Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings-Stars game-day updates: Emmerton, Kindl swapped out for Mursak, Commodore

Updated 6x at 8:11 PM w/ 2 Ken Holland interviews: After not getting into Dallas until around 1:20 local time (and 2:20 AM EST), the Red Wings will probably prepare to faceoff against the Dallas Stars tonight by emulating Dallas’s optional morning skate around 1:30 PM EST, but MLive’s Ansar Khan provides a pre-morning skate personnel update from the Wings’ point of view….

Babcock said Mursak and Commodore are in tonight for Emmerton and Kindl. He said last night that Conklin is starting.
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Richard Bachman starting in goal for Dallas.
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Bachman is 6-2-0 career with 2.52 GAA and .918 sv pct. has never faced Wings.
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Conklin is 2-3-1 with 2.66 GAA and .899 sv pct vs. Dallas.

Which the Free Press’s Helene St. James confirms…

Conklin in tonight, as is Commodore and Mursak. Kindl and Emmerton out

And the Stars have already announced that they’ve activated scrappy forward Thomas Vincour off the injured reserve list and sent Francis Wathier to the AHL. The Stars’ PR website posted a slate of game notes which note that Frederick L’Ecuyer and Brad Watson will referee tonight’s game, and that Brad Lazarowich and Pierre “I’m not related to Leo” Racicot will work the lines.

The Stars’ website also posted a feature story on the goaltender who will oppose Ty Conklin in one Richard Bachman,via DallasStars.com’s John Tranchina:

Things can change quickly in the sports world. For Richard Bachman, life has changed thoroughly and dramatically since Thanksgiving. Just less than two months ago, he was enjoying a solid year as the top goaltender for the Dallas Stars’ minor league affiliate based in the Austin suburb of Cedar Park, the AHL’s Texas Stars, where he blossomed last season playing for current Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan.

Now, he is the rookie backup netminder in Dallas for the foreseeable future, adjusting not only to the NHL lifestyle but also to playing much less frequently than he’s been used to as the second-stringer. His performance Saturday afternoon at home against Edmonton, his first time in action as the NHL club’s undisputed backup, demonstrated just how effective he can be in the role, as he made 26 saves and was named the contest’s second star in a 4-1 victory.

“I felt good,” said Bachman, who improved his personal record to 6-2-0 since being recalled from AHL Texas back on Nov. 27. “I had some pretty good practices, I feel like, the last few days, and I’m just trying to stay ready so when stuff like this happens, I can go out there and feel comfortable and confident and try to give the team a chance to win. So it felt good.”
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Another difference for Bachman as the backup is that it changes his practice habits a little bit. Not playing for long stretches means that he takes extra work in practice and having that additional time to tinker with his game and work closely with goalie coach Mike Valley has also proven to be beneficial.

“I’ll stay on extra and work on little things that I need to work on for my game, take a bunch of shots and try to keep the cardio up so when I get out there, I don’t feel like I’m lagging a bit,” the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Bachman said regarding alterations in his routine. “When you play every night, you definitely can’t go that hard because then you’ll wear out, and when you’re not going every single night, you’ve got to take advantage of those, stay out there 40 minutes after practice and work on what you need to. I think it does help you feel sharp when you do get the call.”

“I think, honestly for him, a little bit of a load was taken off when Kari got back, because he played seven or eight games in a row for us,” Gulutzan pointed out. “And with Kari coming back now, the trend for him is up. He gets to watch an elite goalie every day in practice and learn from him and get to practice with our shooters without that pressure of ‘Am I here, am I in the minors, where am I?’ He’s a worker and he’s worked at practice, and he’s an observer and I think the only way for him to go is up.”

Bachman acknowledges that working closely with Lehtonen as his goalie tandem-mate has been a highly valuable experience.

“It’s been great. He’s a great professional, a great guy and we’ve gotten along awesome,” said Bachman, who was the Stars’ fourth-round selection (120th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. “You couldn’t ask for a better partner to be out there with. (Raycroft) was an awesome guy too, so we really have an awesome set-up here with goalies, and with Mike Valley, you never go to the rink and feel uncomfortable. It’s always, every day, we’re all trying to get better together and I think that’s a good mind-set to have as a goalie group.

