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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Blue Jackets game-day updates: Lidstrom won’t play tonight

Updated 10x with pre-game video at 5:57 PM: As the Detroit Red Wings prepare to tangle with the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening (7 PM EST, FSD Plus/FS Ohio/WXYT), the Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that the Wings will play particularly shorthanded—sans Jonathan Ericsson (wrist), Pavel Datsyuk (knee), Kyle Quincey (groin) and now Nicklas Lidstrom, whose ankle remains sore after being hit by a puck last Saturday:

Quick update from Nationwide Arena: Nicklas Lidstrom is out tonight for the Detroit Red Wings.

The Wings take on the Blue Jackets at 7 tonight (FSD+). Lidstrom will miss the game because of a bruised ankle suffered when he was hit by a puck Saturday, general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press.

Doug Janik has been called up to flesh out the lineup. The Wings also are without defenseman Kyle Quincey, who is day-to-day with a groin injury. Brendan Smith will take his place.

The last time Lidstrom missed a game, the Wings lost 7-2 at Montreal, back in January.

The Griffins are confirming the call-up, and, via RedWingsFeed, MLive’s Ansar Khan confirms the news...

Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom will not play tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena due to a swollen ankle from Saturday’s game, when he was hit by the puck.

The team has recalled Doug Janik from the Grand Rapids Griffins. He will make his Red Wings season debut tonight.

Lidstrom said on Monday that X-rays taken after Saturday’s game and again on Monday showed no fractures. He said he is day-to-day and hopes to play Friday at home against Minnesota.

This will be only the second game Lidstrom has missed this season. He had the flu and sat out the 7-2 loss at Montreal on Jan. 25.

Kyle Quincey (groin) also is out and listed as day-to-day.

Here are the lines they are skating with:


And Khan reports that Joey MacDonald will start for the Wings tonight, while Fox Sports Ohio’s Rob Mixer believes that Curtis Sanford will start for Columbus.

Update #1: DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose suggests that there’s still a chance that Lidstrom could play tonight…

On Monday, shortly after veteran Mike Commodore had been traded to Tampa Bay, the Wings announced that they had recalled rookie defenseman Brendan Smith from Grand Rapids. Fewer than 24 hours later, the club called up veteran defenseman Doug Janik from the Griffins.

This season, the 31-year-old Janik has seven goals and 18 assists with a team-best plus-16 rating in 53 games.

It’s not known if Lidstrom will play in Columbus, though it’s believed his status will be a game-time decision.

Smith is expected to play against the Blue Jackets, and Janik will be inserted into the lineup should Lidstrom not be ready.

But the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan disagrees...

Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who has a sore ankle, will not play in Tuesday night’s game at Columbus, the team announced. The Wings recalled defenseman Doug Janik from Grand Rapids.

Lidstrom’s status is considered day-to-day. He was injured Saturday against Colorado when his ankle was struck by the puck.

“The puck kind of skipped and it hit me right in the ankle,” Lidstrom said Monday.

Janik has 25 points, 55 penalty minutes and a team-best rating of plus-16 in 53 games with the Griffins this season.

And MLive’s Ansar Khan spoke to Joey MacDonald about starting this evening:

MacDonald (6-1-1, 1.66 goals-against average, .934 save percentage) has won six games in a row (Feb. 8-19), allowing 10 goals in the process. He has backed up Jimmy Howard the past three games. The team has been loose defensively, going 0-2-1.

“It’s good to get another opportunity,’’ MacDonald said. “Just try not to change anything. We’re down a couple of players tonight (defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Kyle Quincey). We just got to build on the third period of last game (4-3 loss to Colorado Saturday) and go from there.’‘

MacDonald made 37 saves in a 2-0 shutout at Columbus for the Red Wings on March 17 of last season. He is 4-1-1 lifetime vs. the Blue Jackets, with a 2.37 GAA and .927 save percentage.

“Anytime you’ve played seven or eight in a row you want to keep playing,’’ MacDonald said. “But that’s the role of a backup goalie. You got to be ready at all times. That’s what your job is, to come in and, if it’s 3-4-5-6 games, give your team a chance to win.’‘

I also have to very regrettably report that pro Hockey Talk’s Joe Yerdon literally posted an “everybody panic!” entry. Lidstrom said his injury was mainly a pain tolerance issue, so it’s not time to panic.

Update #2raspberryer Khan:

Including tonight, Wings’ Lidstrom has missed only 36 out of a possible 1,848 games, regular season and playoffs, during his 20-year career.

Khan just updated his game-day story as well:

“Good opportunity, find out what kind of depth we have,’’ coach Mike Babcock said. “We got to get to work.’‘

Lidstrom said on Monday that X-rays taken after Saturday’s game and again on Monday showed no fractures. He said he is day-to-day and hopes to play Friday at home against Minnesota. The incredible durable Lidstrom has missed only 36 out of a possible 1,848 games, regular season and playoffs, during his 20-year career This will be only the second game Lidstrom has missed this season. He had the flu and sat out the 7-2 loss at Montreal on Jan. 25.

