The Malik Report
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The Free Press's James Jahnke shares some of the online petitions demanding that the Red Wings' follow-on rink be re-named after Gordie Howe, to be re-named a "Colisseum," etc. and Free Press editorial cartoonist Mike Thompson suggests that the name may not fly with Al the Octopus;
The Red Wings did post a video explaining the "evolution of the logo" that will adorn the arena:
2. The Free Press's Helene St. James also shared her opinions regarding hockey-related topics in a chat on Freep.com earlier today;
3. Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman's "30 Thoughts" are where MLive's Ansar Khan's Alexander Radulov rumor came from, and I can't say that I'm a fan of Radulov given his turbulent history not with the Nashville Predators, but with his present employer, CSKA Moscow, which has benched bad-boy Radulov for on and off-ice behavior:
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun penned an article about Kris Letang's learning process as an NHL defenseman, but LeBrun's column also includes a significant amount of commentary from Scotty Bowman and Nicklas Lidstrom:
From the eight-time Norris Trophy-winning Orr to the seven-time Norris Trophy-winner Nicklas Lidstrom, the idea of wearing down the opposing stud blueliner, putting pucks in his corner and making him pay a price while retrieving it has been a go-to for teams.
"In a playoff series, you figure it out pretty quick that they might be trying to put the puck in your corner a little bit more, or they're coming after you to finish checks a bit later than maybe they normally do," Lidstrom said Friday over the phone from his native Sweden.
"From Game 1, you figure it out pretty quick. In my case, I always tried, first of all to move my feet, but also expect to be hit. You know you're going to be hit, you know you've got to go back and move the puck. I played with some good partners over the years, you tried to move the puck real quick and make a good first outlet pass. But just expecting to get hit, you know it's going to be a grinding series, where they're going to come after you more than they do in the regular season. Really expecting to get hit really helps your mindset."
"Nobody explained to me why I didn't play, even after the season at the exit meeting with the general manager, he remained silent. In other words, the coach decided. In March I almost played no games, and it was annoying. We'll see what happens in Detroit in the summer..."
From the Grand Rapids Griffins:
RED WINGS REASSIGN PATERSON;
GRIFFINS RECALL CHOUINARD, SIGN JENKS TO PTO
release160429.jpgGRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings have reassigned goaltender Jake Paterson to the Grand Rapids Griffins from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye, while the Griffins have recalled defenseman Joel Chouinard from Toledo and signed forward A.J. Jenks to a professional tryout.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Russian star Alexander Radulov wants to return to the NHL and the Detroit Red Wings are on the short list of teams he is interesting in joining.
The Red Wings have spoken to his agent and are doing their due diligence, trying to determine whether to make the free-agent forward a contract offer, a source told M-Live.
The Red Wings have no doubts about Radulov's ability. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound winger turns 30 on July 5 and is coming off a strong season in the Kontinental Hockey League with CSKA Moscow (23 goals, 65 points in 53 games).
But there are concerns about his off-ice behavior and whether he would have a negative influence in the dressing room, especially with younger players. They are speaking with some of Radulov's former teammates and people who know him.
MLive's Tom Mitsos examined Dylan Larkin's rookie season as compared to Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist's first 80 NHL games from an advanced stats standpoint:
Larkin's first 80 games in the NHL were fairly successful. He started the season strong with 15 goals and 18 assists in his first 48 games. After the All-Star break, he couldn't keep the same level of production and had just eight goals and four assists in the remaining 32 games.
Tatar (19 goals, 15 assists) and Nyquist (11 goals, 17 assists) didn't have as many points in their first 80 games, but they were in and out of the lineup playing with different teammates each time they were called up.
How do Larkin's first 80 NHL games compare to Tatar (Dec. 2010-March 2014) and Nyquist (Nov. 2011-Jan. 2014)? Let's take a look at the five on five numbers:
MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Tomas Tatar regarding his up-and-down 2015-16 season during the Wings' locker room clean-out day, and he found Tatar to be particularly frustrated with his season's production (or the lack thereof):
"I know I could be way better," Tatar said. "I'm disappointed I couldn't help more; my expectations were a little different than how the season went. My goals were way higher than they end up, but it was different stuff this year than it was last year. It was different position for me, so I guess what the numbers are saying is the way it is now."