Heading back to the Wings’ side of the equation, the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff offered an update as to the status of Patrick Eaves, who seems to be having trouble in terms of recovering from jaw surgery…

No timetable for Patrick Eaves (broken jaw) to return to #redwings lineup. GM Ken Holland hasn’t even spoken to Eaves in a month.
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Re Eaves: Can’t rehab a jaw like a knee or shoulder. Just has to heal on its own, so not really any reason for GM to pester him for updates.
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@MsRedWinger @RedWingsLetty Training and medical staff in regular touch with him.

And Duff deposited a trade rumor and/or trade deadline prediction…

,blockquote>@Majsheppard Doubt they will make major move for top 6 F, but think they will go hard after Parise as UFA in summer.

And he spoke about the slightly strange relationship that is NHL 36’s cameras following Vanilla Bean, I mean Nicklas Lidstrom:

For all his accomplishments, the centre of the spotlight is still a strange place for Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom to find himself. The seven-time Norris Trophy winner is the latest subject of NHL 36, a documentary format broadcast in which cameras follow an NHL player for 36 consecutive hours to get an inside look at what makes him tick.

Even his teammates find that intriguing, for Lidstrom is quite private away from the rink and tends to keep to himself. “I’m not really sure what he does with his down time,” Wings forward Justin Abdelkader said. “I guess we’ll find out.”

Lidstrom admitted that he pondered the idea for quite some time before agreeing to be the latest subject of NHL 36, following Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins. “I had to think about it for a little bit, get the details of what to expect and what they were looking for and what they wanted,” Lidstrom said. “But the team encouraged me, and the NHLPA encouraged me as well. I think it’s good for hockey, so I was willing to do it.”

Still, he’s found it somewhat odd to be tailed everywhere by a camera crew. “It’s different having someone follow you the whole time, no matter what you do,” Lidstrom said. They filmed him at Joe Louis Arena Monday while he rode a bike, and Lidstrom invited the cameraman to get a little exercise while he worked. “There were a lot of bikes free, a lot available, but he wouldn’t jump on,” Lidstrom said.

Narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Peter Coyote, the show will air in Canada on the NHL Network Jan. 27 at 12 noon, Feb. 1 at 9:30 p.m., Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m., and Feb. 5 at 5 p.m.

• In the PR department, DetroitRedWings.com’s Zack Crawford looks back on the success of the Wings’ first military Monday;

• In the, “Hey, give it to a kid!” department (and the usher did), WXYT’s Karsch and Andersson were a little shocked to see an usher grab a stick from Pavel Datsyuk after he was named the game’s first star, via the Detroit News’s David Guralnick;

Franzen fan? You might dig this wallpaper. Datsyuk fan? Try this. My wallpaper? MonkeyWrench 32 posts monthly Detroit sports wallpapers, and I’m going with this 90’s flashback

• Also from WXYT/97.1 the Ticket,

Part 1:

97.1 The Ticket’s Sports Fest with all your pro teams, autographs and activities, a sports pub brought to you by Ultimate Sports Bar, Saturday February 18th from 10a.m. to 6p.m. at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. Brought to you in part by McDonalds.

• February 18th
 
• 10 am-6pm

• Autographs
 
• Interactive games
 
• Sports pub brought to you by Ultimate Sports Bar

• Roundtable discussions
 
• Kids area
 
• All Detroit sports teams – Lions, Tigers, Red Wings, Pistons
 
• Detroit’s Most Spectacular Sports fan Celebration
 
• Suburban Collection Showplace Formerly Rock Financial Showplace in Novi

The event’s free, and Darren McCarty, Joey Kocur, Dan Petry, Barry Sanders and other Wings and other local sports alums took part in the event, and I believe the Hockey Hall of Fame’s traveling exhibit made a stop there as well. From what I heard, everyone who attended had a very good time;

• Also regarding The Ticket, via RedWingsFeed and the Detriot News, expect more Wings talk on 97.1:

Detroit News columnist Bob Wojnowski is joining 97.1 The Ticket (WXYT-FM). Wojnowski will team with Jamie Samuelsen, beginning Monday. The show is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. each weekday.

