The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/28/12 at 03:15 PM ET
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.
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:
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 #2er 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:
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…
• 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:
PAVEL DATSYUK, RED WINGS
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:
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;
Excited to play against Columbus tonight and have my little bro the Widemans, Angela and @muckbro16 all coming.
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:
LW C RW
Umberger Brassard Nash
Prospal Letestu Atkinson
Russell Boyce Dorsett
Gillies MacKenzie Johansen
J. Johnson Wisniewski
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….
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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