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The Malik Report

Surprise Red Wings overnight report: Wings-Flyers preview-y stuff, Mantha on fire, etc.

Very briefly, as the groom's trying to sleep in one bed and I'm typing on the other:

There is good news and some bad news regarding tonight's game between the Red Wings and Flyers (7 PM EDT, FSD/CSN Philly/97.1 FM and the game is the Wings' "Pink the Rink" outing to raise funds for breast cancer research):

1. Bad news first: Phoenix defeated Philly 2-1, and the AP reports that the Flyers remain something of a mess:

Max Talbot scored the lone goal for the punchless Flyers, who have only six goals this season and dropped to 1-4. Coach Craig Berube lost his first game after leading the Flyers to a win in his debut. The Flyers' 2-1 win over Florida on Tuesday was their only multiple-goal game this season.

Already in dire need of offense, the Flyers lost two proven goal-scorers against Phoenix. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said forwards Scott Hartnell and Vinny Lecavalier could miss a week after leaving with undisclosed injuries.

"Well it's tougher, but it doesn't matter does it?" Berube asked. "I mean, we've got to win hockey games. People will come in and fill in for them."

Team captain Claude Giroux, a former All-Star who averaged a point per game last season, will need to step up. He's without a goal or assist this season. He took four shots on goal and the Flyers attempted a season-high 37 against the Coyotes.


Coming off a 33-save effort against the Panthers, [Chris] Mason was again stout in goal, stopping 29 shots. He just didn't have enough help on offense.

"It's not for a lack of effort because everybody in this room cares tremendously," Mason said, "but we are going to have to start scoring. We need to score more goals and I think the boys can feel that it is going to come. We just have to keep working for it."

Also: beware Zach Rinaldo:

Rinaldo was whistled for cross-checking in the third when he nailed Phoenix forward Paul Bissonnette. Bissonnette crashed NFL-style, helmet-to-helmet into Mason. Mason's helmet popped loose and he was down for a few minutes, the team trainer out to check on him. Mason stayed in the game.

"Zac's the kind of player that needs to play on the edge," Holmgren said. "Tonight, I thought he was probably a little bit over the edge. But he's trying to get things going."

2. The "good" news is that Scott "I like to run over Red Wings goalies, see: Manny Legace, Chris Osgood, Dominik Hasek and Jimmy Howard, and also Jiri Fischer's ACL" Hartnell and Vinny "I was the Wings' #1 free agency target before Alfredsson" won't be playing tonight. Per NHL.com's Adam Kimelman:

The Philadelphia Flyers will be without top-six forwards Scott Hartnell and Vincent Lecavalier for at least a week after each was injured during the Flyers' 2-1 loss Friday to the visiting Phoenix Coyotes.

"Scott has an upper-body injury, probably going to keep him out for at least a week," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. "We will know better [Saturday]. Vinny's is a lower-body issue; he's probably going to be out at least a week as well and we will know more [Saturday] on both guys once we have further evaluation."

Holmgren said each player would remain in Philadelphia to have an MRI exam Saturday. The Flyers play Saturday at the Detroit Red Wings.

Hartnell left the game Friday with 6:48 remaining in the first period and did not return. He had one shot on four shifts totaling 3:28. He has no points and a minus-2 rating in five games but has been a fixture alongside Claude Giroux on the top line.

Lecavalier had three shots on goal in 12:43 of ice time. He did not come out for the start of the third period. He has a goal and two assists in five games, and his three points are tied for the team lead.

NHL.com has yet to post a Wings-Flyers preview, but the AP tossed off some stats in its preview:

Detroit (2-2-0) fell 4-2 at home to Phoenix on Thursday, and Babcock opted to make changes a day later. He was upset by lackadaisical defending by the Red Wings, who were outshot 38-30.

"We felt we gave up 21 scoring chances in the game," Babcock told the Red Wings' official website. "In a normal game for us it's between eight and 12. Don't get me wrong, we had a ton of chances ourselves, an absolute ton."

See: Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Bertuzzi; Franzen-Weiss-Abdelkader; Alfredsson-Andersson-Cleary and Miller-Glendening-Tootoo.

The Flyers (1-4-0) fell to 1-1-0 in two games under coach Craig Berube with Friday's 2-1 home defeat to Phoenix. The news got worse when Hartnell and Lecavalier left with undisclosed injuries that could cause both to miss a week.

"Well it's tougher, but it doesn't matter does it?" Berube asked. "I mean, we've got to win hockey games. People will come in and fill in for them."


Mason has faced Detroit more than any team, going 8-10-2 with a 2.84 goals-against average in 20 regular-season starts. If Ray Emery gets the call, he has posted a 1.67 GAA in winning all three career starts against the Red Wings.

Jimmy Howard has a 2.49 GAA while starting every game this season and is expected to be in goal again for Detroit even though backup Jonas Gustavsson has been activated from injured reserve.


Detroit is the only team in the NHL without a power-play goal, going 0 for 10.

The last five meetings between these teams have been decided by one goal, with Philadelphia winning three of them.

