The Malik Report
Despite Daniel Alfredsson's 2 shots and 5 total shot attempts, I'll readily admit that #11 in red and white looked like he was already preparing for Sunday's reunion affair in Ottawa.
Perhaps his distraction involved the facts that a) his wife and four sons are going to Ottawa for the weekend, and b) Alfredsson and his teammates aren't having much of an "American Thanksgiving" as Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels reported that the team's going to practice on Thursday and take a late afternoon flight to Long Island ahead of Friday's 4 PM tilt against the Isles.
We already know that Sunday's game is going to give Alfredsson and Senators fans some closure, but he and his Red Wings teammates will be skating into a media maelstrom on Saturday and Sunday (the game starts at 5 PM on Sunday afternoon), the Ottawa media machine's already cranked up the hype machine, and the Ottawa Citizen's Ken Warren reports that Senators owner Eugene Melnyk helped spin the wheel by stating the following on Ottawa's Team 1200 radio station:
Updated 3x at 2:48 AM on Thursday: In Detroit, all went well for the Red Wings, who defeated Boston 61, but the Wings' ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye, were absolutely routed as well, dropping a 7-0 decision to the South Carolina Stingrays..
In which Jared Coreau gave up 4 goals on 21 shots and Hannu Toivonen gave up 3 on 10, Martin Frk finished at -3, Trevor Parkes finished at -2 despite taking 5 of the Walleye's 30 shots, Louis-Marc Aubry finished at -2 with 4 shots, Nick Jensen finished at -2 with 2 shots, and Max Nicastro and Marek Tvrdon finished at -1 with 1 shot apiece...
And the Toledo Blade's Mark Monroe reports that Walleye coach Nick Vitucci chose to send one hell of a message after the game (and the Walleye host South Carolina on Friday as well). Please note the timestamp on Monroe's Tweets:
The end wasn't pretty--Torey Krug's skate put in a Gustav Nyquist goal and Jarome Iginla may or may not have kicked in a goal that spoiled Jonas Gustavsson's shutout, but the first 57 minutes of the Red Wings' 6-1 win over the Boston Bruins was...
Masterful. As if the Wings had chosen to finally give their fans a little bit of deferred compensation for their awful home record, and as if the Wings had finally chosen to wake from their November slumber to prove that winning three out of four can make up for winning one of nine.
Because the East is such a mess, the Wings are now only 3 points behind Boston despite a vastly inferior record, and astonishing attention to detail, poise and composure, incredibly strong skating and winger support, a dash of superb goaltending, absolute adherance to puck possession hockey "structure" and execution of all the opportunities the Wings had been failing to execute upon over the past three-and-a-half weeks yielded a dominant victory against a still-superb Bruins team.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke with the gents on The Fan 590 prior to tonight's Wings game...I hope he's in a better mood now:
It's not every day that you're woken up from your "pregame nap" by your boss, informed that the NHL's director of player safety wants to speak with you about the league's decision to not suspend Jared Cowen for his elbow on Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk, but that is what just happened to me, so...
Ahead of tonight's game against Boston, which looks to be the second of at least three or four missed by Datsyuk, who may or may not have a concussion, I'm just going to write down what happens as it happens, thank Mr. Shanahan for his time and state that I happen to disagree with the league's decision but obviously assume that the NHL makes measured decisions in the player discipline regard.
So now I'll wait for his call, and when he calls, I'll write down what he says.
May as well do this in "real time," as it were, and while I'm at it, I'll note that Herm to Hockeytown 3 is taking place over on the Production Line this month.
Today's been a busy day in terms of Red Wings news: the game-day post's been updated 12 times, but has fallen off the main page as it turns out that the NHL's engaging in a pre-Thanksgiving news rush of its own; the same is true for the Jonathan Ericsson re-signing post, on my part because Mike Babcock's McGill University Fall Convocation speech was released to the public, because Kerry Fraser weighed in on the Cowen non-suspension, because Hour Detroit posited a story about a "hockey bar" worth reading, and because Joe Pelletier asked a very valid question regarding Red Kelly's #4.