“If I’m not mistaken ... it was 4-0 after about four minutes, right?’’ Babcock said. “I don’t think we need to (relive) that.’‘
Babcock is keeping intact the Filppula-Zetterberg-Hudler line, which accounted for all three goals in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Colorado.

Johan Franzen, who has gone four games without a point and hasn’t been skating well, was moved to the third line, with Darren Helm and Drew Miller.

“The key is we need everybody playing at their best,’’ Babcock said, when asked about Franzen.

Asked if the move can get him to start skating better, Franzen said, “They (third line) have been great for a long time now. I hope I don’t slow them down too much. Hopefully they can keep doing what they’ve been doing.’‘

And here’s the Free Press’s Helene St. James’ updated game-day story, too:

Coach Mike Babcock said this morning he’ll start these pairings: Kronwall-Smith, Kindl-Stuart, White-Janik.

Joey MacDonald is getting the start in goal, giving Jimmy Howard a break.

There are also changes afoot up front, as the Wings are trying to play with more energy after going winless the last three games. Henrik Zetterberg is back with Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler, and Justin Abdelkader has been moved up to play between Todd Bertuzzi and Danny Cleary. Johan Franzen is on the third line speedsters Darren Helm and Drew Miller. The fourth line remains Cory Emmerton with Tomas Holmstrom and Jan Mursak.

“The key here to that is, we need everybody playing at their best,” Babcock said.

The last time Lidstrom missed a game, the Wings lost 7-2 at Montreal, back in January.

“I think if I’m not mistaken, it was in Montreal, and they were up about 4-0 after 12 minutes,” Babcock said. “I don’t think we need to relive that.”

Update #3: Talk about awkward. The Columbus Dispatch’s Shawn Mitchell provides us with the text of Rick Nash’s, “Yeah, so I asked to be traded” press conference fro m this morning, and while the Dispatch did eventually post a slate of probable Wings lines, probable Blue Jackets lines, a note about the Pahlsson and Clitsome transactions and a game quip...

Blue Jackets at a glance

• Last 10 games: 4-5-1

• Power play: 16.7 percent (18th)

• Penalty kill: 75.5 percent (30th)

• Injury update: D Marc Methot (jaw), D Radek Martinek (concussion), LW Kristian Huselius (groin) and RW Jared Boll (right foot) are out.
Red Wings at a glance

• Last 10 games: 6-3-1

• Power play: 17.5 percent (14th)

• Penalty kill: 82.2 percent (15th)

• Injury update: D Jonathan Ericsson (left wrist), D Kyle Quincey (groin), C Pavel Datsyuk (right knee) and RW Patrick Eaves (concussion) are out; D Niklas Lidstrom (ankle) is questionable.

And the Dispatch’s Shawn Mitchell is confirming that the Blue Jackets will indeed start Curtis Sanford opposite Joey MacDonald, the Dispatch’s Bob Hunter and Aaron Portzline’s columns understandably deal with the Nash fallout.

ColumbusBlueJackets.com’s Rob Mixer’s game preview reads as follows:

Scouting Report:

Not unlike several teams around the National Hockey League, the Detroit Red Wings and GM Ken Holland were unable to make any significant additions to the club before the trade deadline yesterday. Classified as a seller’s market by several hockey pundits, the “buyers” had a difficult time putting deals together because of a limited number of teams interested in trading away assets.

They did make one deal, sending defenseman Mike Commodore to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a conditional draft pick. Most of Holland’s work was done prior to deadline day – he acquired defenseman Kyle Quincey from the Lightning for a first-round pick just a few days ago, likely spelling the end of Commodore’s time in the Motor City.

After setting the NHL record for consecutive home wins (23) on Feb. 19, it has been anything but smooth sailing for the Red Wings since then. They are on the skids with a three-game losing streak entering tonight’s game at Nationwide Arena, and in the absence of Pavel Datsyuk (knee surgery), have struggled putting consecutive periods of solid play together. The Vancouver Canucks snapped the streak with a 4-3 shootout win at Joe Louis Arena last week and a few nights later, the Colorado Avalance came in and beat Detroit the night after a 5-0 win over the Blue Jackets.

It may be tough sledding for the Red Wings right now, but they are the last team to count out of a game. They sit just two points behind the Canucks for top spot in the Western Conference and with Jimmy Howard back from injury, are positioned well to make a late-season push for the No. 1 seed.

The Blue Jackets won the only meeting this season at Nationwide Arena back on Oct. 25, a 4-1 victory that was Columbus’ first of the season.
Game Notes: • Nikita Nikitin picked up an assist Sunday at Pittsburgh, his 18th of the season. He has set career highs in goals (2), assists, points (20) and games played (41-tied), bettering his marks of 1-8-9 set in 41 games last season. He ranks second among club defensemen in assists.

• After playing seven of the previous nine at Nationwide Arena, the Blue Jackets are in the midst of playing three of four on the road beginning with tonight’s game standing as the lone home game during that stretch. Columbus has posted a 5-5-1 mark the last 11 games after going winless its previous six games (0-5-1).

