The Malik Report
Ahead of tonight's slightly-late-starting Game 4 between the Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins (8 PM EDT on FSD and NESN locally, and NBCSN and TSN nationally, as well as 97.1 FM), the tenor of the series has started to shift.
While the Bruins' press kept reminding us again and again on Wednesday that the Wings' 3-0 loss in Game 3 signals a series heading toward a 5-game conclusion, the voices of the Bruins' media who chose to stay home (I'm starting to wonder whether they'd argue that they simply chose to save on airfare for the second round) have been supplanted by those of the people who will probably be following whichever team advances to play Montreal next week.
National writers, new newspaper or online outlets and head correspondents showed up on Tuesday stuck around for Wednesday's practice. Today, they're preaching the same chorus: wouldn't it be a great story if Henrik Zetterberg returned from his back surgery to rally the struggling Wings?
If Xavier Ouellet does not play for the Red Wings on Thursday--and MLive's Brendan Savage reports that the signs aren't necessarily positive regarding "X-Man's" playoff debut--he may get to Abbotsford, British Columbia in time to join his Grand Rapids Griffins teammates when they begin battling the Abbotsord Heat on Friday and Saturday.
The Griffins may receive another blueline addition as they amass Wings prospects who've been eliminated from playoff competition (see: Mattias Janmark, Mattias Backman, Andreas Athanasiou, Zach Nastasiuk), and neither the big defenseman nor his WHL-playing teammate will have to travel far:
During last night's Red Wings game, the "GM Cam" found Sergei Fedorov speaking with Wings GM Ken Holland and executive Chris Chelios.
I wasn't too surprised as Fedorov rather wryly informed the media at the Winter Classic Alumni game that he still spends his summers in Metro Detroit, and as CSKA Moscow's season has ended--and KHL teams' training camps begin at the end of July, with exhibition games and tournaments spanning the entire month of August--this is Fedorov's "summer vacation."
The Detroit Free Press's George Sipple reports that Fedorov was a welcomed guest:
I figured that the Grand Rapids Griffins' setting up of their first-round series with the Abbotsford Heat would yield all of the Red Wings' prospect news today, but two stories popped up this afternoon:
1. Yahoo Sports' Neate Sager (via RedWingsFeed) reports that Anthony Mantha had quite the moment during last night's game between the Halifax Mooseheads and Mantha's Val-d'Or Foreurs. Val-d'Or ended up losing the Conference Final match-up via a 6-5 OT decision (Val-d'Or still leads the series 2-1) but Mantha scored a hat trick in the affair...
Updated 3x at 6:07 PM: As Paul noted, the Red Wings a) recalled Xavier Ouellet and b) witnessed Henrik Zetterberg take part in today's Red Wings practice.
The Red Wings issued a brief press release regarding Ouellet's recall...
The Grand Rapids Griffins are busy this afternoon...
And as the Griffins will open their first-round series against the Abbotsford Heat on Friday, the Griffins posited a press release framing the match-up:
Facing off against this goal from Kane:
via Ansar Khan tweet,
Wings have called up defenseman Xavier Ouellet from Grand Rapids. he's in the ice for practice.
Updates will come as needed.
added 12:06pm, via Chuck Pleiness tweet,
No Datsyuk. Kronwall. Alfredsson at practice. Zetterberg out there again.
added 12:24pm, another Pleiness tweet,
Zetterberg skating hard. Looks like he's very close to returning.
added 12:28pm, Khan tweet,
Lines: Bertuzzi-Zetterberg-Abdelkader, Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco, Franzen-Helm-Nyquist, Miller/Andersson-Glendening-Legwand.
added 12:34pm, Khan with the defensive parings...
Defense pairs: Ouellet-Smith, DeKeyser-Quincey, Lashoff-Kindl.
added 12:50pm, Numerous beat writers report Zetterberg will skate tomorrow morning, talk to the doctors and if good to go, may play tomorrow night.
This morning, a few more stories related to the Red Wings' 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins popped up on the radar screen.
Some of them, like CSNNE's spotlighting of Tony Amonte's commentary, NESN's Mike Cole's praise for Jordan Caron and discussion of the Bruins' "room for improvement," CBS Boston's interview with Bruins play-by-play man Dave Goucher or Matt Kalman's Caron profile aren't exactly required reading, but the National Post's Michael Traikos' recap continues the whole, "The Bruins might be rolling over the Wings" narrative (if not "the only thing going splat was Detroit and the octopus near Tuuka Rask" one):
What follows is a bleary-eyed blogger's assortment of "stuff that didn't make the recap" (I worked really *#$%@& hard on that recap...at least give it a glance...) and prospect news.
The latter before the former: None of the Wings' prospects who took part in playoff hockey had good Tuesdays.
In the QMJHL, Anthony Mantha had a hat trick, but his Val-d'Or Foreurs dropped a 6-5 OT decision to the Halifax Mooseheads, who trail the Q's conference final 2 games to 1.
Mantha has 14 goals, 7 assists and 21 points in 13 playoff games played;
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.