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The Malik Report

Red Wings mid-day stuff: Abdelkader soars, Datsyuk grinds and more Osgood talk

Updated 2x at 12:04 PM: That clunk following a soft thud that you just heard echoing across North America was Ken Holland’s shoes hitting the carpet as he put his feet up on his desk in Vernon, British Columbia. With the Wings’ signing of Ty Conklin to a one-year deal that’s supposedly worth $750,000 (per Andy Strickland), the team’s more or less finished its summertime roster-building at both the NHL and AHL levels.

We can expect a press conference sometime over the next eight weeks to announce whatever the heck Kris Draper’s going to do (I’m assuming that the presser will be held closer to training camp), and it’s possible but not probable that the Wings could move Jiri Hudler to add a top-six forward, but with 14 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies ready to go at the NHL level, and Joey MacDonald, Garnet Exelby, Chris Conner, etc. in wait with the Grand Rapids Griffins, the team’s good to go and Holland may as well start focusing on his golf game after the team holds its Conklin media availability this afternoon.

The Wings will continue to make midsummer waves in the news department for another two to three weeks, however, and the Wings’ Twitter account reports that Justin Abdelkader had a fine time flying with the Blue Angels this morning:

Abdelkader getting instructions before jumping on board with the Blue Angels. http://t.co/cUfL5qH
...
Abdelkader does have an interest in aviation. Don’t know what his nerves are like, but he sounds amped to get in the air
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Abdelkader doing loops a few thousand feet above us before landing.
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Success for Justin! http://t.co/4G5mMa0
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Abby: The flight was awesome. Something I will remember for the rest of my life.
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Abby: Growing up, always fascinated by pilots, to go up with these guys is just amazing.
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PHOTOS: Justin Abdelkader rides with the Blue Angels. http://t.co/4PU1uPy (Check it out!)

Via RedWingsFeed, the Free Press’s Helene St. James already filed a story about Abdelkader’s adventures above Willow Run airport:

Speaking minutes after thrilling through a 45-minute flight with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels today, Abdelkader noted he saw parts of Ann Arbor soon after takeoff from Willow Run Airport. Abdelkader flew with Lt. David Tickle.

“We were joking around,” Abdelkader said. “We flew over Ann Arbor, went over the Big House – if we’d had had a couple bombs on it, maybe we would have dropped a couple on there.”

Abdelkader, of course, is a former Spartan. He spoke glowingly of the experience aboard the F/A-18 Hornet. Tickle said Abdelkader experienced 7.4 G-force, flew as high as 15,000 feet, and got up to about 550 miles per hour.

“It was pretty tough on your body,” Abdelkader said. “You’ve just got to breathe right and try to squeeze your legs and keep the blood up towards your head so you don’t black out. I was in and out a few times, it got a little black, but I came right back. It was a lot of fun.”

Tickle said Ann Arbor was never in any danger.

“One of the maneuvers I can show him is a bombing hop,” Tickle said. “As we speak right now, we have men and women flying in Iraq, Afghanistan, wherever else. So I wanted to be able to show him kind of what we do. We just happened to be over Ann Arbor at the time and I know he’s a big Michigan State guy. So it worked out great we could pretend we were bombing Ann Arbor for him. Obviously I would never bomb Ann Arbor. I have nothing against Michigan.”

I’m guessing that we’ll read more stories about Abdelkader’s adventure and see some video thereof later today…

On the other side of the Atlantic, Pavel Datsyuk’s sharing a birthday with Wings owner Mike Ilitch, and the Hockey News’s Rory Boylen reports that Datsyuk’s hockey camp in Ekaterinburg, Russia is working its players particularly hard doing dry-land training :

The rain fell hard and the thunder sounded Monday night at the Kurganovo Complex after a loud first day of workouts at the PD13 hockey school. It was an early, overcast morning after a long, gruelling session the day before, so the challenge Tuesday for the instructors was to make sure the kids were involved and active right from the get-go.

Enter Jeremy Clark, professional trainer, off-ice director at the camp and owner of the Minnesota Top Team facility. Clark specializes in MMA-style training and did some fighting of his own. But the type of workouts he swears by are valuable to hockey, which makes him a key piece of this team. Clark focuses mostly on core exercises and preaches the importance of balance. Weights are overrated in this program because there are so many other, more basic elements you can use to give yourself better overall strength and fitness.