• Rick Nash scored a shorthanded goal this past Sunday at Pittsburgh. It was his first shorthanded goal since scoring shorthanded goals in back-to-back games Oct. 17-20, 2009, a span of 205 games. He has goals in three of the last four games after being held to one the previous 10 games.

• Tonight marks the fourth of six meetings overall and second of three at Nationwide Arena this season between the Blue Jackets and Red Wings. Columbus is 18-37-11 all-time against Detroit, including a 11-15-7 mark at Nationwide Arena.

Update #4: From the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff on Twitter:

A big reason why #redwings couldn’t fashion a deal Monday? Most every team wanted D Brendan Smith, and that was a non-starter.

Duff also posited the following column:

A week ago, when the Detroit Red Wings acquired Kyle Quincey from the Tampa Bay Lightning, it looked like it would be quite some time before Jakub Kindl would be seen again on defence for the team. But injuries to Quincey and Nicklas Lidstrom, and Monday’s trade of Mike Commodore to the Lightning have once more opened the door of opportunity, and Kindl will be back in the lineup Tuesday as the Wings face the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

Wings coach Mike Babcock was succinct in summing up what Kindl will need to do to keep his spot in the lineup. “A willingness to take a hit, and a willingness to be involved and go back and get the puck,” Babcock said. “His skill level was never an issue. He’s got to compete on a nightly basis, and compete hard defensively. If you do that, you can play.”

Detroit general manager Ken Holland suggested that the return of Kindl and the recall of former first-round pick Brendan Smith to also play on the defence Tuesday are exhibits of the club’s deep organizational pool. “If you’re going anywhere in the playoffs you got to have depth,” Holland said. “You’re going to have injuries, and you’ve got to find ways to win games. When our No. 1 goaltender (Jimmy Howard) goes down two weeks (with a broken finger), there was this media infatuation with what we’re going to do with our back-up. Well, Joey MacDonald quieted that down.”

Babcock also scoffed at any notion that the Wings are getting old, citing the likes of Justin Abdlekader, Cory Emmerton and Jan Murask as other youth on the current team, and Gustav Nyqvist, Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson as players close to making the leap from the minor leagues. “We’ve got lots of young players,” Babcock said. “We’ve said that all along. A few years back, we were older, because we relied on those people. Now, we’re not near as old. A lot of guys are in their prime, and we’ve got a lot of kids.”

He views it as a necessity in today’s NHL. “Just to stay under the cap you need youth,” Babcock said. “The other thing about it is it’s hard to make deals. You’ve got to develop from within, and I think we’ve done a real good job of doing that. These players here, most of them were in the minors when we started after the lockout ,and they’ve found their way here, whether that be Fil (Valtteri Filppula) or (Jiri) Hudler. Guys have come along that way. Good for them.”

Update #5: Here’s the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan’s game-day update with quotes:

The last time the Red Wings played without Nicklas Lidstrom in the lineup, Jan. 25 in Montreal, the Wings lost 7-2.

“If I’m not mistaken they were up 4-0 after four minutes,” coach Mike Babcock said after Tuesday’s morning skate. “I don’t think we need to relive that, do we?”

The Wings will find out about life without Lidstrom again Tuesday night against the Blue Jackets. They’ll be without Lidstrom, who is nursing a sore ankle, and Kyle Quincey, who has a sore groin. Defensemen Brendan Smith and Doug Janik have been recalled from minor league affiliate Grand Rapids.

“It gives us a good opportunity to find out what kind of depth we have,” Babcock said. “We have to get to work.”

The Wings have gone three games (0-2-1) without a victory.

Smith will be paired with Niklas Kronwall, Ian White with Janik and Brad Stuart with Jakub Kindl.

Joey MacDonald will start in net for the Wings. MacDonald registered a 37-save shutout in a 2-0 victory March 17 against the Blue Jackets. It was his second NHL shutout.

“It’s good to get another opportunity,” said MacDonald, who is 6-1-1 since being promoted from Grand Rapids. “We’re down a couple of players, but we just have to build on the third period of the last game and go from there.”

I’m going to quote NHL.com’s Dan Rosen regarding the “hashtag” #DetroitInjuries:

The Red Wings have lost back-to-back home games for the first time since early November and are winless in three straight for the first time since their six-game skid bridging October into November. They also didn’t upgrade at all at the forward position before Monday’s trade deadline.

Moreover, there are injuries to note: Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson will be out at least a month with a wrist injury; forward Pavel Datsyuk is out after having minor knee surgery; defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is “bruised” and “day-to-day,” according to Red Wings GM Ken Holland, per the Detroit Free Press; newly acquired defenseman Kyle Quincey has a groin injury and is day-to-day.

Relax, Hockeytown. It’s going to be OK.

The Red Wings are going through a run of bad luck and sub-par play. It’s been enough to knock them from their perch atop the Western Conference, but none of the injuries are supposed to affect them come playoff time and it’s fair to assume they’ll get back on track Tuesday against Columbus.

Also: The Score’s Daniel Wagner also offers a trade deadline assessment...

