The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/01/11 at 09:36 PM ET
Updated at 9:43 PM: Fiddlesticks. According to MLive’s Ansar Khan, the Wings will battle the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday sans Brian Rafalski:
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski will miss his third game in a row Wednesday in Anaheim (10 p.m., FSD) due to back spasms.
Rafalski skated today at the Honda Center and said he feels better. He thinks he might play Thursday at San Jose.
Johan Franzen is scheduled to arrive tonight from Detroit, where his wife gave birth to a boy on Sunday. Franzen will be in the lineup against the Ducks.
As for the Ducks, who added Brad Winchester, Joel Perreault and Brian McGrattan prior to the trade deadline, the Orange County Register’s Curtis Zupke reports that Several Ducks are banged-up:
Corey Perry left the ice with what Randy Carlyle said was a lower-body ailment. Carlyle said he had not yet been given an update.
Asked what Perry’s status was, Carlyle said, “It’s too early to even talk about Corey.”
Saku Koivu skated before practice and will continue to get treatment for a sore groin that has kept him out the past three games. Carlyle said he’s getting “much better” and vaguely indicated that Koivu might be a possibility in the “near future.”
Here were the line rushes (with [Sheldon] Brookbank filling in for Perry) …
Bobby Ryan-Ryan Getzlaf-Sheldon Brookbank
Jason Blake-Brandon McMillan-Teemu Selanne
Jarkko Ruutu-Todd Marchant-Dan Sexton
Brad Winchester-Kyle Chipchura-George Parros,
Zupke also reports that Jonas Hiller still hasn’t recovered from his vertigo issues, so it’s safe to assume that Dan Ellis will start opposite Jimmy Howard on Wednesday night.
Update 9:43 PM: Here’s a bit more from Khan about Rafalski...
“I think (Thursday) is a good possibility,’’ Rafalski said. “It’s getting better. I was encouraged by what I was able to do today compared to two days ago.’‘
As well as Mike Babcock talking about the Wings’ road dominance:
“We play shorter shifts on the road; we’ve been a better team for whatever reason,’’ Babcock said. “As much as we haven’t been great at home, I’m not overly concerned about it. I think we’re going to be a good team there.We’re a veteran team that’s been through this many times and understands what’s coming. It’s a grind and yet we all want to be playing the best we can going in (to the playoffs).’‘
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