The Malik Report
The Red Wings have a very busy week ahead: the Wings head to Montreal to play the Eastern Conference-leading, 5-and-1 Canadiens (who defeated Colorado 3-2 two days ago) on Tuesday, the Wings host the Penguins on Thursday (Pittsburgh's 3-and-1) and the Wings head to Philadelphia on Saturday the 25th (Philly's 1-2-and-2).
At today's practice, the Wings hope to hear good news about Johan Franzen (leg spasms), Jimmy Howard (groin; his 48-hour IR status expires today) and Pavel Datsyuk (shoulder, slated to return Saturday), but the team received its customary Sunday off after sweeping this past weekend's home-and-home series against Toronto.
Yes, as you might expect, Sunday's crop of articles included some Red Wings-related trade rumors from the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch, and I'm sure that the Toronto Sports Talk Radio gang will get right back to work playing up the Babcock-to-Toronto scenario today...
Sunday was a "relatively quiet" day by weekend prospect standards. However:
In the KHL, Adam Almquist finished at -1 and played 21:38 in Severstal Cherepovets' 3-2 shootout win over Avtomobilis Yekaterinburg;
Alexander Kadeikin (or Kadeykin, depending on how you transliterate his name) didn't play in SKA St. Petersburg's 3-2 OT win over Avangard Omsk;
After four days' worth of chasing down Mike Babcock rumors at a much higher clip than has been usual since he made nebulous comments regarding his future last April--mostly because Detroit coming to Toronto all but seemed to yield a Toronto media assumption that the Wings would just leave Mike Babcock on Brendan Shanahan's doorstep or something.
I sincerely hope that both the Red Wings' ownership and the Red Wings' coach have endured enough of the unpleasant realities of operating within the Toronto Media Hype Machine to see that this little "dry run" illustrates how personal and dirty things can get in Hogtown, and how very quickly things degenerate into pondering what might happen when Mike Ilitch dies.
This has been a weekend of embracing the insanity that is the great Maple Leaf Hype Machine, so let's get the most insane parts of the Red Wings' 1-0 OT win over Toronto and the past three days' worth of nonsense out of the way.
Nick Kypreos said this to George Strombolopolous during the second intermission, and I'm paraphrasing his comments suggesting that the Red Wings may or may not be comfortable with the concept of paying a coach more than they pay their GM:
After the game, Henrik Zetterberg did speak with Fox Sports Detroit's Lindsey Hayes, but Fox Sports Detroit cut off the end of his message, so did he say his "heart" was to his wife in the stands, or his wife and son?
We'll have to wait and see, I suppose. In any case, it was Sweetest Day on Saturday, and Zetterberg delivered a present for every Wings fan:
The Red Wings' prospects continue to experience high highs and low lows.
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins swept their weekend series against the Charlotte Checkers, taking Friday's game 2-1 and defeating the Checkers 4-1 on Saturday. The Griffins' website posted a game recap:
Amongst this evening's pre-game coaches' presser comments ahead of tonight's game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings (7 PM on FSD/CBC/NHL Network U.S. with the requisite Center Ice blackout/97.1 FM):
Updated 5x at 1:08 PM: The Red Wings did not hold a morning skate ahead of tonight's game against Toronto (7 PM EDT on FSD/CBC/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM), but the injury bug fairy apparently visited Detroit during last night's 4-1 win. Jimmy Howard must have tweaked something, because the Wings have recalled Petr Mrazek to back up Jonas Gustavsson:
I'm not sure what happened to Jimmy Howard, but Mrazek has indeed been recalled:
Updated at 12:10 PM, FYI:
The Detroit Red Wings hope to sweep their home-and-home series with the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight (7 PM EDT on FSD/CBC/NHL Network U.S. with the usual Center Ice/GCL blackout/97.1 FM).
Updated substantially at 4:48 AM: I've been to cities much larger than Detroit was during its heyday, but when I've visited Toronto, Washington D.C., Chicago or anywhere else that makes even Metro Detroit's 4.5+ million population look like a postage stamp, I've always had the same feeling toward the end of my trip: "I want to go home, where it's not this nuts." I will take the desolate buildings and Metropolitan Area spread out over an area larger than Rhode Island any day.
My feelings are similar in a professional sense every time the Red Wings travel to Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia or of course Chicago; even with Tuesday's game in Montreal in the offing, I think I'll breathe a sigh of relief after the Wings wrap up their home-and-home series with the Centre of the Hockey Universe [a.k.a. Toronto and its Maple Leafs] and the Centre of the Hockey Media Universe this evening (7 PM EDT, FSD/CBC/NHL Network with the requisite Center Ice/GCL blackout/97.1 FM).
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.