After following the younger age group Monday, I joined up with the older kids (10 to 12) Tuesday as they took to the field to be put through Clark’s paces right off the bat. At PD13, the schedules remain the same every day for each group, alternating between on- and off-ice twice a day with lunch and a video session in the middle. But the drills change, which is something especially important to Clark, who believe strength is built through muscle confusion.

The kids started off with two laps of the track, stretching and a couple other warmups before being split into groups at six workstations. Among them were medicine-ball tosses, lunges and pulling a resisting partner halfway down the field while holding a stick. The kids cycled through each station at two-minute intervals and went around the field twice.

By the end of it all they were red-faced and panting and with the on-ice session so close all they really had time to do was put on their gear. They gasped in disbelief when Clark told them they’d be spending about five times longer on these types of stations by the end of the week. At least the afternoon session was made up of a soccer game to give them exercise and a bit of fun, too.

“Muscle confusion” is trainer-speak for working out so hard that one might hand his or her trainer their lunch (no word as to whether Abdelkader kept his breakfast down), and this morning’s focus remains squarely upon Chris Osgood’s retirement and legacy, with Kirk Maltby weighing in on his friend’s career with The Fan 590’s Roger Lajoie...

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And MLive’s Ansar Khan ponders Osgood’s case for inclusion in the Hockey Hall of Fame:

Osgood’s candidacy will be debated for years, and he probably won’t get in on the first ballot in 2014. Mark Howe, who finished his career with the Red Wings in 1995, was elected just this year. Osgood should not be penalized for being in the right place at the right time.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland obviously is biased, but he makes a compelling argument for the goalie he drafted in 1991.

“He has the 10th-most wins in the history of the NHL,” Holland said. “When you’re in the top 10 of anything that’s been around 90 to 100 years it’s pretty special. People will say that he played on good teams and use that as a reason why he (shouldn’t be in). My response would be, most of the guys ahead of him on the list also played on good teams. And if it’s so easy, everyone would be doing it. It’s not easy winning 400 games and two Stanley Cups.”

Osgood won with remarkable consistency up until the past two seasons. He was one of the better goalies in the league for much of his career, but never widely regarded as one of the top three in any given year. He was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy only once, and finished runner-up to Washington’s Jim Carey in 1996.

His lack of individual awards will hurt his cause. He twice won or shared the Jennings Trophy, which is given to the goalies on the team that allows the fewest goals.

It also hurts Osgood’s case that the Red Wings waived him in 2001, three months after acquiring Dominik Hasek. But Osgood’s remarkable renaissance during his second stint in Detroit, starting in 2005-06, boosts his chances. Osgood was the team’s savior during its 2008 Cup run, ironically after Hasek faltered in the first round. And Osgood more than likely would have won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2009 if the Red Wings had defeated Pittsburgh in Game 7 of the Cup finals, instead of losing 2-1. A different result might have ended all debate. But now Osgood, beginning in 2014, will be kept in suspense every June, when the Hall announces its inductees.

“Getting into the Hall of Fame means the world to me,” Osgood said. “If I said it didn’t, I’d be kidding myself and lying. I know what I’ve had to do to get to where I’ve been over the years. I feel like I deserve to be in.”

Also: Stan Fischler suggests that the Red wings remain one of four elite teams that could challenge the Boston Bruins’ attempt to defend their Stanley Cup championship…

Detroit Red Wings

Any discussion of the NHL’s upper-echelon teams that does not include the Red Wings is unfair. In what could be Nik Lidstrom’s final season, the Red Wings will undoubtedly make a strong push to get the future Hall-of-Famer one final shot at the Cup.

And, as long as Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk are on board, the sky is the limit for Detroit. Not to mention coach Mike Babcock; his contributions have made the Wings one of the leagues’ most consistent post-lockout teams.

And I don’t remember his name, but Sky Sports’...er, there’s no credit for the article…somebody spoke to defenseman Martin Ondrej, who’s joined the British Elite League’s Hull Stingrays, about taking part in the Wings’ 2008 training camp as an invite:

Ondrej added: “Being in the Red Wings camp was a great experience for me because I finally felt like a professional player!