Tatar has 21 goals – eight fewer than his team-leading total of 2014-15. His point total dipped from 56 to 45. He also logged less ice time, averaging 14:21, down from 16:13 the previous season.
Tatar attributed some of his struggles to being moved around various lines.
"I think the position was way different this year than last year, after last season playing most of the time with Pav (Datsyuk) and Helmer (Darren Helm)," Tatar said. "This time I was kind of around the lines. With different position comes different responsibility. Wherever I played I tried to play best, bring the energy as much as I could.
"It was a little tougher to get comfortable, I was squeezing the stick almost all season. The goals I set were hard to end up (with), so it was kind of disappointing for me."
The beat writers penned 3 articles about 3 players at very different stages in their careers, and two have big decisions to make regarding their hockey-playing futures.
From youngest to oldest: Anthony Mantha's had a fine three-game playoff showing for the Grand Rapids Griffins, scoring in 2 of 3 games thus far. After a difficult conclusion to the AHL's regular season for both Mantha and the Griffins, coach Todd Nelson told the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner that it's good to see Mantha round back into scoring form:
"This is just an investment into his future," Nelson added. "He's going to have a nice career ahead of him in the National Hockey League but right now he's focused on winning a championship here."
The three goals, which tied Tyler Bertuzzi for the team lead, already exceeded Mantha's postseason output from a year ago when he had two goals and four points in 16 games.
"It came with experience, and from learning up there (in Detroit)," said Mantha, who had 21 goals and 45 points for the Griffins and two goals and three points in 10 games with the Red Wings. "For me (the goal is) to be a big part of the playoff run this year and that's what I'm trying to do."
Wallner continues, and we're pretty darn likely to see Mantha in Detroit next season...
Darren Helm, not so much.
Ken Holland rather enthusiastically suggested that he'd like to re-sign Helm during the Wings' locker room clean-out day, but as an unrestricted free agent-to-be, Helm will have his pick of teams offering him more significant roles and more money than the Wings can guarantee him in July.
It will be up to Helm to determine whether what the Wings can offer represents enough for Helm to stick around, and the Free Press's Helene St. James took note of Helm's comments to that effect:
Two more items of "Little Caesars Arena"-related note popped up this evening. One is simply aesthetically disappointing, and the other is more weighty:
1. WXYZ noted that, during the press conference unveiling the "Little Caesars Arena" name, Tom Wilson revealed that the LED Roof concept was a "placeholder," and that the stadium's roof will be made of aluminum, though it will be "projected onto" and change colors as a result:
2. And the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa discussed the fact that we won't have a "Joe Louis" Arena any more as the Joe's scheduled to be demolished and redeveloped:
In a predicatbly music-and-hockey-entwined column, ESPN's John Buccigross gets the "state of the Red Wings' fans" pretty much spot-on:
Detroit Red Wings
"I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say
I know they don't sound the way I planned them to be
But if you wait around a while, I'll make you fall for me
I promise, I promise you I will"
Simpson's remake of When In Rome's 1988 beaut is one of the best covers of this century. Emo's roots were in 1988 songs like "The Promise." In 1988, it was masked in a generic New Order design. John Sturgill Simpson gave it the full-country emo treatment.
Red Wings Nation is in full emo mode right now. They look at their team's cap space, the age and productivity of their high-salaried guys, and the state of their D corps, and they are concerned. The Wings are trying to reboot without tanking. That is very difficult to do, unless one plucks an unforeseen unrestricted free agent in his prime like a Steven Stamos.
Detroit does have a nice, young group of forwards -- led by Dylan Larkin, who it views as their franchise pillar -- a No. 1 center who everything will revolve around. And the team sees Petr Mrazek as a highly competitive #1 goalie. But, it needs more. I would be tempted to strip as much salary as they can and play all the young, skilled kids next year and don't plug with older veterans. Play the kids in the last year of the Joe and see what you got. Don't worry about the playoff streak.
Buccigross continues, and more often than not, I'm in the, "Just play the kids and see what happens" camp...
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.