“I enjoy broadcasting, entertaining and occasionally whining, and I am excited about the chance to do it again on a regular basis,” said Wojnowski, who will continue his newspaper duties. “In 20-plus years as a Detroit News columnist, and 15 years on Detroit radio, I have deep connections and passions about the teams and the fans.”

The Detroit Free Press’s B.J. Hammerstein confirms:

“I can’t wait to get back on the air to talk sports with the most passionate fans in America,” Samuelsen said in the announcement.

He currently blogs about sports for the Detroit Free Press. Samuelsen also hosted different sports talk shows for 14 years for WDFN-AM (1130) and recently served as the sports director for WCSX-FM (94.7).

“I enjoy broadcasting, entertaining and occasionally whining, and I am excited about the chance to do it again on a regular basis,” added Wojo, the longtime Detroit News’ sports columnist and Motor City sports radio veteran.

Representatives from the Ticket told the Free Press today that Pat Caputo and Dennis Fithian’s show “Caputo and Fithian” will be heard beginning Monday at 8 p.m. “Caputo and Fithian” previously had the timeslot Wojo and Samuelsen’s new show will now occupy.

• Also from RedWingsFeed, in the satire department: Down Goes Brown posted a satirical look at the probable Wings-Leafs Winter Classic, and this quip made me laugh:

Con Nicklas Lidstrom would be at an unfair advantage in the game since he played outdoors all the time as a kid back before they invented buildings.

• While we’re in the land of snark and snickering, via the Wings, the Grand Rapids Griffins are giving away a signed Amazon Kindle Fire signed by

• Shifting gears in a big way, if you're not interested in

more Ryan Miller talk from NHL.com, ESPN’s Scott Burnside and Craig Custance (who, along with Yahoo Sports’ Nicholas J. Cotsonika, took in last night’s game) spoke about the fact that the Wings absolutely, positively have to win the Central Division to avoid a slog-fest through the first and second rounds of the playoffs:

Burnside: Good day, my friend. Well, we know the Detroit Red Wings sure like home cooking, don’t we? The Wings smoked Buffalo 5-0 Monday night chasing former Vezina Trophy winner Ryan Miller (man, does that seem like a million years ago, no?) to win their 15th straight home game, breaking a franchise record that had stood for 47 years. The Wings are 18-2-1 at home, which merely highlights the need for them to win the Central Division, if they’re going to have a good shot at a long playoff run in the spring. Or, at the very least, the need to finish ahead of either St. Louis or Chicago and own home ice at least in the first round, because the bottom line is that the Wings are a much different team on the road, less assertive, less dynamic as their rather tepid 11-13-0 record away from The Joe suggests. Weird, no? Last year the Wings were a team that struggled at home and actually won more road games than home games. That’s going to be an interesting trend to watch in this second half, especially given the tightness of the Central. Even with the win, the Wings remain in fifth in the Western Conference, a point behind Chicago (fourth) and a point behind St. Louis, which scored a late goal to beat Dallas 1-0 Monday night. The Blues currently hold down the top seed in the conference. Still, good on the Wings who also looked good in beating Chicago at home in overtime on the weekend. Veteran Todd Bertuzzi continued his hot hand Monday with a goal and two assists after scoring two in the win over Chicago.

Custance: Yeah, Bertuzzi’s goal was a beauty, after being denied once by Miller, he went to the backhand for the goal. The game was a great example of why the Red Wings are clicking at home. Pavel Datsyuk’s skill was on display with an incredible pass to Johan Franzen for a goal and a calm, confident Jimmy Howard made the big saves when he needed to. I asked a visiting scout to assess Howard’s game and he concluded that Howard is the “most consistent goalie in the NHL day in and day out.” That’s pretty high praise.