“It was also a great experience to have Chris Chelios as my D-partner. After one week, I pulled my groin and could not continue in camp. I was so disappointed because I was in great shape.”

Update: I had a feeling this was coming…Hockey’s Future’s Brad Garnder takes a look at the Wings’ 2011 draft picks, and I’ll spotlight the player that received little press attention as the team’s sleeper pick:

Xavier Ouellet, D - Montreal Juniors (QMJHL)
2nd round, 48th overall
Height: 6’0 Weight: 179 lbs

The Wings’ second pick in the second round went to bolstering their defensive depth with the talented Xavier Ouellet. Born in France, the blueliner exploded onto the scoresheet in his second year with the Montreal Juniors.

He ranked second among defensemen on the club with 43 points in 68 regular season games, while his eight assists in 10 playoff games led the blue line. Ouellet meant more to Montreal than just the points, though, as he played on the top pairing with Charles Landry (TB) and was also tasked with shutting down the opponent’s top offensive line throughout the season.

Montreal Juniors head coach Pascal Vincent described the blueliner as, “One of the most consistent players on our team since the beginning of the season. He’s a very smart two-way player and that’s what he brings, he brings good decisions on the ice. He’s the type of player that when you put him on the ice, you’re just confident in him as a coach. Offensively, defensively, power play, penalty, against the top line. He knows what he has to do with the puck.”

With excellent poise and the ability to make smart reads at both ends of the ice, Ouellet brings as much two-way potential as any defenseman in the Detroit prospect system. He also brings solid mobility to the back end, though skating and adding strength are seen as areas in which he could improve.

“He’s like a sponge,” the coach said, “You tell him something once and you know he’s going to at least try it. He might not be able to execute everything right away, but he’ll try. We’re going to see the best of Ouellet when he’s 24, 25, 26 years old with his work ethic and his attitude and the way he’s progressing, he’s going to be terrific.”

Boy, howdy, is he ever a player who was born to play for the Wings. He’s not very physical but he’s elegantly smart in terms of his ability to move the puck and make plays and his skating is already very good.

Update #2: Red Wings social media coordinator Jake Duhaime also posted a slate of Chris Osgood memories and tributes from fans.

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Comments

Number9Loyalist's avatar

Got my Malik Report fix for the day.  You sure make July a lot more bearable George - enjoy your vacation.

Posted by Number9Loyalist on 07/20/11 at 01:39 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

I do enjoy the stories about the Datsyuk kids’ camp.
What a fine thing he is doing for youth in his home town.

Posted by w2j2 on 07/20/11 at 01:41 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar

Morning coffee with George.  Thanks G!

Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, with 3 fingers of rum & a cigar.. on 07/20/11 at 01:45 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

George, Ouellet stood out in my mind from your prospect camp reports.  I got the feeling you were really impressed with him too.

I thought Ken Holland made a very, very strong argument for Ozzie to make the HOF.  I hope it happens for him.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 07/20/11 at 01:46 PM ET

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i love how the wings went into the off-season needing to make significant improvements to have a chance at the cup and they’ve instead gotten worse. time have changed.

Posted by jmb on 07/20/11 at 02:43 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

they’ve instead gotten worse

Care to explain just how we’ve become worse?

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 07/20/11 at 02:49 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

“Muscle confusion” is trainer-speak for working out so hard that one might hand his or her trainer their lunch

No, that is more akin to muscle failure or over-exertion. The theory behind muscle confusion is that your body adapts very quickly to whatever stress is placed on it. By changing around the exercises (so that the body does not become accustomed to the same movements each workout) you can prevent the body from adapting and as a result avoid a muscle building plateau. The same theory is also applied to dieting.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 07/20/11 at 03:15 PM ET

cowboycoffee's avatar

but Semin is e4!

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 07/20/11 at 03:19 PM ET

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I really hope they do move hudler and bring in a top six forward.  Honestly, I cannot see how the team is better this year than they were last year.  I don’t think White and Commodore are an improvement over Rafalski and Salei, and those are the only moves that have been made.  Yeah, maybe Conk is better than Ozzie, but that really won’t matter come April.

I’m not saying the wings weren’t top contenders last season.  A couple of bounces this way or that way and who knows?  But realistically, they didn’t get better.  Call it injuries or puck luck, but for two years they’ve been unable to make it over the hump.  The hope was that Kenny would’ve made a big move to push us over the top. 

