The Malik Report
I've never seen so many Tweets hoping and nearly praying that a goaltender has the stomach flu, and the stomach flu of the violent kind, but this is the mump era:
Crappy news from the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner. The Darren Helm of the Grand Rapids Griffins, Andreas Athanasiou, has suffered a broken jaw:
The 6'2," 200-pound center was earning top-line duty between Anthony Mantha and Andy Miele, and had registered 7 goals, 9 assists and 16 points over the course of 25 games played. He'd also earned gushy praise from coach Jeff Blashill, who suggested that "AA" ws the Griffins' best, hardest-working player more nights than not.
DETROIT – The following statement was issued today by the Howe family regarding improvements to the condition of Gordie Howe:
“Following the press coverage of our father’s deteriorating medical condition, the Howe Family was contacted in late November by Dr. Maynard Howe (CEO) and Dave McGuigan (VP) of Stemedica Cell Technologies. McGuigan knew our family as a result of his previous employment with the Detroit Red Wings. Stemedica is a biotechnology company that manufactures allogeneic adult stem cells in its U.S. government licensed, cGMP facility in San Diego, California. Although no relation, Dr. Howe and his brothers Drs. David and Roger are hockey players and big Gordie Howe fans, having grown up in Minnesota. They wished to help our father by generously facilitating Dad’s participation in a stem cell clinical trial at Novastem, a licensed distributor of Stemedica’s products in Mexico.
This is...different...from the Hockey News's Ken Campbell:
Update: The Hockey News has received this press release:
Detroit, Michigan & Lubbock, Texas. December 19, 2014
Gordie Howe “Mr. Hockey” Makes an Amazing Recovery
Following the press coverage of our father’s deteriorating medical condition, the Howe Family was contacted in late November by Dr. Maynard Howe, (CEO) and Dave McGuigan (VP) of Stemedica Cell Technologies. McGuigan knew our family as a result of his previous employment with the Detroit Red Wings. Stemedica is a biotechnology company that manufactures allogeneic adult stem cells in its US government licensed, cGMP facility in San Diego, California. Although no relation, Dr. Howe and his brothers Drs. David and Roger are hockey players and big Gordie Howe fans, having grown up in Minnesota. They wished to help our father by generously facilitating Dad’s participation in a stem cell clinical trial at Novastem, a licensed distributor of Stemedica’s products in Mexico.
Novastem is currently conducting federally licensed and Institutional Review Board approved clinical trials for several medical conditions, including stroke, using Stemedica’s stem cell products. At the time we were contacted, Mr. Hockey had been rapidly declining and was essentially bedridden with little ability to communicate or to eat on his own.
Updated 7x at 3:52 PM: The Red Wings and Islanders' morning skates ahead of tonight's tilt between the teams (7:30 PM EST on FSD/MSG Plus/97.1 FM) were very quiet affairs news-wise. Johan Franzen's back in the lineup for Detroit, Travis Hamonic and Johnny Boychuk will rejoin the Islanders' defense, and Jaroslav Halak will oppose Jimmy Howard as their respective teams' starting goalies.
The Wings are of course opening up a set of 3 home games in 5 nights (vs. the Isles tonight, the Avs on Sunday and the Sabres on Tuesday) amidst a 4-game winless streak (0-1-and-3) and amidst a schedule in which the team will have 1 more home game in 2014, New Year's Eve's game against New Jersey, before embarking on a road trip that lasts until January 17th, admist a crapton of January and February road games.
DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose posited a pair of Tweets of team-vs-team-statistical note...
Updated 3x at 11:49 AM: The Red Wings face a stiff task in attempting to snapt their their 4-game losing streak (0-1-and-3) against the New York Islanders this evening (7:30 PM on FSD/MSG Plus/97.1 FM), and none of the Wings' 3 remaining games will be anything less than challenging.
The Avs will come to town Sunday (6 PM start) having battled the Buffalo Sabres the previous evening, and those surging Sabres wrap up the Wings' home-friendly schedule when they visit on Tuesday (7:30 PM).
