The Malik Report
As the Winter Classic Alumni Showdowns approach (1 PM and 3:30 PM on FSD and the CBC, 1 PM and 4 PM on NBCSN)...
Per Sportsnet's Chris Johnston, the Red Wings and Maple Leafs will, at least in theory, play before 105,000 fans at Michigan Stadium tomorrow (1 PM EST, NBC/CBC):
Guinness World Records will be in attendance to verify the number (no Guinness though...I may be allergic to alcohol, but even I'll risk a couple of sips of that stuff).
Leafs TV presents a live pre-game show before the 2 alumni games.
I did my best to summarize the principals, times and TV schedules for today's Alumni Showdowns in something of an overight report, and within about 25 minutes I need to brush the snow off my car and head downtown for said event.
If you missed it: In terms of what's happening today, here's what you need to know: The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs are playing a pair of Alumni Showdown games at Comerica Park at 1:00 and 3:30 PM EST. They will air on Fox Sports Detroit, NBCSN (with the second game airing at 4 for some reason) and the CBC, and DetroitRedWings.com''s Bill Roose revealed the alumni games' rosters and formats:
Tuesday’s games will be played in equal halves. Game 1 will consist of 20-minute running time and the clock will stop in the last five-minutes of each half. Game 2 will be 25-minute running time with the clock stopping in the final 10-minutes of each half.
In terms of both today and tomorrow's events, there is good news in the weather department: this morning, the predictions of 3-5 inches of snow tomorrow and tomorrow night were revised to half an inch to an inch tonight and 1-3 inches on Wednesday (per the National Weather Service), as MLive's Kyle Feldscher noted--and the cloudy skies mean that we'll have a low of 10-ish degrees instead of near zero, which is good:
For a blogger who prides himself on grinding out long days and long nights trying to cover as much as I possibly can--i.e. as much "stuff" as other people create as I possibly can--gigantic NHL events including the team I cover are exercises in futility, and absolute nightmares for my OCD.
The honest-to-God truth is that there is no way in hell that I could cover everything written about the Winter Classic even if I stayed here at the home office in South Lyon and pulled 24-hour work days, and there's certainly no way in hell that I'll be able to get through attending the Alumni Showdown and Winter Classic itself, never mind actually enjoy attending the events, if I try to snag everything.
As someone who's a little bleary-eyed starting a recap at 2:40 AM after having gotten up at 7 and having worked all day--part of it at Comerica Park (which was awesome even though the Griffins lost)--eschewing a media hobknob to watch the Wings drop an ugly 6-4 decision to the Nashville Predators, this is by far the best news that came out of Nashville on Monday that has anything to do with the Red Wings, at least in my opinion:
"Korben, sweetheart...What was that? IT WAS BAD! It had nothing, no fire, no energy, no nothing! You know I have a show to run here, hm, hm? And it must POP POP POP! So tomorrow, from five to seven, will you please act like you have more than a two-word vocabulary? It must be green, mmkay?"
When you're getting ready to survey the exploits of the Red Wings' prospects (including a certain team of Grand Rapids Griffins who played at Comerica Park on Monday), and your answer as to which ones both played well and received favorable scoreboard results is, "Well, Anthony Mantha was great again at the World Juniors" (and Canada takes on Team USA at 11 AM EST on TSN and the NHL Network), and Trevor Parkes had a good night in Toledo...
You know that a significant number of players came up short.
In the case of the Grand Rapids Griffins, who did indeed battle the Toronto Marlies at Comerica Park on Monday evening, Grand Rapids rallied from a 2-1 deficit and regrettably lost 4-3 in a shootout--with the Griffins having every chance to earn some instant redemption as the teams tangle again tonight at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids (6 PM start)--but I haven't been in a palpably angrier locker room (or clubhouse, as it were) in a long, long time.
Wings lose 6-4 to Nashville.
Real bad start by the Wings tonight but they started to play with some intensity in the last ten minutes of the 2nd period, then some sloppy play in the 3rd cost them.
If I would have told you the Wings were to score four goals against the a team hurting for goals (only Buffalo has fewer than Nashville), you would probably would have put two points in the win column. But...
Besides the goals below, I will leave it to George to close this one out...
via George Malik tweets,
The Red Wings are playing like their heads and hearts are already in Ann Arbor.
You just can't play this lackadaisical against an opponent that views you as an archrival and compete.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Writers are supposed to be objective and not make themselves the story. Usually, that’s no problem. I have covered many big events, and though I enjoy my job and feel fortunate to do it, I don’t root for anyone and don’t get overly excited for anything anymore.
But I’m breaking the rules now, because this Winter Classic presents a problem for me. I can’t be objective. I can’t leave myself out of it. And frankly, I am as excited for this as I have been for any sporting event in a long time.
Full disclosure: I grew up in the Detroit area. The first time I went to a hockey game, the Toronto Maple Leafs visited the Detroit Red Wings, and I was hooked, begging my parents for a pair of skates and a chance to play. I followed the Wings, and I watched the Leafs, too, because we could get “Hockey Night in Canada” on Channel 9 from Windsor, Ontario.
I went to the University of Michigan. I covered hockey and football for The Michigan Daily, the school newspaper. I joined the Detroit Free Press after college, and my first job was covering Michigan football. My second was covering the Red Wings. (Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr’s reaction when I left for the Wings beat: “You got demoted?”) I still live in Ann Arbor, five miles from the Big House, and have U-M football season tickets.
Two videos from Sportsnet, the first one features Draper, Gilmour, Lidstrom, Sitler and some face time for Gordie Howe.
The second video which can be viewed below is Ken Holland talking about the Winter Classic.
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.