Oh well, maybe Conk wins a few more games than Ozzie, and we get a higher seeding and a cakewalk to the cup.  It seems to me though, that our competition got tougher, and we maintained the status quo.

Posted by Ha Hockey on 07/20/11 at 03:26 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Honestly, I cannot see how the team is better this year than they were last year.

Maybe you’re right when it comes to the replacements of the players that left, but we won’t know until December or January.

You’ve also forgotten two major things here; the hiring of two new assistant coaches. Maybe it won’t turn out to be a good thing, but I’m thinking it will. The core of this team won a Cup on 2008. What changed that summer?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/20/11 at 03:50 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I really like how Holland has drafted recently as it seems like he’s building a future core of talented, mobile defensemen and strong, positionally sound goalies.  I really like it.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 07/20/11 at 03:57 PM ET

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Nah George, I think that thud is the cooler lid as Kenny grabbed another zima.

The shoes came off last summer.

I would love to ask Kenny, in between practice putts and sips of Zima, about that session he proclaimed to have studying the rosters of the cup finalists. 

What were the gaps he discovered between their and our rosters….and how specifically does replacing Rafalski and Osgood for Ian White and Ty Conklin, along with 6 million of unused cap space serve to close that gap and make us better than a threatening-to-be-perpetual 2nd round exit and bring us closer to a cup?

I, of course, would be sure to compliment the maestro on his putting stroke.

Posted by deanwerner on 07/20/11 at 04:45 PM ET

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Itrusteddrrahmani, you’d rather have commodore and white than rafalski? i didn’t think so.

and the older guys are another year older. filpulla, hudler and kronwall have all plateaued.  there may be some improvement on the bottom two lines but that’s it.

Posted by jmb on 07/20/11 at 04:50 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

If this is it for the Wings, I have no problem concluding that this team is worse on paper than it was last summer.

- Rafalski was a giant, regardless of his artificial spine or whatever.  Ian White (whom I like as a second line stay at home type) simply isn’t what Rafalski brought to the table in terms of smarts and skill for the PP1 and even strength.

- The goaltending tandem is one of the lower level pairs that the Wings have had in the past 20 years.  There’s a reason Conklin wasn’t pursued when he went on waivers this past spring nor this summer when Osgood was potentially coming back, he’s regressing.

- There have been no changes to the stable of forwards other than Modano retiring.  With Modano, you had a solid qb for PP2, somthing the team is severely lacking in that department heading into October.

- Commodore and Salei are a wash (both were coming off bad injury years).

I will admite, it’ll be fun to be proven wrong by seeing this team make its vaunted return to the final four.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/20/11 at 04:54 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

and the older guys are another year older. filpulla, hudler and kronwall have all plateaued.  there may be some improvement on the bottom two lines but that’s it.

Posted by jmb on 07/20/11 at 03:50 PM ET

If Filppula has the same type of season as he’s been having (solid two-way center who passes too much but can score on the wing) and the same type of playoff performance we are used to seeing, then yes, I’ll agree he’s plateaued into a versatile 2nd line winger/3rd line center who puts up different numbers depending on where he is playing in the season and has that much needed extra gear in the playoffs that elevates him to 2nd line center (his primary role in ‘08 cup run). And if that is what he is, the Wings can live with that so long as he doesn’t cost too much against the cap.

I have no expectations for Hudler. He either has the drive to play or he doesn’t. It could be the scenery, but if that’s the case then the question is which scenery, another NHL team or the KHL?

As for Kronwall, he finally broke out, so he’s got another season or two before I expect him to plateau, and when he does reach his top level there is no reason to think that if he’s healthy he won’t remain at that level for a handful of years. I believe that will be top pairing and minutes.

I don’t have high hopes for the bottom half of the forward lines. The team says Abdelkader has more than grinding in him, but until he shows it, he’s just a solid energy guy (nothing wrong with that). Same thing with Helm, who might be more Todd Marchant than Kris Draper. Miller and Eaves are penalty killers, though Eaves might have that Cleary potential in him to move up the lines in another season or two. Time will tell. Don’t get me wrong, I like them all, but they aren’t All-Star potential, just really good role players that every team needs. And it helps that they are young and full of energy, oh, and they play mean.