After that, as the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa noted, the Wings play 3 more games in 2014, with only the New Year's Eve game against New Jersey taking place at home; then a 6-game road trip kicks off road-heavy January and February schedules.
Tonight's opponent will receive blueline reinforcements in the form of Johnny Boychuk and Travis Hamonic; Johan Franzen should return to the Wings' lineup after battling a set of ailments that most likely spurned his 10-game scoreless streak; according to NHL.com's game notes, Brad Watson and Francis Charron will referee tonight's game, with Trent Knorr and Mark Wheeler working the lines.
When the morning skate began, there were no surprises from MLive's Ansar Khan...
Ansar Khan of Mlive answered some questions, mostly regarding trade options.
I am bypassing the questions and listing Khan's response...
- ...The Red Wings inquired about Petry in the summer, but the price was too high (the Oilers wanted a center and asked for Darren Helm). The 6-foot-3, 198-pound Petry will be an unrestricted free agent in July, so the Oilers are certain to move him by the deadline.
I'm sure Holland will inquire again, but he's not likely to part with a lot for a rental.
Washington's Mike Green, another potential trade-deadline rental, is another possibility.
- It would cost a lot more than Ferraro and Callahan to get Petry. The Oilers and anyone else could have had Ferraro and Callahan for nothing when they were on waivers before the season, but they cleared....
- Ericsson is not going anywhere, and I highly doubt Quincey will be moved. Quincey has been much-maligned the past couple of seasons, but he's a top-four defenseman on this team, and they're not easy to find.
Ouellet is the only defense prospect they would feel comfortable putting in the lineup every game. Alexey Marchenko might be close, Nick Jensen and Ryan Sproul need more seasoning and Mattias Backman is having trouble cracking Grand Rapids' lineup.
The overnight report: Red Wings-Islanders set-up; talkin’ about the hard road and the Wings’ defense
The Detroit Red Wings hope to break a 4-game winless streak (0-1-and-3) as they kick off their 3-home-games-in-5-nights pre-Christmas break slate against the New York Islanders this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/MSG Plus/97.1 FM);
While the Islanders' come into town on a 2-game winning streak--having last played on Monday, when they defeated New Jersey 2-1 in a shootout, and the Hawks 3-2 last weekend--overall, the Islanders' schedule since November 5th is scary.
10 regulation-OT wins, 5 shootout wins and 5 regulation losses have the Isles tied with the Wings' 42 points, but the Isles' 21 wins (15 ROW's) are FOUR MORE than the Wings' 17 (16 ROW's), and unlike the Wings, they have exactly 0 shootout losses to Detroit's 6.
The Islanders will receive a pair of reinforcements on the blueline tonight, as Newsday's Arthur Staple reported...
The first holiday tournament that plays games that count (not the case for the World Junior Championships until "Boxing Day") got underway on Thursday, and the only Red Wings prospect taking part had a good game in what was a predictably Swedish win.
The Swedes rarely (if ever) open tournaments well, and they opened the Channel One Cup by digging a 3-goal deficit against the Czechs, but Expressen's Petter Ostman reports that coach Par Marts took a timeout, yelled at the team, and the Swedes responded--scoring 3 goals in 1:16.
They surrendered a 4-3 goal four minutes later, but tied the game in the 3rd, and Mattias Janmark scored the game-winning goal with just over 5 minutes remaining in what was eventually a 6-4 triumph.
I really am at the point where I'm hesitant to report every Gordie Howe health update, especially after yesterday's "friend of the family says this, distant relative says that" stuff, but the Free Press's Helene St. James has an impeccable source...
The benefit of being in a familiar environment again is helping Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe regain some quality of life.
Howe now has enough strength to be somewhat mobile, a stark - and much welcome - late-December development after the month began with what his children feared was another serious stroke.
Son Mark Howe told the Free Press on Thursday that his father isn't so much able to walk, rather that "it's more of a shuffle, but he is making his way around under his own power."
And she continues...
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