The Malik Report
by George Malik on 10/02/11 at 05:45 PM ET
If the preseason is about implementing systemic tweaks, trying out new line combinations, giving rookies and new additions time to acclimate, if not shine, and slowly but surely rounding into regular season form while attempting to avoid injuries, rounding out the exhibition season with a three-games-in-three-nights slate makes very little sense.
That is exactly what the Red Wings have done for the better part of the last decade, however, and today’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins (5 PM EDT, FSD/WXYT’s AM station only/PCNC) either tends to demonstrate that even a fatigued and splintered Wings roster is more or less good to go, or it’s a game in which fans pay full price to watch the Wings mail one in—or worse, get bit one more time by the injury bug.
If you’re not watching the Tigers game, or might flip channels from time to time, we’re gonna live blog this one.
Here’s the Red Wings’ lineup for today’s game, per MLive’s Ansar Khan:
Forwards: Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, Todd Bertuzzi, Jiri Hudler, Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller, Cory Emmerton, Fabian Brunnstrom, Ryan Johnson, Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Brent Raedeke.
Henrik Zetterberg and Landon Ferraro were originally slated to play but have been replaced by Filppula and Emmerton.
No word yet on lines.
Nicklas Lidstrom-Ian White
Jonathan Ericsson-Jakub Kindl
Travis Ehrhardt-Logan Pyett
Goaltenders: Jimmy Howard, Ty Conklin.
And here’s a reason to press the “concern” button:
Pavel Datsyuk continues to nurse a sore back but hopes to return for the season opener Friday against Ottawa. Forward Danny Cleary (upper-body injury) and defenseman Mike Commodore (sore knee) also are out. Cleary appears more likely than Commodore to be ready for Friday.
Brad Stuart didn’t exactly look like somebody who’s recovered from a groin injury on Saturday night, either, and I’m guessing that the Wings aren’t going to mess with Zetterberg’s ever-present sore back today, either. If there’s even a single chance of Ferraro’s surgically repaired groin acting up, there’s no point in tweaking that, either.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Seth Rorabaugh provides the Penguins’ lineup...
Forwards - Pascal Dupuis, Mark Letestu, Jordan Staal, Richard Park, Chris Kunitz, James Neal, Matt Cooke, Steve Sullivan, Craig Adams (right), Arron Asham, Joe Vitale, Tyler Kennedy
Defensemen - Matt Niskanen, Zbynek Michalek, Ben Lovejoy, Paul Martin, Brian Strait, Kris Letang
Goaltenders - Marc-Andre Fleury, Brent Johnson
And Wings GM Ken Holland gave a very intriguing interview to The Fan 590’s Norm Rumack during either the first or second intermission of last night’s win over Toronto (yay!):
Here’s hoping that the Wings don’t mail it in—and stay healthy…
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About The Malik Report
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.