• And the CBC’s Elliotte Freidman penned his usual must-read in his 30 Thoughts column, and here are his Red Wings-related tidbits:

12.  Those who are waiting [to make trade deadline moves]? It’s believed the Flyers covet Ryan Suter, so you’ve got to save your biggest bullets. David Poile is on record as saying he’ll hold back until the last minute. Remember, the Flyers and Predators consummated two pretty important trades over the past few seasons: Peter Forsberg at the 2007 deadline, and Scott Hartnell/Kimmo Timonen for draft picks a few months later. Paul Holmgren must feel pretty confident that if he needs to pull off a complex transaction, he can do it with Poile.
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25.  Think the NHL and NHLPA should put it in writing: if you’re 35 or over, you have the option of playing in the All-Star Game. I don’t have any problem with Nicklas Lidstrom or Teemu Selanne preferring to rest. And, it opens room for guys like Scott Hartnell and Radim Vrbata, who desire to go. You need players who really want to be there, because they energize the four-day atmosphere for fans/sponsors. David Backes was like this last year, gleaning the glass for appreciative fans sitting near his bench.

Update #1: Captain obvious strikes as to why the NHL’s happily entertaining the Maple Leafs as a potential Winter Classic attendee, as noted by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:

bnordstrom9: I understand the allure of the Original Six, plus the historic rivalry of the Wings and Leafs, but if Bettman says part of being invited to the WC is on merit, how have the Leafs earned a spot? They haven’t made the playoffs since the 2004-05 lockout and will likely be a 5-8 seed this year (doubt they’ll get through the first round). Besides being historic, I don’t think that, since the lockout, that is one of the bigger FRESH rivalries in the NHL. And how about blending a little new with the Original Six? There are other teams that exist outside Canada and New England that can play some damn good hockey that are way more merited to play in the WC than Toronto and that have some semblance of a fresh rivalry with Detroit (think SJ, Nashville, Chicago, St. Louis—teams who have actually made the playoffs the last eight years and played the Wings in those playoffs) and if the NHL really wanted to grow their audience and the game shouldn’t they try and grow the less developed fan bases instead of the mature bases?

My take: Pretty easy to see why the league wants Toronto in that game next Jan. 1. There are 100,000-plus seats in the Big House to sell. It just so happens that just across the border from Detroit is Southwestern Ontario and a bottomless pit of hockey fans with money to spend.

prashanthiyer: Hey Pierre, I know this will seem like a typical rant about “Player X/Team X is not getting enough credit,” but I legitimately feel that there is a serious beef here. I’ve seen you address this before, but how is Pavel Datsyuk not an MVP candidate? He’s very quietly back in the top 10 in scoring, just six points behind the leader. After starting the season very slowly with just 10 points in his first 15 games, Datsyuk has ripped off 36 points in his last 27 games and that includes 12 multi-point games in those 27 games. We all know how good he is defensively (yet again leading the NHL in takeaways, and is 11th among forwards in plus/minus), but when his offensive numbers start to match what he does defensively, there is no better two-way player. It will be a real shame if his career ends without him getting more than just a single nomination for the Hart Trophy.

My take: You won’t get any disagreements from me. I’ve been on the Datsyuk bandwagon for a very long time. Truly one of the world’s most underappreciated superstars. One aspect of his game I truly admire is how hard he is to knock off the puck. He’s not a big man, but few players are harder to knock off the puck.

• In his ESPN’s Insider blog, Craig Custance talked about the Sabres’ performance in Detroit on Monday (not exactly a “must-read”);

• And here’s a nifty snag: Fox Sports Detroit’s Ken Daniels spoke to The Fan 590’s HockeyCentral at Noon crew to talk about the Wings’ winning streak and the central Division Boondoggle:

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Update #2: From the Stars’ morning skate, per ESPN Dallas’s Mark Stepenski:

Right wing Tomas Vincour, who has missed the last 14 games with a knee injury, will be in the lineup when the Dallas Stars host the Detroit Red Wings.

“It feels good. I am ready to go tonight,” said Vincour. “I’ll be bring whatever they want me to do and I’ll do what is best for the team, so we get back on track and start winning games.”

Vincour was injured in a December 15 game against the New York Islanders. He’‘s been skating on his own since last week and has been through a couple of optional practices this week.