Team: Detroit Red Wings

Moves: Conditional 2013 7th round draft pick from the Lightning for D Mike Commodore

Here’s Your Opinion:

It looks like the pre-deadline acquisition of Kyle Quincey in a three-team swap involving the Lightning made Commodore expendable, and who better to call than Steve Yzerman? Commodore has played just 17 games with the Red Wings this season, partly due to injuries, but will get more of an opportunity with the Lightning.

Other than that, the Red Wings stayed quiet. They are a very well-balanced team, but they had some weaknesses that could have been addressed and the cap room to make a major splash. Questions will be raised if the Red Wings don’t make a strong push in the playoffs, particularly if injuries creep in and depth becomes an issue.

• The Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa appeared on WBBL’s Huge Show this morning…

Download file

• If you’re keeping score at home, the NHL’s “Trophy Trackers,” don’t include Jimmy Howard in the Vezina Trophy discussion, omit Mike Babcock from Jack Adams Award consideration and Pavel Datsyuk from Lady Byng Trophy discussion, but Corey Masisak believes that Nicklas Lidstrom should still win the Norris Trophy…

Nicklas Lidstrom, Red Wings—Lidstrom has played against the toughest competition of any defenseman in the League this season at even strength, according to Behind The Net’s quality of competition rating. What makes that even more remarkable is Detroit possesses two of the seven most-productive forward trios at even strength, according to Dobber Hockey’s line-production tool. So Lidstrom can’t face two of the top lines, but he’s still faced the toughest cumulative competition.

Despite that, Lidstrom is among the top defensemen in goals-for per 60 minutes and goals-against per 60 minutes at even strength, checking in at ninth and No. 11, respectively. He’s second in the difference between those two numbers, or his plus/minus per 60 minutes at even strength—only defense partner Ian White is ahead of him.

To summarize, Lidstrom faces the toughest competition and yet his team dominates at even strength when he’s on the ice. He also started the week tied for fifth in goals among defensemen and tied for the best traditional plus/minus, but his dominance at even strength at both ends of the ice should more than make up for a lack of assists in the eyes of voters—if they look beyond the traditional back-of-a-hockey-card numbers.

And Masisak believes that Pavel Datsyuk will finish second behind Patrice Bergeron in the Sekle Trophy race:


Datsyuk’s argument is this: His line has been almost as good as Bergeron’s, and they’ve done it against tougher competition. While all three members of Bergeron’s line are in the top nine in plus/minus per 60 minutes of even strength, Datsyuk checks in at No. 18 in the League among forwards (linemates Todd Bertuzzi and Johan Franzen are fourth and eighth, respectively). Datsyuk has done so while facing the eighth-toughest competition among forwards with at least 40 games played according to Behind The Net’s quality of competition ratings.

The Detroit star entered the week No. 12 in the League in faceoff percentage at 56.1 percent, and he’s great in the circle on special teams, winning 56.1 percent of draws on the power play and 55.0 percent shorthanded.

There are two knocks against Datsyuk—he doesn’t play as much shorthanded as Bergeron, and his recovery from knee surgery could leave him short in games played.

Update #5.5: I don’t need to tell you that no Wings’ mentioned in Dan Rosen’s assessment of Hart Trophy-worthy candidates, do I?

Update #6: the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman has this to say about the Wings’ trade deadline inactivity:

16. I hate calling the Detroit Red Wings “losers” for any reason, but the organization has to be disappointed it couldn’t add forward depth. It wisely wouldn’t part with Brendan Smith, while Jakub Kindl wasn’t enough to get what it wanted. Detroit didn’t have a first-rounder to get Gaustad and chose not to match what the Canucks paid for Sammy Pahlsson. It’s believed the Red Wings also looked at Colorado’s David Jones.

• The Wings’ trade deadline performance earned a mention from Pierre LeBrun in his power rankings…

2. Detroit Last Week: 1: It was disappointing they didn’t add bottom-six size and grit in either Sami Pahlsson or Paul Gaustad, but the Wings really don’t have any notable holes. They could win the Cup despite only adding Kyle Quincey.

But Fox Sports’ Craig Morgan offers a different “blurb’s” worth of information in today’s other slate of power rankings:

3. Red Wings [down] 1 [highest/lowest] 2/20: It’s not like Detroit to get complacent, but it has dropped all three games since goaltender Jimmy Howard returned to the lineup. The Red Wings appeared a little short on energy on Saturday. They play Tuesday in Columbus, and the Blue Jackets should expect the Wings’ best effort.Collapse Description

• Shifting focus back to tonight’s game, the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan took note of Johan Franzen’s demotion...

Johan Franzen was dropped to the third line with Darren Helm and Drew Miller for Tuesday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“We had nothing going on, and usually that’s what happens,” Franzen said of the change.

The big winger hasn’t gotten a point in four games and has three points (two goals, one assist) in his last eight games.

Franzen leads the Wings with 23 goals. He has 24 assists for a total of 47 points and is plus-21.

Coach Mike Babcock didn’t single out Franzen but instead cast a net over an entire Wings team that hasn’t won in its last three games (0-2-1).

“They key to that is we need everyone playing at their best,” Babcock said.