Posted by Bradley97 on 07/20/11 at 05:22 PM ET

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I am curious as to your reaction to HF rankings of our new winglets. It struck me curious that they have Hudon ranked higher than Jurco, at this point.  Also, not much love for Sproul. I get these mean nothing, but after having seen most through T.C. camp, how would you have them ranked?

Posted by omni1da from TX on 07/20/11 at 05:23 PM ET

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I cant help it George- you know how I feel about Ozzie’s absurdly and erroneously maligned career. here are some of his more AMAZING stats, that clearly show he is a HHOFcaliber goaltender. And to those who argue he had it easy backing up the Wings- HE didn’t- any good goaltender knows its a MILLION times more difficult to keep your head in the game, retain focus and stop a shot when you see less of them. Oh, I know- but “Bring it” naysayers, I can annihilate every last one of your negative arguments.


3 Stanley Cups (Only 6 goaltenders in history have more: Sawchuk, Plante, Dryden, Smith, Worsley and “Wah”).

401 Wins ranking you the 10th goalie to ever win that many games in the history of the league.

4th Best Win Percentage of all-time with a career WP of 53.9%, (Only Brodeur, Dryden, “Wah” and Plante have a better W%).

7th Best GAA of all-time with a career GAA 2.49 (amongst goalies playing more than 500 games, since statistic was first tracked)

4th Most playoff shutouts of all time with 15 (Only Brody, Cujo and “Wah” have more).

8th Winning-est playoff goaltender of all time with 74 playoff victories.

16st Best SV% of all-time at .905 (Amongst goalies playing more than 500 games, since statistic was tracked).

24th Most Shutouts of all-time with 50.

3 time All-Star.

2 time Jennings Winner.

One of only 8 NHL Goalies to score a goal, 1 of only 5 NHL Goalies to put the puck in the opposing team’s net.

Posted by Juice from LA on 07/20/11 at 05:44 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

George, you know I love you man, but why do you keep peddling the “trade Hudler” spiel?  At what point has anyone within the organ-I-sation EVER given any indication that that was even a remote possibility?

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 07/20/11 at 06:05 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

I cant help it George- you know how I feel about Ozzie’s absurdly and erroneously maligned career. here are some of his more AMAZING stats, that clearly show he is a HHOFcaliber goaltender. And to those who argue he had it easy backing up the Wings- HE didn’t- any good goaltender knows its a MILLION times more difficult to keep your head in the game, retain focus and stop a shot when you see less of them. Oh, I know- but “Bring it” naysayers, I can annihilate every last one of your negative arguments.

Posted by Juice from LA on 07/20/11 at 04:44 PM ET

I’m glad you’re willing to take it on because I won’t touch the argument with my own hockey stick. Unfortunately many against it either don’t appreciate your key point in the above paragraph (I think we can all count and name the large number of goalies who could not handle that in the Wings’ net since Ozzie and Vernon became the duo to first pull it off) or want higher standards to enter the league instead of obvious benchmarks (like 400 wins, 500 goals, 1,000 asists (Adam Oates, who should be in just for that), etc.).

One key individual point that most overlook (I’m surprised you forgot it in your phenomenal list) is that Osgood was runner up for the Vezina in ‘95-‘96 to a one-year wonder (just like Zetterberg was robbed of the Calder by a defensive defenseman who never lived up to expectations, though I don’t why there were any, Z should have run away with the trophy that year- can you tell I’m biased?). It has been noted by some, but not by many, and I don’t consider it a footnote, just like I don’t think anyone can ignore Norris Nick’s three-time consecutive runner-up run before he finally began getting the recognition he deserved. The only difference is that Ozzie never had another season like that, but he did have two amazing playoff runs at the end of his career, and I thought he deserved the Conn Smyth in ‘08 over Z, but I guess that’s just me.

