figure out what's going on here...

Very cool:

Howard's definitely embracing the pink:

The Wings are also holding a game in which they'll partner with the Van Andel Institute on October 26th.

Clarification time:

RedWingsFeed noted this yesterday, and Puck Daddy pointed it out today: a website called Shift Chart has launched recently, and they're on Twitter as well. This website is AWESOME because they've restored the old "shift charts" that NHL.com's game stats used to include as part of their stats package.

As such, they're providing visual representations of players' time on ice--as well as who the players played against--and it's a breath of fresh air to see this kind of visually-based summation of who's-playing-when and who's-playing-against-whom back in the mix again.

And a beer, in a tree?

More helmet pics:


Rut Roh:

That complicates things...Significantly. Emmerton to Grand Rapids? Tootoo to Grand Rapids for a conditioning stint?

At least the Wings have already been accommodating his cap hit...And...

When Eaves is good to go, that's when things get messy. Gustavsson and Mrazek will be swapped out. Eaves coming back = problems. Ditto for Helm.

Update #0.5: For the record, the Phoenix Coyotes lost 6-1 to the Islanders on Tuesday, so they'll be coming into Detroit "fresh," but Phoenix and Philly play in Philadelphia on Friday, so the Wings will catch the Flyers on the back half of back-to-backs.

Update #0.75:

Update #1: No surprise here:

Update #2: The Coyotes are in town...

And here's the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness's practice report, noting that Jordin Tootoo is good to go...

“Cleared to play, as far as medically wise, I feel I’m in the right state to get back at ‘er,” Tootoo said. “Right now it’s just about maintaining my strength and making sure every day I come to be ready, both mentally and physically.”

Tootoo will have an uphill battle to get in the lineup with the number of forwards in the Wings locker room.

“Like I said before, my job is to play hockey when I’m called upon,” Tootoo said. “For me it’s one day at a time. Just enjoying every bit of it. This is the greatest league to be in and when you’re around the greatest hockey players in the world, life is good. I’m just glad to be part of this whole organization and for me I’m ready to go when called upon.”

Wings coach Mike Babcock said Mikael Samuelsson will return to the lineup Thursday at home against the Phoenix Coyotes after sitting out Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Boston. Tomas Tatar will be a healthy scratch.

The Coyotes have lost two straight coming in after winning their opener. They’ve been outscored 10-2 over the last two games.

“Well I watched them these last two games and they didn’t play as good as they can,” Babcock said. “Well we just lost too. We’ve had a few days off, we should be refreshed and ready to go. They’re a good hockey team and a proud team and they’re going to respond and we’re going to respond as well. It should be a good game.”

The Coyotes are the first team from the Western Conference they’ll face this season.

“Every time we play Phoenix it’s a very hard-fought game,” Jimmy Howard said. “They’re so well-coached, they play their systems so well. If you’re going to beat them you have to beat them with all aspects of your game.”


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

“I feel I’m in the right state to get back at ‘er,’’ Tootoo said. “Right now it’s just about maintaining my strength and making sure every day I come to the rink I’m ready, both mentally and physically.’’

Coach Mike Babcock said the only lineup change for Thursday’s game against Phoenix (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit) will be on the fourth line, where Mikael Samuelsson replaced Tomas Tatar. Tootoo brings a different dimension with his physical game and willingness to fight.

“My job is to play hockey when I’m called upon,’’ Tootoo said. “For me it’s one day at a time. Just enjoying every bit of it. This is the greatest league to be in and when you’re around the greatest hockey players in the world, life is good. I’m just glad to be part of this whole organization.’’

The Red Wings don’t need to make a roster move or clear salary-cap space to activate Tootoo because forwards Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves are on lone-term injured reserve.

Eaves (sprained MCL and ankle) skated with the team on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in practice on Sept. 19. But he was on the ice for only half the practice. Players on LTIR must sit out a minimum of 10 games.


Update #4: The Free Press's Helene St. James filed a practice report...

Baseball, birthdays, the color pink. The Detroit Red Wings were in a mood matching the sunny day as they returned to work today.

It was captain Henrik Zetterberg's 33rd birthday, and while former teammate Kris Draper, he of the patented shaving cream-surprise towel hijinks — is now a dignified member of the front office, Zetterberg was still on alert. He would only talk with his back against a stall.

The Wings have had an unusually leisurely week, thanks to a schedule that has the next game Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes, a seeming lifetime since Saturday's game in Boston.

