The Malik Report
From the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa:
Beating the Maple Leafs in the playoffs was the problem for the otherwise victorious Red Wings teams immediately after World War II.
Goalie Harry Lumley dispatched the deficiency with a transcendent performance in the playoffs, which was essential to the Wings winning their fourth Stanley Cup on April 23, 1950. Less than three months later, they dumped Lumley.
Only seven games into his career, Terry Sawchuk went between the pipes. The Red Wings disappointingly did not repeat as champions, but Sawchuk proved indispensable to three cup victories in the following four seasons.
Sawchuk lifted the third on April 14, 1955. Six weeks later, the Wings dumped him.
Minding the net draws attention. All goalies are scrutinized in ways that defensemen, despite their difficult, intricate jobs, and high-scoring forwards, with all their allure and flair, escape.
It is particularly so in Detroit.
Krupa continues, and if Mike Vernon still feels upset about being "dumped" by the Wings in the summer of 1997...he's got some competition in the sympathy department.
The Detroit Red Wings wrap up their 6-game road trip against the Arizona Coyotes this evening (9 PM EST on FSD Plus/FS Arizona/97.1 FM), with the Wings hoping to rebound from Monday's loss to LA while going 5-for-6 on the longest road trip of the season.
Detroit will have a particularly stiff task in the surprising Coyotes. Arizona has won 4 straight games and 8 of their past 11 games, with their most victory coming in the form of a Max Domi hat trick-powered 4-3 OT win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.
Phoenix will be starting a bit of a surprise opposite Petr Mrazek in Louis Domingue, who took over for an injured Mike Smith last month and posted a 7-2-and-2 record, 2.14 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.
As NHL.com's Jerry Brown notes, the Coyotes' youth movement is doing a bang-up job...
Of prospect-related note:
In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins didn't make Jake Paterson's first start an easy one. Despite building Paterson a 3-0 lead on goals from Anthony Mantha, Martin Frk and Louis-Marc Aubry, the Griffins surrendered the next 4, with Paterson stopping 38 of 42 shots--18 in the 2nd period alone--en route to a 4-3 defeat to the Charlotte Checkers.
The Griffins' website's recap reveals that the collapse came quickly:
From the Free Press's Helene St. James, this is very interesting stuff (I love it when coach Blashill talks about coaching philosophy, and this is that kind of article):
“I think we’ve got to spend some time in the offensive zone,” forward Justin Abdelkader said after Wednesday’s practice at the Ice Den. “We got caught the last handful of games kind of playing up and down hockey, not spending quality time in the offensive zone for us, so we’ve got to do a better job cycling.”
Coach Jeff Blashill echoed that thought, saying: “We haven’t had as many stretches of real O-zone time as we did from the 15-game-ago mark to the 10-game-ago mark. We had tons of O-zone time. We talked about it today: We’ve got to do a better job spending more time in the other team’s zone. When you do that, you tend to accumulate more shots.”
The power play is another area, as it has been unable to convert in five of the last six games. Some encouragement comes from getting four shots on net during one power play in Monday’s 4-2 loss at Los Angeles.
“Power play is a real important thing to judge it on the process,” Blashill said. “Because if you just judge it on pure results, in terms of goals, you can make mistakes. You can actually make it worse by making changes when you don’t need to. If you are getting the shots we got the other night, if you are getting the zone time, the entry level we had, you are going to score over time.”
St. James continues, and she posted a video of Blashill's comments
The Red Wings will have their hands full with tomorrow night's opponent, the Arizona Coyotes, as the Yotes have won 4 straight games and 8 of their last 11.
The Wings practiced in Scottsdale on Wednesday, and after practice Jeff Blashill told the media that Petr Mrazek would start for the Wings, who've won 4 of their past 5 games, and that Alexey Marchenko had unfortunately drawn the short straw on defense.
MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with coach Jeff Blashill regarding his decision:
The Grand Rapids Griffins are announcing via video that their annual Great Skate will take place on January 23rd and 24th at the Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids, taking place for 24 hours subsequent to the Griffins-Rochester Americans game that Saturday night. The team's players and coaches skate with fans for an hour or two in shifts:
Meanwhile, at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, on January 30th:
From ESPN's John Buccigross's "TwitterBagSkate":
Yes, I think that works out perfectly. Current captain Henrik Zetterberg is making $7.5 million this season, but he has five more years on a cap-friendly contract ($1 million per year in the final two years) that takes him to age 40. He'll retire at that point, assuming he's stayed healthy enough to make it that far. Teammates say fellow Red Wing Justin Abdelkader is captain material.
If Zetterberg finishes his contract as the captain, Abdelkader will be 34 by then. Dylan Larkin will be 25. That would be a perfect time to pass the torch, assuming it doesn't happen before then. The Wings view Larkin as their Jonathan Toews-like centerpiece for the next dozen years, as one of their elite pillars. They need to find more, though.
I wouldn't be surprised if Larkin has an "A" on his jersey in two years, if not sooner, but we'll have to see how things play out over time.
Update: Blashill tells the beat writers that Mrazek starts vs. Phoenix and that Marchenko will sit.
@DetroitRedWings on ice, practice, ice den scottsdale, arizona. blashill drawin' up first drill.
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