The Wings are still gearing up to play the Boston Bruins tonight (7:30 PM, FSD, NESN and NBCSN out of market as a "Rivalry Night Game"/97.1 FM), and ahead of what really is a bellwether game, the Free Press's Helene St. James changed things up by asking a Swede, a Slovak and an American about their "American Thanksgiving" impressions and/or celebrations and/or their knowledge about the holiday's origin:
File this one under "something I've always wondered about":
Red Wings fans will regularly suggest that the Wings should formally retire Larry Aurie's #6 instead of keeping the Norris family's tradition of "keeping the number out of circulation"; they'll debate whether it'd be in poor taste to formally retire Vladimir Konstantinov's #16 given that Vladimir is alive and well but battling cognitive disabilities; and while Sergei Fedorov hasn't quite given up the ghost as someone who may but probably won't make a comeback with the team he runs in CSKA Moscow, Wings fans have been split as to whether the team should retire #91 for at least a decade now.
Red Wings fans have not, however, been all that concerned about the fact that defenseman Red Kelly, who split his career between Detroit and Toronto, is getting up in years having not witnessed his #4 being raised to the rafters at Joe Louis Arena, and Greatest Hockey Legends' Joe Pelletier's a bit confused as to why the Wings haven't honored Kelly, too:
Hour Detroit Magazine's Melissa Walsh profiled Tom Woolsey and the bar he owns and operates, Andrews on the Corner, and while this isn't your typical "hockey story," it's still a good read:
There are two kinds of hockey supporters in Detroit: fair-weather Red Wings fans and members of Detroit's impressive hockey community. While many of the former persuasion secure expensive seats at Joe Louis Arena when the Red Wings are hot, those among the latter group are frequent patrons of Andrews on the Corner before, during, and after Red Wings games. They've endured seasons of struggle in the 1980s through the playoff victories enjoyed over the past 20 seasons.
Woolsey is well connected with the area's current and retired professional hockey players — and host to the truest hockey fans in the region. He's a member of the Michigan Sting 60-and-older elite hockey team. So it is fitting that the venue is the hangout of hockey enthusiasts and Red Wings loyalists, including many NHL and minor-pro alumni.
I will readily admit that I'm not exactly "a fan" of the ways in which Sportsnet's setting up their list of the "Top 10 ’24/7′ Characters," mostly because the network that happens to have the Canadian rights for distribution of the HBO series is treating real people like Todd Bertuzzi, Henrik Zetterberg, Daniel Alfredsson etc. as characters who somehow must owe their audience the status of "providing entertainment" instead of allowing the 24/7 cameras to simply reveal aspects of their personalities that we may not yet know.
Today, Sportsnet's Ryan Dixon offers the following hopes for what 24/7 may reveal about Mike Babcock the "character" as well as the Wings' coach:
Kerry Fraser suggests that the NHL should’ve disciplined Cowen for elbowing Red Wings’ Pavel Datsyuk
Via RedWingsFeed, you can sure as hell believe that TSN's Kerry Fraser's decision to weigh in on the NHL's non-suspension-and-non-disciplining of Jared Cowen's hit on Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk, who's going to miss tonight's game against Boston and will probably miss both of the Wings' weekend games with a concussion, is going to touch a nerve...
But the good news is that Fraser believes that the NHL's Department of Player Safety whiffed on this one:
By describing Jared Cowen's extended elbow on this play as 'accidental,' we are led to believe that Cowen didn't intend to make contact with Pavel Datsyuk's chin/head. That might be the case, since no one other than Jared Cowen knows his true intention. The penalty was most likely missed by the referee since the hit was late and well after Datsyuk had dished the puck up the wall to Brendan Smith at the point. This resulted in a natural shift in the ref's focus of attention.
A more detailed explanation of the incident and utilizing language from Rule 48.1 (iii) to describe why a suspension did not result from the play might go something like this:
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.