“He’ll get some fourth line minutes,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “He’ll play six or seven minutes.”

Richard Bachman will get the start in goal tonight for the Stars. Ty Conklin is expected to start for the Red Wings.

The Stars’ PR website posted audio of Gulutzan’s comments…

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As well as some quips from Vincour:

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On the Wings’ side of things, Greatest Hockey Legends’ Joe Pelletier profiled Darren McCarty;

  • The Cardboard Connection’s Russ Cohen digs MacFarlane Sports’ new Pavel Datsyuk figure;

• And, uh…The Red Wings Facebook page posted a clip of the Jack Links Beef Jerky Sasquatch, who might be Todd Bertuzzi’s brother or cousin, spearing a Stars fan.


Update #3: SI’s Adrian Dater praiess the Wings in his power rankings….

2 Detroit Red Wings Last Week: 4: Forget about beating them at the Joe. They improved to 18-2-1 at Joe Louis Arena with Monday’s blowout win over Buffalo. It was their 15th straight win at home, besting the previous team record set in 1965. The two points improved the Wings’ total to 59, one behind Chicago in the Central, and their goal differential (plus-43) is the best in the West. Last week: 3-1-0

• If you wish to purchase 10 or more Griffins “flex” tickets, you could win a gigantic hockey glove designed to hold beer signed by either Chris Chelios or Chris Osgood;

• Here’s MLive’s Ansar Khan’s morning skate report:

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has made a couple of changes to his lineup for tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center (8:30, Fox Sports Detroit). Jan Mursak will replace Cory Emmerton on the fourth line and Mike Commodore is in for Jakub Kindl on defense. Babcock said last night that Ty Conklin would start in goal.

“They (Emmerton and Kindl) both played real well (in Monday’s 5-0 win over Buffalo), but the other guys are in,’’ Babcock said today, after an optional morning skate.

It will be Mursak’s second game with the Red Wings since returning from a broken ankle in the preseason.

“He’s got to play with poise without the puck. That’s the big challenge,’’ Babcock said. “One thing Cory Emmerton does all the time, he looks after his linemates. He’s real good down low. He’s a center, but even when he plays the wing, he looks after them. Mursak’s a forechecker, you got to forecheck.’‘
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Conklin is 2-5-0, with a 3.28 goals-against average and .888 save percentage.

“It’s an opportunity for him,’’ Babcock said. “His last game (5-1 loss to the Islanders one week ago) didn’t go the way he wanted, so now your job is to win the game. It’s not about goals against, it’s about winning the game.’‘

Here’s the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan’s morning skate report...

Mike Commodore and Jan Musak will be in the lineup Tuesday night against Dallas, while Jakub Kindl and Cory Emmerton are healthy scratches. Coach Mike Babcock says he’s not been dissatisfied with the play of Kindl or Emmerton.

“They played real well,” said Babcock, who wanted a different look with the Wings playing the second of back-to-back nights.

The Wings also will start Ty Conklin in net, giving Jimmy Howard a rest. Conklin lost his last decision, 5-3, to the New York Islanders on Jan. 10.

“It’s an opportunity for him,” Babcock said. “Things didn’t go the way he wanted (last game).” When you’re the goalie, your job is to win the game. It’s not about goals-against, it’s about winning the game. That’s his opportunity tonight.”

And the Free Press’s Helene St. James enlightens us with some pretty cool intangibles:

[Tomas] Holmstrom was one of the few veterans taking part in the morning skate. Afterward, he chatted about his role in the upcoming Nicklas Lidstrom biopic (technically, it’s “NHL 36: Nicklas Lidstrom,” to air at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25 on the NBC Sports Network). What’s Holmstrom’s part in the show? Same as always, according to him: “I drove Nick to the rink.”

The Stars, who lost, 1-0, at St. Louis on Monday, are starting Richard Bachman in goal. For those wondering who Bachman is: He has played 10 games in relief of Kari Lehtonen this season, going 6-2 with a 2.56 goals-against average and .917 save percentage. Conklin is playing his ninth game of the season and is looking to improve on a 2-5 record (3.28 GAA, .888 save percentage).

