The Malik Report
The Red Wings boarded Red Bird III to fly to St. Louis for tonight's game against the 13-6-and-1 Blues (8 PM EST on FSD/FS Midwest/97.1 FM) with ice bags likely in tow after having accumulated more than a few dents and scratches during Friday's 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings.
Detroit prevailed due to Petr Mrazek's stout 35-save performance and a surprising spate of balanced offense, and while the Kings threatened late, the Wings were able to battle through checks, hacking, whacking, tripping, being sat upon, and also doing a fine job of stifling the Kings' shots, especially during the final 30 seconds...
Which were punctuated, as you'll see at the 53-second mark of SomeHockeyVideos' clip of the final minute of play, by a Milan Lucic punch to Henrik Zetterberg's face.
It was that kind of game, and it's not going to get any easier against St. Louis. The Blues are just as nasty and reckless.
On Friday, the now 10-8-and-1 Wings won big, and that had Darryl Sutter at his grumpy best after the game, as noted by LAKings.com's Jon Rosen:
Of prospect-related note:
In the AHL, Tomas Jurco had a hat trick and an assist, Andreas Athanasiou had a goal and 2 assists, Anthony Mantha had 2 assists and fought and the Grand Rapids Griffins won a wild 7-4 decision over the San Diego Gulls. The Griffins' website posted a recap:
Playing their 5th game in 8 nights, the Red Wings entered tonight's game against the Los Angeles Kings rather desperate for a home win and in plain old need of points as they hit the 20-game "quarter pole."
On Friday night, the Red Wings faced a vicious, mean and nasty Los Angeles Kings team that played vicious, mean and nasty hockey against the Red Wings, and Detroit gave up a massive shot disparity (37-29 in shots, 63-44 in attempts) as the Kings checked the snot out of the Wings, as a rut nearly took out Dylan Larkin...
And the Red Wings emerged with a hard-earned and well-deserved 3-2 victory, having received goals from Larkin, Mike Green and Tomas Tatar, 2-assist performances from Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader, a wonderful 35-save performance from Petr Mrazek and a superb up-and-down-the-lineup set of efforts from the balance of the roster.
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. Here is the Red Wings' game-day preview video:
2. Here's part of MLive's Brendan Savage's game-day article:
from Jon Rosen of LAKingsInsider,
The Kings are 0-5-1 in their last six trips to Detroit, an interesting and at times excruciating record that has interestingly coincided with the club’s ascendance to contending for (and winning) Stanley Cups.
There was, of course, Niklas Kronwall’s tie-breaking “goal” on January 18, 2014, which came off assists from Jonathan Quick’s back and the protective netting. Jonathan Ericsson provided a tiebreaking dagger with 4.5 seconds remaining after a late Alec Martinez equalizer in a February, 2013 game, and a pair of Red Wings goals in the final five minutes earned the home team a one-goal victory shortly before a six-game Los Angeles win streak in March, 2012.
The Kings haven’t won in the building since March 9, 2011, having been outscored 26-12 over that stretch. Obviously, the Red Wings have consistently been very good during and well before the beginning of this current stretch.
“It’s something that’s really hard to build, and they’ve made the playoffs for 20-something years in a row, and that’s probably one of the more staggering feats when you look around the league,” Dustin Brown said. “I don’t know how many teams have made it ten straight years, so it’s just a credit to what they’ve built over the last couple of decades.”
Updated 11x at 2:29 PM: The Detroit Red Wings hope to win their seventh straight home-ice game against the Los Angeles Kings this evening (7:30 PM on FSD Plus/FS West/97.1 FM), and the morning skate yielded no changes from yesterday's anticipated lineup (which includes Brendan Smith), nor any changes in the Kings' lineup.
Per MLive's Ansar Khan, that means we'll see the following players skate for Detroit...
Updated 3x at 11:56 AM: The Red Wings face a stiff task in attempting to defeat the Los Angeles Kings this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD Plus/FS West/97.1 FM), and with the Wings playing their 5th game in 8 nights, DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose reports that the Wings "took an optional" this morning.
It's an optional skate this morning for the #RedWings with 17 players on ice here at JLA. Puck drop tonight vs. @LAKings is 7:30 p.m. EDT.
The #RedWings not skating this morning are Richards, Tatar, Nyquist, Datsyuk and Helm.
DetroitRedWIngs.com's Dana Wakiji reported in...
From NHLPA.com's Chris Lomon:
A two-year-old horse that bears the name of the Red Wings forward is also turning heads, fashioning an unblemished record and a victory at the prestigious Breeders’ Cup World Championships in early November.
Owned by longtime Wings fan Paul Reddam, Nyquist, the player, joins a stable of Detroit players who have had horses named in their honour.
Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall, Peter Mrazek, Henrik Zetterberg and 2015 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Nicklas Lidtsrom have also received the same homage.
“I’ve never really kept track of horse racing, but this has made me get into it a lot more,” said Nyquist. “It’s cool, but also really weird when you watch the race and your name in a different place than the ice. Of course, he’s my favourite horse.”
Boasting five wins in as many starts, Nyquist, the horse, could be a prominent player in next year’s Kentucky Derby, one of racing’s premier events, the first event in the U.S. Triple Crown.
From the Red Wings:
16TH Annual Toast of Hockeytown TICKETS NOW ON SALE
… Annual Event Takes Place on Monday, Jan. 18 on the Covered Ice at Joe Louis Arena …
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings Foundation today announced that tickets to the 16th Annual Toast of Hockeytown are now on sale. The exclusive event is set for Monday, Jan. 18 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. on the covered ice at Joe Louis Arena. Benefitting the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, Toast of Hockeytown has sold out in each of its first 15 years. Only 550 tickets are available for this exclusive event and all ticket purchases are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Fans can look forward to mingling with the entire Red Wings team and coaches, alumni and other local celebrities while enjoying live entertainment, delectable foods, drinks and desserts. Numerous local restaurants will once again participate as strolling food station partners. The event will also feature various wines from across the globe, along with craft beer and spirit options hailing from the state of Michigan. Additionally, each guest will receive a commemorative Red Wings gift for attending.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Q: Mike Green seems to struggle more in the defensive zone with decision making. He also hasn't been great on the power play either. What now?
A: Patience. Green got off to a slow start, then missed six-plus games with a shoulder injury. He's played six games since returning and seems to be improving. The best defense is a good offense for Green. He's been more active, joining the rush and creating scoring chances.
He's not the offensive force he was earlier in his career but he'll get his points. Like the rest of the team, he's not hitting the net enough, averaging just 1.46 shots per game (his career average before this season was 2.38).
Q: Very good game played by the Wings (last Tuesday vs. Washington), but (Niklas) Kronwall again made a bad error and caused another 'heart in the throat' moment. Why he keeps getting a free pass is beyond me. And it is not all his fault. It started with (former coach Mike Babcock) and now Jeff (Blashill) is continuing it. He needs to come off the power play and be allowed to concentrate on defense.
A: Kronwall's off to a shaky start (no goals, seven assists, minus-7 in 19 games) but taking him off the power play is not an option. Green is the only other full-time point option on the power play among defensemen (Jakub Kindl and Danny DeKeyser see spot duty).
Like Green, Kronwall has a proven track record. Just give him some time.
more Q & A...
About The Malik Report
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.