Erp, never mind, while I was writing this a Wings-Flyers preview penned by NHL.com's Matt Battanglio popped up:

Season series: This is the first meeting between the teams since March 6, 2012, a game won by the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. The Philadelphia Flyers won the other game that season, 4-3 on Feb. 12. Now Eastern Conference opponents, they play again in December and January.

Big story: After winning coach Craig Berube's debut on Tuesday, Philadelphia lost to the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 Friday. Detroit has lost two in a row since winning its first two.

Team Scope:

Flyers: Philadelphia has one goal in each of its four losses, and scored two in its only victory. The Flyers now are without forwards Scott Hartnell and Vincent Lecavalier, each out at least a week with an injury sustained Friday.


The Flyers have taken 67 shots on goal in two games under Berube, but only three have gone in.


Ray Emery could be in goal for the Flyers after Steve Mason played three in a row.

Red Wings: After a 4-2 home loss to the Coyotes on Thursday, Detroit coach Mike Babcock shook things up at practice Friday, including the addition of forward Luke Glendening, a former player at the University of Michigan who likely will make his NHL debut.

Glendening, called up from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League, would center a line with Drew Miller and Jordin Tootoo (making his season debut after sitting out with a shoulder injury).


Who's hot: Flyers forward Sean Couturier has an assist in back-to-back games and has won 57.5 percent of his faceoffs. … Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson has five points in his past eight regular-season games; he has a goal and an assist this season.




In the prospect department, Friday was a busy evening.

In the QMJHL, Anthony Mantha registered 2 goals and 3 assists and was named the first star the Val-d'Or Foreurs' 6-4 win over Drummondville, and Mantha now has 13 goals, 10 assists and 23 points registered over the course of 8 games played;

Phillipe Hudon didn't register a point, but his Victoraiville Tigres defeated Shawinigan 3-0;

In the OHL, Jake Paterson continues to face oodles of shots. On Friday, he stopped 37 of 40 as the Saginaw Spirit took a 5-3 decision over Mississauga;

Andreas Athanasiou didn't play in the Barrie Colts' 2-1 win over Oshawa. Athanasiou got into a fight on Thursday night, so that could be the reason that he was sidelined;

In the WHL, Marc McNulty took a double-minor for high sticking in the Prince George Cougars' 3-2 shootout loss to Everett;

Mitchell Wheaton must not have been ready to go, because he didn't play in the Kelowna Rockets' 4-3 shootout loss to Seattle;

In the BCHL, David Pope didn't play in the West Kelowna Warriors' 3-1 win over Merritt;

In the ECAC, James De Haas scored his first NCAA goal, but it was in a losing cause as the Clarkson Golden Knights lost 4-1 to New Hampshire. It says de Haas on the scoresheet...And he took 3 shots.



Otherwise...ESPN's Craig Custance penned a superb story about Catholic Central forward Matt Sorisho, who's battling what is currently from-the-waist-down paralysis after taking a hard hit a week ago, as already noted. Custance reports that both Phoenix Coyotes forward David Moss, who went to CC, and Wings coach Mike Babcock have visited Sorisho at Botsford Hospital. Custance happens to be an MSU grad, so we should start with the obvious (kidding, kidding):

Sorisho is planning to attend Michigan State, and hockey coach Tom Anastos has already promised him a position with the team in any capacity. There's also an autographed Spartans hockey jersey from the 2007 national championship team in the hospital room, along with an autographed Henrik Zetterberg jersey.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, whose son once played on a line with Matt at Catholic Central, has made multiple visits. In typical Babcock fashion, he isn't looking back at what happened but instead looking forward to what's next for Sorisho.

"He still can have a significant impact on the community and be a significant leader," Babcock said. "Now, it's time for him to grab his life back."

While others nurture, Babcock is pushing.

"He's like the general," Matt's grandfather said. "'Have you done this? Have you done that?'"

It's how the hockey world operates. It doesn't matter that this was a 17-year-old kid playing a game far from the NHL. Once he went down, everyone immediately rallied around him. He has a job waiting at Michigan State. He has an NHL coach giving out instructions. And right now, an NHL player offering his support.

Before Moss leaves, he gives Matt his cell number with instructions. Call. Text. If there's anything you want from anyone in the league, say it.

"Just know that we're there for you," Moss says.

The Red Wings want you to know that there's a webpage dedicated to Sorisho's medical expenses, and so do I.




I've mentioned that Adirondack Red Wings coach Bill Dineen will be inducted into the AHL's Hall of Fame this year, but the Saratogan's Paul Post notes that Dineen is both the coach of what was the Wings' farm team until the mid-90's and he is a Red Wings alumnus--a Cup-winning one:

Bill Dineen was on the ice for one of the most surprising finishes in Stanley Cup history.

Just over four minutes into overtime of Game 7, of the 1954 finals, Dineen’s Detroit Red Wing teammate Tony Leswick flipped a puck high into the air during a line change.

Doug Harvey, a Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame defenseman, took a swat at the puck and knocked it right past his own goalie, Gerry McNeil, for the game-winning score.