The Wings won here two weeks ago, 5-4, but consider the game to have been the start of a trend that saw them give up an uncharacteristic amount of goals.

“We had four games in a row—no good without the puck,” Babcock said. “It was a loosey-goosey game. We got five, they got four. Then that continued. Toronto, even Chicago—we battled back, but it was like that. And then the (Islanders). Then we went home, and we’ve kind of committed to the details of the game, and we’re going to have to ... tonight.”

The Wings want to establish themselves as a better road team than their 11-13 record reflects.

“What you’re doing, in some ways, is you’re saying, ‘OK, we don’t have to win on the road because we’ve been good enough on the road,’” Babcock said. “But you and I know both know that’s not how it works. I think it’s very clear: Our face-off percentage on the road is not good enough, our goals-against isn’t good enough. We know how to play, though, which I’m real confident in. I like our team. We’re growing. And yet in saying all that, we can get a lot better on the road. Here’s an opportunity tonight.”

But Babcock’s first comments this morning was to talk up a breakfast of bagel with cream cheese and a cup of coffee.

Also, via RedWingsFeed, Mike Modano will be attending tonight’s game.

Update #4 Very neat, from Puck Daddy: the Wings are tied for having the most players who’ve played in 1,000 or more games for their team with 5, and Tomas Holmstrom is 10 games away from giving the Wings the most ever 1,000-game-plus players in NHL history;

And FSD’s Art Regner has no problem with Detroit hosting a Winter Classic which will not take place in Detroit:

Remember, this is a league event. The NHL will pay the Red Wings the equivalent (rounded up) of a sold-out home game and then it becomes the league’s baby.

Critics might say, “How can you have it in Ann Arbor and not at Comerica Park, in Hockeytown U.S.A.?”

Because the ballpark thing has been done before and the viewership is down.By having the event at Michigan Stadium, the NHL will learn if the Winter Classic will have a long or short shelf life. In order to stay relevant, you have to sometimes reinvent yourself. 

Hockey in a football stadium as opposed to a baseball stadium might not seem all that different, but it’s the best—perhaps only—option for the NHL Michigan Stadium has already hosted an outdoor game, and Michigan AD Dave Brandon recognizes that the Winter Classic will only enhance Michigan’s image. Brandon will make it happen.

With the game in Ann Arbor, the league will announce that a majority of the Winter Classic festivities will be held in Detroit, including building a second rink at Comerica Park, which is a win-win situation for the Metro Detroit area. A two-rink solution for the 2013 Winter Classic will quell any misgiving about this showcase being in Michigan.


Update #5: Ken Holland just appeared on The Fan 590’s Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown…

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Via RedWingsFeed, he was on NHL Live as well, and this is his full interview:


Update #6: Sorry this is very late!

• Via Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski, The Score’s Rob Pizzo penned a superb article about when players “earn the right” to do things like declining to attend All-Star Games;

• Todd Bertuzzi received Pro Hockey Talk’s Tuesday Tire Pump;

• Jimmy Howard received a first-half fantasy hockey award from ESPN’s Tim Kavanagh:

The Leap Award: Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings. This one goes to the player who appears to have taken the next step from being a reliable source of fantasy production to one who can be counted amongst the elites at the position, and the choice is obvious this season: Ogdensburg, N.Y., native Howard. His first two seasons showed why the ratios matter so much to us in fantasy: In 2009-10, he put up 37 wins in 61 starts, with a 2.26 GAA and .924 save percentage, finishing in the top 10 in each category. Last season, he maintained the win total, but the ratios dropped to 2.79 and .908, numbers which were good for the No. 34 and No. 31 spot, respectively, in the league. As a result, Howard fell from the ranks of the top-five fantasy ‘tenders down to No. 31 among goalies on the Player Rater by the end of last season. At the 45-game mark for the Red Wings, Howard has started 37 games, picking up 27 wins; doing some quick math, this puts him on pace for 67.42 starts and 48.89 wins this season, with 48 being the NHL record set by Martin Brodeur in 2006-07. As for GAA and save percentage, his 1.98 thus far has him fourth in the league, while he’s ninth in the latter with a .926 rate. It’s going to be a tough call to keep one of Howard, Quick or Thomas home if USA Hockey wants to retain Miller for the 2012 Olympic team, as ESPN Insider Craig Custance wrote recently. From a fantasy perspective—especially for those in keeper leagues—the future is clearly brightest for one of this quartet, based on factors such as age and the team surrounding him, and that’s Howard.