• The Free Press’s Helene St. James’ game-day story now includes a 20-second clip of Brendan Smith talking to St. James about his goals for tonight’s tilt:

Update #7: Via RedWingsFeed, this quip from Capgeek is intriguing:

Thursday is the first day entry-level contracts can be signed with first season as 2012-13. Expect the signings to start rolling in.

The Detroit news’s Ted Kulfan filed a Brendan Smith report as well, noting that Smith didn’t expect to see himself in Detroit until April at the earliest:

“It caught me by surprise,” Smith said. “They had like eight defenseman a few days ago and now (the Wings promoted Smith and Doug Janik from Grand Rapids). But it was kind of cool to get the call up, and I just have to play my best.”

Quincey (groin) and Nicklas Lidstrom (sore ankle) are day to day with injuries. And with Mike Commodore traded Monday to Tampa Bay, the Wings decided it was time for the 2007 first-round pick to regularly begin his NHL career.

“It was so exciting the first three games I had (Nov. 17-20), and hopefully I can play as well as I did in those games” said Smith, who had two assists.

Smith didn’t sulk or see his production drop when he was sent down to Grand Rapids. With 10 goals and 22 assists in 47 games with the Griffins, he was also plus-7 and having a standout season.

“I just tried to keep playing my best and work myself up here,” said Smith, who credited his dad with constant encouragement. “He told me if I kept playing well, I’d get my chance.”

Coach Mike Babcock believes Smith is ready to be an NHL player.

“He showed on the West Coast trip (in which Smith played) that he could play for us,” Babcock said. “What I like about him is skill and how competitive he is. He wants to dig in like a real player. When you’re confident it oozes out of you, and he’s one of those guys.”

Update #8: The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline says that the Blue Jackets’ players still support Nash;

• Per the Red Wings’ Twitter account, Brendan Smith reports that his brother Riley, who plays for Miami of Ohio, will take in his game...

Excited to play against Columbus tonight and have my little bro the Widemans, Angela and @muckbro16 all coming.

• And I mentioned that Don Cherry gave the Wings a plug last weekend, and the Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa reiterates Cherry’s statements.

Update #9: The Hockey Hall of Fame’s Kevin Shea engaged in a one-on-one interview with red wings VP and new Hockey Hall of Fame member Jimmy Devellano;

• Sportsnet posted a transcript of its experts’ trade deadline wrap-up show comments, and only Marty McSorely suggested that the Wings should have made a move;

• Prepare to cringe regarding the standings, per the National Post’s Guy Spurrier:

At the top of the actual standings in the West, St. Louis took over the Central lead and No. 2 seed from Detroit based on the regular-season and overtime win tiebreaker, which is new for this season. Both teams have 85 points, but St. Louis has 35 ROWs while Detroit has 34. St. Louis, though, has 12 of its final 19 games on the road, which would appear to give the Red Wings the edge in the race for the Central title.

• I also think that it’s at least indelicate, if not downright rude, of 97.1 the Ticket’s Jeff Riger to suggest that Mike Modano was one of the greatest “wastes of time” in Detroit sports history;

• n slightly “cheerier” news, from the AHL’s weekly press release:

Chris Minard’s hat trick in Grand Rapids’ 6-1 win over Lake Erie on Feb. 24 was his second in a five-game span; Minard has 12-5-17 in 17 games after missing the first three months of the season due to injury… Ty Conklin joined the Griffins last week for his first AHL stint since 2007-08 and turned aside 63 of 67 shots in victories over Hamilton, Lake Erie and Toronto

• And the National Post’s Sean McIndoe takes us out with some genuine humor in offering key dates on the NHL calendar for fans to look forward to:

• April 11: The NHL playoffs begin.

• April 12: The NHL playoffs end for whichever team has to play the Red Wings.

Update #10: Via RedWingsFeed, here’s the Wings website’s game preview…

And ColumbusBlueJackets.com’s Rob Mixer posted the following prospecte Columbus lineup and some quotes….

Here is the expected Blue Jackets lineup for tonight’s game:
Umberger Brassard Nash
Prospal Letestu Atkinson
Russell Boyce Dorsett
Gillies MacKenzie Johansen
J. Johnson Wisniewski
Tyutin Nikitin
Lebda Moore


1. Puck management: Richards was not pleased with the way his team managed the puck against the Penguins, and said turnovers fed into Pittsburgh’s offense in the third period. The same goes when you play Detroit – the Blue Jackets have to make smart decisions with the puck and be cautious between the blue lines.

2. Use the energy from the new guys: Boyce and Jack Johnson will play their first games at Nationwide Arena tonight, and it will surely provide a boost of energy throughout the lineup. The Blue Jackets need to use that early in the game and use it to build a lead.

3. Put the past behind you: Some players admitted that the speculation leading up to the trade deadline had an effect on their play, and with that pressure off, they hope their play will reflect that. If they can get their skating legs going and force the Red Wings to turn pucks over, Columbus will get chances.