“I had just stepped onto the ice, going on to replace Tony at the blue line, trying to get in the offensive end to see what I could do,” Dineen said. “Doug Harvey was one of the greatest defensemen of all time, he and Bobby Orr. He won the Norris Trophy seven times. Doug was also a pretty good baseball player and he just swung and tried to hit the puck.”

The Canadiens were so upset at the outcome that they skated right off without shaking hands, a time-honored hockey tradition, as the Red Wings celebrated their improbable championship before their wildly-cheering Detroit fans.

It was only the second time in NHL history that a Stanley Cup Finals Game 7 had gone to overtime, which hasn’t happened since.

“I was right there,” Dineen said.




I adore the Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek. He's one of my sports writing role models. But I have to nit-pick regarding a quip about Pavel Datsyuk in Duhatschek's latest "worth your time" missive, this one discussing the rise of the KHL:

Datsyuk, 37, wants to play one year in Russia before his career ends, but the Detroit Red Wings convinced him he has lots left in the tank and coaxed him to sign for three more years.

Pavel Datsyuk's six months younger than I am. He was born on July 20, 1978. He and I are both 35 years old, and Datsyuk's signed until he's 39--for four more years AFTER this one.



And I would suggest that you read the Toledo Free Press's Sarah Ottney's story about Star Wars Night at Toledo's Huntington Center (on November 2nd) instead of the Tampa Tribune's Erik Erlendsson's story about Valtteri Filppula's strong play for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Both Filppula and New Jersey Devils forward Damien Brunner are starring while Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss are struggling to adjust, but it IS early, and I still believe that Weiss is a better all-round player than Filppula, and that Alfredsson plays like he's 35, and will pay dividends on the power play. The cast AROUND them has been subpar in terms of helping two one-team-forever players adjust to playing in Detroit. That's my rationalization, and I'm sticking to it, mostly because Alfredsson and Weiss's efforts are very evident. They're TRYING hard and failing. I cannot fault them for trying.



This is probably my last pst until after the wedding. Wish Mark luck!

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


Primis's avatar

Nobody needs to worry about what Brunner is doing.  He didn’t a) let down in Detroit, and b) didn’t want to then stay in the “D” so…  *shrug*.  He’s a good player and we shouldn’t wish him any ill.

Fil… I just suggest everyone wait.  We all know what’s coming.  It’s early (too early) and the wheels are going to come off soon enough.

Posted by Primis on 10/12/13 at 01:05 AM ET

perfection's avatar

Mantha is out of control. I mean how terrible are the QMJHL goalies?! It seems like there’s sure a lot of 8 goal games. 13 goals in 8 games is crazy enough. The fact that he also has 10 assists is mind blowing. Oh man I hope he eats his Wheaties and starts filling out. He’s got some crazy potential that’s for sure. I’m sort of shocked with his size as the only 50 goal scorer he wasn’t actually picked higher. I know he’s been known to take some games off here and there, but he sure hasn’t yet this year. He’s on pace to shatter his numbers last year. Even once he has the inevitable fall back down to earth he still could easily beat 50 goals

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 10/12/13 at 01:19 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

13 goals, 10 assists and 23 points registered over the course of 8 games played;


Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 10/12/13 at 02:56 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

So, the Wings game was originally scheduled to start at 7:30, but was re-scheduled for 8:00 because they didn’t want to start before the Tigers were done, whose game was scheduled for 4:00, but now is 8:00

I guess I’ll just leave the TV on all day and see what happens

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 10/12/13 at 07:47 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

No Vinny or Hartnell for the Flyers tonight. Translation: The Flyers will be without one of their heart-n-soul guys, and the most natural talent on the team.

Translation of the translation: If Detroit loses tonight, it’s full-on panic mode in Hockeytown.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 10/12/13 at 07:50 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Detroit is the only team in the NHL without a power-play goal, going 0 for 10.

Can we sign Homer to a 1 game contract so he can demonstrate how to score on the PP?

I believe Wayne Gretzky said “....you never score on 100% of the shots you never take…”

Please just throw it at the net tonite boys. You never know it could go in off the ass of a slow footed English mangling Swede…...Oh! right ...he’s retired.  sick

Posted by Down River Dan on 10/12/13 at 08:04 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 10/12/13 at 02:19 AM ET

I hope the Wings finally have a true goal scorer in the pipeline, but the real test will be when he moves to the men’s leagues and can’t score 2 or 3 goals/game at will, how will he handle it?

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 10/12/13 at 10:05 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Mantha now has 13 goals, 10 assists and 23 points registered over the course of 8 games played

Looks like the Wings have another future 4th-liner/press-box player in the making. Enjoy the fun on the ice while you can, Anthony, because you’ll be sitting on your ass if Babcock is still the coach when you finally run out of waivers and the Wings have to promote you.

I was going to add the [sarcasm] code before that paragraph, but I’m afraid it’s far too likely to happen to actually be sarcasm.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/12/13 at 10:34 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.


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