• Via RedWingsFeed, here’s a breakdown of last weekend’s Wings-Hawks ratings from Puck the Media’s Steve Lepore:

Despite not having the greatest local numbers you’ll ever see from these two markets, NBC still performed well with it’s broadcast of Blackhawks-Red Wings.

The Detroit market drew a 5.7/13 rating, which was down 7% from the network’s last Chicago-Detroit game (4/10/11: 6.1/15), but up 8% from the market rating for the Detroit/Boston showdown on Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, the Chicago market drew a 3.9/10. This was down 35% from the network’s last Blackhawks-Red Wings game and the most recent Blackhawks broadcast on NBC (4/10/11: 6.0/17). Still, the network got the same national rating, so it means that more casual fans from across the country were tuned in.

• And USA Today’s Kevin Allen just posted this “storyline” to watch for over the second half of this season:

8. The Red Wings have cap space and a good team: Detroit has the room to make a major move if they are so inclined. They would like to re-sign Brad Stuart as well. With Nicklas Lidstrom now 41 and Stuart potentially able to leave, the Red Wings would be hesitant to move prized prospect Brendan Smith. The Red Wings’ cap situation would also allow them to be a mover and shaker in the free agent market next summer.

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Comments

SYF's avatar

No timetable for Patrick Eaves (broken jaw) to return to #redwings lineup. GM Ken Holland hasn’t even spoken to Eaves in a month.
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Re Eaves: Can’t rehab a jaw like a knee or shoulder. Just has to heal on its own, so not really any reason for GM to pester him for updates.
...
@MsRedWinger @RedWingsLetty Training and medical staff in regular touch with him.

Gaaah…so friggin’ frustrating for Eaves.  And he was having a great season.

I don’t have any problem with Nicklas Lidstrom or Teemu Selanne preferring to rest. And, it opens room for guys like Scott Hartnell and Radim Vrbata, who desire to go. You need players who really want to be there, because they energize the four-day atmosphere for fans/sponsors.

I disagree with very few things with Friedman but this man can turn content on a dime.  Absolutely agree with this sentiment.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 01/17/12 at 04:27 PM ET

Avatar

The way I saw the situation with Datsyuk’s stick (and this was on the broadcast) was that three people, including the kid, grabbed the stick.  The usher took the stick from everybody and then gave it to the kid.  The usher didn’t keep it.

Posted by J from Farmington on 01/17/12 at 05:09 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Was sorry to see that news about Patrick Eaves.  Must have been a pretty horrible injury.  Brad Stuart seemed to recover faster from his last season…

Guess Souray must be OK because I haven’t seen any indication that he’s not playing tonight.  He left the game in St. Louis with some kind of injury last night…

LGRW!!!!!

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 01/17/12 at 05:18 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Must have been a pretty horrible injury.  Brad Stuart seemed to recover faster from his last season…


It could be extent of the injury, it could also be complications in healing (e.g., bone infection?).  At some point, they may have to IR him.  We’ll see.

Posted by MoreShoot on 01/17/12 at 05:50 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Yeah, the usher was cool about it.

As for Eaves, his dad Mike (who coaches Wisconsin) said that only one plate was necessary to repair Eaves’ jaw, but he could be dealing with complications, very simply, his bones might not be fusing at the rate doctors had hoped (sometimes when they say 6 to 8 weeks, it can take 10—I know it’s very different, but when I broke my arm when I was young I had to wear a cast for 10 and a splint for another 4), he might have had a rough reaction to having to deal with a liquid diet, or it could be that the surgery was more complicated than we thought.