Richards, on moving forward after the trade deadline: “It’s another thing that can bring you together. I think we’ve had lots of adversity to deal with this year. This was just another obstacle…whenever you deal with these types of things, it does tend to bring people and teammates together.”

Richards, on facing another top team this evening: “I think we’re a committed team. It’s going to be no different tonight… keeping the game tight, we’re going to need key saves at the right time. It’s not a team that we want to be chasing.”

As well as video comments from Derek Dorsett….

Darryl Boyce…


Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards…


And a breakdown of the game from Bob McElligott and FSD’s Ken Daniels:


• The Wings’ website also wants to remind you that you can produce YouTube videos explaining why your rec league team is worthy of tangling with the Detroit Red Wingss’ Alumni team...

• And DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose wrote a superb article about the Red Wings’ re-acquisition of Kyle Quincey, making Quincey one of a long list of players who’s skated for the Wings more than once during their professional careers. Roose says that Quincey’s the youngest Red Wings re-tread ever...

“When you think of those guys, it’s just a huge compliment,” Quincey said. “I never really thought about it that way, but you bring up a great point and it’s a very great compliment and I’ll take it that way. That’s very nice.”

The 26-year-old Quincey is the third 20-something that Holland has reacquired, joining forwards Jiri Hudler (27) and Jason Williams (29). The other reacquired players were all in their 30s with the exception of Igor Larionov, who was 40, and Dominik Hasek, who was 42 when he returned to Detroit for a third time. In his 14 years as the 10th GM in franchise history, Holland has brought back a few different goalies, scorers, leaders and fighters, but the basis of his philosophy has plenty to do with familiarity of each player and character of the person.

“In all of the cases, it’s because we were familiar with the player, we had positive feelings about the player when he left,” Holland said. “In Kyle Quincey’s case, we internally debated, and we made some decisions to keep some veterans around. We made some decisions to keep a couple of kids ahead of him that obviously, in hindsight, were wrong decisions. But we liked him enough to have that debate.”

Over the years, there’s also been a league-wide cogitation about the Wings’ overall age, and re-signing aging veterans only fuels the nonsense. But Holland says the tired and worn out debate is just that – unfounded and pointless.

“There’s been the age-old discussion about our team since 2001, since we lost out to LA,” Holland said. “Are we too old? Are we past our prime? Are we done? And it’s 2012.”

The majority of the returning players have worked out for the Wings. Certainly Hasek, Dallas Drake, Chris Osgood and Darren McCarty are prime examples, as they returned to help Detroit win the 2008 Stanley Cup. Yet whether they won a Cup or not in their return, all have been key veterans who played significant roles, guys like Todd Bertuzzi, Joey Kocur, Doug Brown and Kevin Miller.

“In all the cases, you know the player from the past. You liked them,” Holland said. “At the time with Kocur, we wanted some toughness, we wanted some experience. In Kyle Quincey’s case, we wanted a defenseman.”

The hope is that Quincey can be a solid puck-moving defenseman while playing 22 minutes a night. But you never know how much you’re missed until you go away.

“We should have never let him go in the first place,” Holland said of Quincey. “He became available, and now he’s back.”

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Right now would be a good time for St. Louis to hit a nice long skid…

Posted by Jesters Dead on 02/28/12 at 02:18 PM ET



Is there a less threatening top 6 in hockey?

Posted by godblender on 02/28/12 at 02:25 PM ET

Chet's avatar

get ready for a gong show and pray nobody gets hurt. this is a borderline AHL game…

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/28/12 at 02:26 PM ET

Alzy's avatar

Jesus, my stomach just got a little more queasy.

Poor Miller and God. But hell, if Mule gets pissed and flips his switch to beast mode, they could each have 5 assist nights tonight lol.


Posted by Alzy from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada on 02/28/12 at 02:27 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

So, for tonight no Lidstrom, Datsyuk, Howard, Quincey or Ericsson.

A Lidstromless Wings is a scary sight.  The 7-2 loss to Montreal…  Then there was that stretch when he got hurt a few years ago when Laperrier hit him.  That was “U G L Y, you aint got no alibi” ugly.

The Wings are no 4th in the West.

Panic in Hockeytown!
Panic in Hockeytown!

Posted by Ajax19 on 02/28/12 at 02:30 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Yup, it’s STILL February.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 02/28/12 at 02:31 PM ET


Look at that lineup! So glad we did nothing at the deadline!

Seriously, why move Abdelkader up and not Helm?

Posted by Herm from the office on 02/28/12 at 02:34 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar


Is there a less threatening top 6 in hockey?

I was thinking the same thing.  There is really very little threat there.

Posted by Ajax19 on 02/28/12 at 02:36 PM ET

detroitredwings's avatar

...if Mule gets pissed and flips his switch…

for that he better get this switch installed in a hurry. I’m afraid he doesn’t have one.

Posted by detroitredwings on 02/28/12 at 02:42 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Aaand I puke.

JMac will be seeing so much work tonight.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 02/28/12 at 02:43 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Oh geez, people.  All I’m going to say is:


Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 02/28/12 at 02:44 PM ET

hiero4life's avatar

I have the beer in the fridge and I’m ready to start.