The only changes coming for the game are on the fourth line, where coach Mike Babcock will reinsert Mikael Samuelsson after scratching him in the Bruins game to make room Tomas Tatar. Jordin Tootoo, who has been on injured reserve with a bruised shoulder, said he's cleared to play.

On Saturday, the Wings host the Philadelphia Flyers, which is where the color pink comes in. Goalie Jimmy Howard used today’s practice to debut the helmet he will wear, which will be auctioned off later to benefit local cancer organizations. Howard's helmet is highlight by a giant pink ribbon, symbol of breast cancer awareness. Howard also will wear a pink glove and blocker, but isn't sure whether he'll have time to break in pads.

As well as a 2-minute video of the Wings speaking about the Tigers...

And the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan ignored hockey altogether:

"It was a blast," said Howard of the epic baseball game. "It's fun being just a fan and sitting there and cheering, and not being in that situation. That game was awesome to be part of. It was amazing to watch (Max) Scherzer pitch out of that (bases loaded) jam in the eighth."

Zetterberg didn't understand baseball when he first came to North America but now considers himself a fan.

"I enjoy it a lot, especially this time of year it's fun to watch," said Zetterberg, who attended both Games 3 and 4. "It took me a few years, but now I'm really getting it. I really like going to the park and watching the games and spending time with friends. Anything can happen. You can be up five or six runs and suddenly it can be tied. The playoffs are so tight."

Everyone agreed it's a lot more difficult watching these types of games than participating.

"Way more nervous to watch them than to coach us," coach Mike Babcock said. "It was exciting stuff. Attitude is contagious, work ethic is contagious, hitting is contagious and scoring is contagious. Once they got a couple of hits and the guys got confidence, it's exactly the same as our game. It's the same thing. You get going and you get the feeling and you have some swagger back.
"That's what I'm watching. They're all the same, a bunch of guys competing and the other team is competing, too."

It was a lot easier, said Howard, goaltending Game 7 against Chicago last spring in the playoffs.

"When you're out there, not much is going through your mind," he said. "Speaking for myself, when I'm out there I just play and whatever happens, happens. I don't know what mindframe they took into the game, but I'm sure they weren't thinking anything other than going out and playing baseball."

Update #4.5:

Update #5: MLive's Ansar Khan took note of Jimmy Howard's equipment:

Howard will don a mask that features large pink ribbons in recognition of breast cancer awareness month. His blocker and glove also will be accented in pink. His new pink and white pads haven’t arrived yet, however, so he doubts he’ll be able to break them in in time for the game against the Flyers at Joe Louis Arena.

“My way to try and help out,’’ Howard said. “There have been women I’ve known that have been (affected by the disease), so it means a lot to be able to do something like this.’’

Howard said he is planning to wear the pink equipment in two games this month, though not in Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Joe (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Detroit).

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


J.J. from Kansas's avatar

yeah I forgot Gustavsson was still on IR when I figured on Tootoo.

The 22nd will be the first day of vast interest, since Eaves and Helm can’t return from IR until that day (because it’s just after the 10th game of the season).

Until then, the Wings are set on their moves.  If Gustavsson comes back before then, Mrazek will be sent down to make roster room.  Either way they’re set cap-wise until the LTIR stuff happens.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/09/13 at 12:36 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

We’ll have to see how things roll on the 22nd. That’s when the Griffins’ schedule finally picks up (they play 3 games in 3 nights and then have a heavy schedule at the end of October: http://www.griffinshockey.com/tickets/schedule/) so sending Eaves down might not be a bad idea.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/09/13 at 12:40 PM ET

Crater's avatar

jump-starting the team’s moribund power play.

Few more seasons of saying that and it will be the storyline of the decade.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 10/09/13 at 12:43 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen.  All things considered with his injury history and where most teams are right now, Eaves could probably clear waivers. With the $925K they clear when that happens, they’ll get enough cap benefit for that to work.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 10/09/13 at 12:43 PM ET

journohoff's avatar


Have you ever considered just using Storify to assemble all the tweets you use for your blog posts? The endless stream of tweets is typically pretty redundant and it would provide a better reading experience, in my opinion.

Posted by journohoff from Detroit, MI on 10/09/13 at 02:35 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I know there’s some redundancy but I am trying to keep it to a minimum after “roll call”...And not sure how much Storify *costs.*

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/09/13 at 02:46 PM ET

journohoff's avatar

It’s free! And super easy to use. Check it: https://storify.com/plans

Posted by journohoff from Detroit, MI on 10/09/13 at 02:52 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Paul’s format is the one I follow…I will have to ask him.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/09/13 at 03:27 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.