My thinking when I saw Eaves go down was that it was entirely possible that instead of a simple fracture to his jaw where the bone gave way at some point, he may have suffered an injury where the ball-and-socket joint affixing his right jawbone to his head was what took the blow, and if that happened, repairing a joint is much more complex surgery than repairing a break away from a joint.

And in general, even if you’ve got the best doctors in the world, jaw surgery is still perhaps one of the most grisly, brutal and nasty surgeries around, so it’s not necessarily surprising that Eaves has suffered a setback of one form or another.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/17/12 at 06:14 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

Posted by J from Farmington on 01/17/12 at 02:09 PM ET

That’s exactly what I saw too.  Dats tried to give it to the kid, and the woman also tried to take it (and would not give up), so the usher settled problem by taking it and giving it to the kid.

btw, who the hell is Dick Bachman

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 01/17/12 at 06:16 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Exactly right J.. some older lady was trying to take it from some kid and the Usher settled it and gave it to the kid.  Good on him, great people work at the Joe.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/17/12 at 06:58 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Bachman in net for the Stars. Wings should be able to take care of business.

Sorry.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 01/17/12 at 07:03 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Art Regner of course has no problem with it, he’s a Michigan slappy.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 01/17/12 at 07:11 PM ET

Avatar

Richard Bachman starting in goal for Dallas.
Isn’t his real name Stephen King?

Posted by herschel c. wollmack on 01/17/12 at 09:14 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Having it at Michigan Stadium and breaking a record may be good for publicity and the NHL, but it’s horrible for the fans.  The Big House is so shallowly sloped, 99% of the people won’t be able to see a thing due to the angle and how far away they’ll be.  At least Comerica has 2 decks along the infield so people attending the game might actually be able to see.  But it’s all about the money, so it’ll be at Michigan Stadium.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 01/17/12 at 09:33 PM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

I believe Mursak looked pretty good last time he was on the ice.

Exactly right J.. some older lady was trying to take it from some kid and the Usher settled it and gave it to the kid.  Good on him, great people work at the Joe.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/17/12 at 03:58 PM ET

There are rules to these things.  In this situation the kid always wins. 

Kind of torn about where the WC should be at.  If it’s at Michigan Stadium there’s a much better chance of getting tickets.  But if at Comerica Park it’d be a better game to watch. 

Hopefully Eaves will be back soon.

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 01/17/12 at 11:05 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Quite honestly, the Winter Classic at U of M would have to involve binocular sales. Those upper-upper-bowl seats may as well be halfway to my old apartment on East Hoover street (across from the U of M pool). You’ll have to have binoculars in one hand and a radio in the other to know what’s going on.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 01/17/12 at 11:27 PM ET

Avatar

Criticisms we haven’t heard (much) recently:
Trading Leino was horrible. It’s Holland’s/Babcock’s fault that they couldn’t develop Leino in Detroit. Look at what he’s done in Philadelphia,...
Why are we bringing Hudler back? He’s washed up. He’s lost it as a goal scorer since he went to Russia….
Why did the Wings keep Kenny Holland? Yzerman would have been great and was ready. Look at what he’s done in Tampa Bay,...
Why didn’t we sign one of those big name defensemen? Who is this Ian White guy anyway?
Why did we sign Bertuzzi again? Didn’t he flop the first time?
(and the old favorite: Why are we relying on Jimmy Howard? He’s never going to be an elite goaltender….).
Ken Holland is far from perfect, and we can debate Ericsson, Conklin, etc., but when a GM can keep a team ALWAYS in the playoff hunt for this long, maybe we should give him the benefit of the doubt,...

Posted by Bugsy on 01/17/12 at 11:48 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Update #4 Very neat, from Puck Daddy: the Wings are tied for having the most players who’ve played in 1,000 or more games for their team with 5, and Tomas Holmstrom is 10 games away from giving the Wings the most ever 1,000-game-plus players in NHL history;

So looking at the Wings schedule, we should expect him to play every game when Feb. 8th rolls around and it will be a home game (against the Oilers) which will officially make it Homer’s 1,000th game.

Unreal…

Thank you, Mr. Holmstrom.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 01/18/12 at 06:08 AM 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.