Posted by hiero4life from anywhere i am on 02/28/12 at 02:50 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

R.J. Umberger-Derick Brassard-Rick Nash
Vinny Prospal-Mark Letestu-Cam Atkinson

I’m shaking in my wee booties.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/28/12 at 02:52 PM ET

Nate A's avatar


Is there a less threatening top 6 in hockey?

How many babies have you eaten this season?

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 02/28/12 at 02:56 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

The Wings have a lovely habit of playing down to these guys.  I’m not planning on a win until Friday.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 02/28/12 at 02:59 PM ET


R.J. Umberger-Derick Brassard-Rick Nash
Vinny Prospal-Mark Letestu-Cam Atkinson

I’m shaking in my wee booties.

Are the Jackets goind to the 2nd round of the playoffs?

(the captcha is “woman69”) (whatever)

Posted by Herm from the office on 02/28/12 at 03:03 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

Franzen needs to get his act together and not play reindeer games until playoffs roll around.  I know he gets hurt when he plays hard but that’s his game and that what the wings pay him $4M for.  Step up.

Otherwise….Cleary has dead knees and is done… Zetterberg has been spotty this year offensively…Bertuzzi is lazy….Abdelkader has no skill….Let’s go Fil!

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 02/28/12 at 03:09 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Are the Jackets goind to the 2nd round of the playoffs?

Is Pavel Datsyuk retired?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/28/12 at 03:16 PM ET


Is Pavel Datsyuk retired?

There’s a 100% chance Columbus won’t be in the playoffs, a 99% chance we face Vancouver, Chicago, Nashville or San Jose.

What’s the chance the team is all healthy in April?

Posted by Herm from the office on 02/28/12 at 03:23 PM ET


Posted by Herm from the office on 02/28/12 at 01:23 PM ET

Come on, Herm, don’t you know the Wings are #1 in the league right now?
Um, I mean #1 in the conference.
Err, #1 in the division?


Posted by Garth on 02/28/12 at 03:33 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

2 points out of first in the conference.  Yes, it’s all over, clearly.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 02/28/12 at 03:37 PM ET

The Hurricane's avatar


fixed :p

Posted by The Hurricane on 02/28/12 at 03:44 PM ET

thethirdcoast's avatar

Chet really nailed it.

I’ve seen Emmerton, Janik, Kindl, Mursak, and Tatar in multiple AHL games. I’ve never been that impressed with any of them. Heck, I’ve seen them play against Gaustad and I did not notice an appreciable difference between his ability level and the Wings’ vaunted prospects.

Part of me has to wonder if KH did dangle some prospects and get turned down. There are plenty of skilled talent evaluators around the league these days, and I can’t imagine them being blown away by what is currently in the Wings’ system.

I really hope the called up guys prove me wrong tonight, but I’m not seeing it. I’ll be the first to admit it on the live blog if they do, and y’all can hate away at me!

Posted by thethirdcoast from Rochester, NY on 02/28/12 at 03:48 PM ET


Posted by MsRedWinger from Michigan, but now in Florida on 02/28/12 at 01:37 PM ET

Yes, that’s what I said.  It’s all over.

Posted by Garth on 02/28/12 at 03:49 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

There’s a 100% chance Columbus won’t be in the playoffs, a 99% chance we face Vancouver, Chicago, Nashville or San Jose.

What’s the chance the team is all healthy in April?

Posted by Herm from the office on 02/28/12 at 01:23 PM ET

Oh, I’m sorry.  I thought I was talking about tonight; this being a game day update.

Carry on.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/28/12 at 04:03 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Why oh Why would you mess up the only line that has been producing for the Wings.  And on top of that with the a SLOW Mule!  He can not keep up with Helm/Miller.  LEAVE him on the 2nd or put him on the 4th Line.

Better yet bring up Nyquist and the Press Box for Franzen, rosters were expanded as of Monday is my understanding.

I can’t believe Babs (stubborn SOB) has lost his mind!  Alas Go Wings and Good Luck!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 02/28/12 at 04:04 PM ET

Alzy's avatar

Herm, by that same token, what are the chances the Canucks, Sharks and Predators are all healthy come mid-April?

I’m not even gonna bother with Shitcago, because come on. That one line, one D-pair no goaltending joke of a team will not beat this Detroit Red Wings team in a 7 game playoff series. They’d be lucky to win one game, just like 2009.

Posted by Alzy from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada on 02/28/12 at 04:15 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Can’t remember the last time I didn’t want to come here and bask in the juviliciousness of the 19.  Based on all the pissing and moaning going on for the last two days I’d rather listen to a Republican debate… that’s how pathetic it’s become here.  If the Wings were fighting for a playoff spot and didn’t make a move then I would be all over them.  They are one of the best teams in all of hockey and some act like spoiled brats because Tick-Tock didn’t pull a rabbit out of his a**.  As a long time Red Wing fan (over 50 years) and one who lived through “Darkness with Harkness” and years of suffering, all I can say is STFU all you fair weather, band wagon “fans” who want to go ape-sh!t because you may not win the Stanley Cup this year.  Grow the fuch up… and step aside while the true fans enjoy what they have.