One more follow up to the key point of being a Wings goalie: It’s not just the long wait between shots that requires a clear head and constant readiness, it’s the flurry of shots that come at those moments. Looking at a game stat sheet when the Wings are playing strong defense and “only” allowing 20 shots per game one only has to see how the bulk of shots tend to be clustered together to understand just how difficult the job is, with the goalie seeing one shot followed by ten minutes of nothing and then 5-10 high quality shots at once. Except in recent years the shot total has gone up so that has to say something about how good Howard really is since the clusters are closer to 10 but spread out over long periods of time, and then there are the breakdowns in the final minutes. So take that whoever made the ridiculous comment about Howard not being good enough. Conklin also faced that when he was here as the Wings defensive game was not always up to par that season and has gone downhill since (hence the call for new assistant coaches and in some cases a few calls for a new head coach- not me on the latter).

That’s all I’m going to say about this, and since I’m only a little taller than Theo Fleury I don’t think this counts as touching the argument with my own hockey stick, just sweeping past it.  tongue wink

Posted by Bradley97 on 07/20/11 at 07:50 PM ET

Avatar

I am curious as to your reaction to HF rankings of our new winglets. It struck me curious that they have Hudon ranked higher than Jurco, at this point.  Also, not much love for Sproul. I get these mean nothing, but after having seen most through T.C. camp, how would you have them ranked?

Posted by omni1da from TX on 07/20/11 at 04:23 PM ET

The new Wings picks have actually not been ranked yet at HF… the “Other Notables” section that I think you are looking at (on the team page or any of the Wings player profiles) is actually in alphabetical order, which explains what would otherwise be the very bizarre ranking of Hudon ahead of Jurco. The new picks will be incorporated into the team’s next Top 20 rankings closer to the start of the season.

Posted by B.Gardner from IL on 07/20/11 at 08:01 PM ET

Avatar

Bradley97- great great points that need to be repeated adnaeuseum! My favorite was this:

“It’s not just the long wait between shots that requires a clear head and constant readiness, it’s the flurry of shots that come at those moments. Looking at a game stat sheet when the Wings are playing strong defense and “only” allowing 20 shots per game one only has to see how the bulk of shots tend to be clustered together to understand just how difficult the job is, with the goalie seeing one shot followed by ten minutes of nothing and then 5-10 high quality shots at once. Except in recent years the shot total has gone up so that has to say something about how good Howard really is since the clusters are closer to 10 but spread out over long periods of time, and then there are the breakdowns in the final minutes. So take that whoever made the ridiculous comment about Howard not being good enough. Conklin also faced that when he was here as the Wings defensive game was not always up to par that season and has gone downhill since

I personally am glad to see Conks come back, I think he was super solid in net for us, and can share Jimmy Howard’s workload, solving a problem which concerned me greatly last year, despite Howie’s near flawless year. I agree that the Wings defense has suffered in the past two years, but not for the reasons a lot of people think. Mainly I blame injury. The fact that B-Raf has played for 1.5 seasons without an ACL, and of course the spearing of Nic Lid’s family jewels by Patrick Sharp..  On the other hand, when healthy, Kronner and Stuart are showing their leadership growth, and I don’t scream at Ericsson for stupidity nearly as much anymore- in fact, I actually complimented him twice last year. 

No one can replace Rafalski, or Nico when he goes, so it will be nailbitingly worrisome next year but interesting to me to see how goaltending has to change, I mean we can’t have Pavel constantly playing D anymore. 

I remain supportive because this much I know, Nico probably would not come back if he didn’t have a strong belief in maiking it to the finals again.

Posted by Juice from LA on 07/21/11 at 12:34 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

I personally am glad to see Conks come back, I think he was super solid in net for us, and can share Jimmy Howard’s workload, solving a problem which concerned me greatly last year, despite Howie’s near flawless year.
Posted by Juice from LA on 07/21/11 at 11:34 AM ET

Great stuff on ozzie earlier, Juice.  Thanks.

Curious to know why you think Conks will be solid. 

I see a lot of questions around his game right now based on his raw numbers (admittedly I haven’t watched him close enough to lend merit to that), but the fact that he cleared waivers back in February and that he was still availble despite Ozzie being in limbo for three weeks after the FA market opened tells me he’s likely not deemed as a desired backup commodity through a good part of the league.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/21/11 at 01:57 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

Bradley97- great great points that need to be repeated adnaeuseum! My favorite was this:

Posted by Juice from LA on 07/21/11 at 11:34 AM ET

Thanks!

Posted by Bradley97 on 07/22/11 at 12:16 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.