Sorry if I hurt anybody’s internet feelings.  And , oh yeah…. L.G.R.W.

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 02/28/12 at 04:17 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

  As a long time Red Wing fan (over 50 years) and one who lived through “Darkness with Harkness” and years of suffering, all I can say is STFU all you fair weather, band wagon “fans” who want to go ape-sh!t because you may not win the Stanley Cup this year.  Grow the fuch up… and step aside while the true fans enjoy what they have.

Posted by calquake on 02/28/12 at 02:17 PM ET


I’ve never shared the league-wide view of Red Wings fans… until the last two days.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 02/28/12 at 04:34 PM ET


Wow…Are you guys serious?

Why is Franzen starting the game on the third line?  Umm because he’s not moving his feet, so Babcock wants him to work for his top 6 minutes.  My coaches starting doing the same to the players on my team when I was ummm oh like 8 years old.

Is Gaustad worth a 1st round pick?  No.  Never in a million years.  Is Pahlsson, who at 34 years of age has only cracked the 25 point plateau once in his entire NHL career worth two draft picks?  No.  Not to mention for a trade within the division it would cost the Wings more.

We want cups now, but we want a future too.  If you want both, this is how it gets done.

statelouis26 - you saw all these players in the AHL?  Well judging by your comments I’ll pass on your “professional opinion” of our prospects. (P.S. Janik is not a prospect.)

But what if the Wings are unhealthy?  Umm what if Rinne pulls his groin and one of the Sedins breaks his hand?  Anything can happen folks. 

Game on.  Let’s go.

Posted by JHVRay on 02/28/12 at 04:34 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Well, and at least try and get some entertainment out of it.  We know there will be six D playing tonight:

White, Kronwall, Stuart, Kindl, Smith and Janek.  Anyone care to guess the pairings?

I’ll go with

Kronner - Stuart
White - Janek
Smith - Kindl

Posted by MoreShoot on 02/28/12 at 04:35 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

I’ll go with:


Offensively viable top pairing, a steady D-presence on each duo (unless the bad Brad Stuart shows up), and only one AHL player per bottom pairing..

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 02/28/12 at 04:40 PM ET

shanetx's avatar


Is there a less threatening top 6 in hockey?



Much less threatening.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 02/28/12 at 04:48 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

So we’re clear.  Some people are seeming a little holier than thou lately, and that sucks.

I’m definitely one of those but I’d argue we’re only seeming “holier than thou” in light of, and reaction to, the utter cesspool of negativity around here.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 02/28/12 at 04:58 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

J.J. if you thought this was a game day update why’d you even bring up Pav?  Funny how entrenched people get in “being right”

Because of the mention of the 2nd round. Funny how entrenched people get in semantics.

Some people are seeming a little holier than thou lately, and that sucks.

I know.  If only you assholes would let us think that the Red Wings are going to be fine, we’d all get along much better.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/28/12 at 05:00 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I questioned why you screwup, possibly our best line with Franzen.  Have cheered for the Wings and only the Wings for nearly 50 years.  He can move his feet on the 4th Line, also! And maybe hit someone wearing a different jersy?

This Franzen thing didn’t happen yesterday, maybe someone should have talked to him and/or put him in Press Box when we had Mursak sitting out?

I bet we see Franzen on PP, if we get one!

Odd timing, IMO.  I have no problems with nothing at Trade Deadline as Commie , I feel was already gone to TB in the Quincey deal.

NOT EVER A BAND WAGON FAN!  I am older than a Band Wagon! LOL I think??

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 02/28/12 at 05:06 PM ET


Posted by calquake on 02/28/12 at 02:17 PM ET


It’s starting to read like the MLive Red Wings boards around here. That just makes me sad. Maybe using the word “bitches” too often has turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Posted by Seaner from San Jose on 02/28/12 at 05:07 PM ET


step aside while the true fans enjoy what they have.

Sorry, I forgot that to be a true fan you shouldn’t ever disagree with what they do or show any emotions.

Nice to meet a true fan who doesn’t care what his team does as long as they wear the same pretty logo on their sweaters.

didn’t realize we play to make the playoffs.. thought it was to win the cup.

Well that’s because you’re dumb.  Who gives a damn about the Cup when you get a TROPHY from the PRESIDENT?!?!?!

Posted by Garth on 02/28/12 at 05:13 PM ET


If only you assholes would let us think that the Red Wings are going to be fine, we’d all get along much better.

And if you assholes wouldn’t take it personally when people vent because they’re disappointed, you wouldn’t be such assholes.

Posted by Garth on 02/28/12 at 05:18 PM ET

RorSchach's avatar

And if you assholes wouldn’t take it personally when people vent because they’re disappointed, you wouldn’t be such assholes.

Posted by Garth on 02/28/12 at 03:18 PM ET

Damn.. PMS Much?

Bitches and Assholes being tossed around lots tonight and 1/3’d of the line up will be AHL level. Sweet. Should be exciting to see Moose on the third line.

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 02/28/12 at 05:32 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.


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