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The Malik Report

The Red Wings’ coach isn’t worried about his team’s injuries, nor your or my opinions about him

This is a little off-topic, and Paul already posted an entry on the CBC's Tim Wharnsby's chat with Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, who's not sure whether he'd return to coach Team Canada for a third time in 2018 (assuming that the NHL participates in the Olympics taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea), but I had to smile at Babcock's take on his team's uphill playoff battle given that there are now ELEVEN Red Wings who are either out for tonight's game vs. Toronto (if the man isn't relentlessly consistent, I don't know what he is)...

"There is no sense worrying about [the injuries]," Babcock said. "What we've told our guys is the standings aren't in our way. It's just getting our mind right. What I mean by that is our belief system. We are organized enough. We have good structure. We can work hard enough. We have to believe that we're good enough. We have to find a way to win and I believe we're going to find a way. We not going to win the way our fans are used to seeing us play. But all I care about is getting two points."

As well as his advice to ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, which shouldn't surprise you in the slightest in terms of what value Babcock places on others' opinions of his performance:

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When the Wings leave Joe Louis Arena, the (ticketed) show’s over

As we await an actual timeline for the buliding of the Red Wings' controversial follow-on rink, the Detroit Free Press's Joe Gullien reports that Joe Louis Arena won't be used after the Wings play their final game at JLA, regardless of how long it takes to demolish the Joe:

Although the City of Detroit owns Joe Louis, it would be prohibited from holding any ticketed events at the arena in the time between the team’s departure and the arena’s demolition, under the proposal that is before the City Council.

The council is reviewing the terms for the Wings to play at Joe Louis Arena until a new hockey arena is built as early as 2016.

The lease is part of a package of agreements to resolve several issues surrounding Joe Louis, including a plan for the state to pay up-front costs for the demolition and a $5.2-million payment for any unpaid bills due the city under the Wings’ previous lease.

Bill Nowling, spokesman for emergency manager Kevyn Orr, said negotiators for the Red Wings insisted on the non-compete clause. “That was a condition that they brought to the table,” he said.

Guillen reports that the City Council could end up delaying the transfer of nearly 40 blocks' worth of land to the Downtown Development Authority, which could screw with the follow-on-rink's timeline...So expect some finaggling and dramatics as their end-of-March deadline for approving the deal approaches...

And he also reports that the rink's demolishment will cost at least $6 million, with the State asking for reimbursement down the line (that might also gum up the works)...

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A Red Wings-and-Maple Leafs-y injury update and/or playoff status discussion and/or missive

I'm trying not to get into details, but the last two weeks have obviously involved a difficult time for me health-wise, and as a result, a diminished presence here. I'm on my way to recovery, but it appears that I can't give the same prognosis for the Red Wings' playoff chances ahead of Tuesday's game against Toronto (7:30 PM on FSD and Sportsnet Ontario).

The Wings are playing 5 games in 8 nights, hosting the Leafs (this game defines "four point" given the team's incredibly tenuous playoff footing), the Pens Thursday, and doing a home-and-home with Minnesota this weekend, all prior to four gigantic games against Columbus, Montreal, Toronto and Tampa to close out the month, and even a practice-less day delivered a cavalcade of injury news to a gloomy Red Wings nation, almost all of it bad.

Landon Ferraro's finally been recalled because Justin Abdelkader's banged-up, and it appears that the eleventh injured Wing's status for Tuesday's tilt () is iffy at best, as MLive's Ansar Khan reported...

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Another Game, Another Injury- Landon Ferraro Recalled

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Right Now, That Is One Big If

via Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The Detroit Red Wings may get centre Darren Helm back this week and if that doesn’t sound like a big deal, think of it this way. Helm will slot in on a two-top role – behind David Legwand – because of injuries that have sidelined, among others, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Stephen Weiss.

The fact that Detroit is still scratching out wins and staying within hailing distance of a playoff spot is reminiscent of last year, when they did it as well, and then knocked off a higher-seeded Anaheim team and had Chicago on the ropes before ultimately faltering.

The Red Wings scare everybody just because if they make it and they get healthy, they will be a dangerous lower-seeded team again.

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The Red Wings’ uphill climb to the playoffs doesn’t get any easier this week—or next week

The Red Wings dropped a disappointing 4-1 decision to Chicago on Sunday night, and Tuesday's opponent, the Toronto Maple Leafs, sit seven points ahead of the Wings despite having lost 4-2 to Washington on Sunday afternoon.

Detroit opened up a slate of 5 games to be played over the course of 8 nights on Sunday: they'll host Toronto on Tuesday, host Pittsburgh on Friday, and then play back-to-backs against Minnesota next Saturday and Sunday. They lather, rinse and repeat on the road against the damned Blue Jackets on Tuesday the 25th, the Wings host the Canadiens on Thursday the 27th, and they close out the month by heading to Toronto on Saturday the 29th and hosting the Lightning on Saturday the 30th.

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Red Wings sign college free agent Colin Campbell

As Micahel Ortel on Twitter noted, the Red Wings have dipped into the NCAA free agent marketplace:

Hockey's Future's DJ Powers listed Campbell among her list of NCAA free agents:

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Red Wings-Blackhawks quick take: gotta try to find a way

After the Wings found out that they couldn't nurse a 0-0 tie, after Niklas Kronwall chased Patrick Kane to the blueline and the kid line kind of collectively brain-farted and watched the Hawks score the 2-1 goal, after Hossa picked the low corner and made it 3-1, I got angry (and the game ended ingloriously thanks to a 4-1 shorthanded goal where Franzen got his pocket picked by Hossa and neither Kronwall nor Alfredsson were anywhere to be found).

As a Red Wings fan, as someone who desperately wants to believe that a team with ten players hurt--including Datsyuk and Zetterberg--can somehow make the playoffs, even when Kyle Quincey's tripping Brendan Smith and guys are getting hurt every game and the Wings' opponents are the ones getting healthier and stronger and keep on *#$%@& winning...

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This couldn’t possibly be a head shot, could it?

The player who keyed the Chicago Blackhawks' 2-1 goal over the Detroit Red Wings just happened to do this to Teemu Pulkkinen just a little under 3 minutes before assisting on Ben Smith's goal.


A little high, Mr. Duncan Keith?

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Red Wings-Blackhawks pre-game chatter

I've been sidelined with a double whammy of sorts--I hate it when my illnesses take center stage, but I battle both a severe anxiety disorder and "major" depression--so I've spent the last week-and-a-half being the poster boy for, "Yes, it turns out that mental illnesses can be so physically painful that they can knock you off your feet."

I've been watching and trying to keep up with reading as best I can, I know theres a prospect catch-up post of doom desperately needed as Mattias Backman's Linkopings HC are playing playoff hockey in the SHL, Mattias Janmark's AIK Stockholm have to play for their spot in the SHL in the Kvalserien starting tomorrow, David Pope's West Kelowna Warriors have already been booted from the BCHL playoffs, and all of the Wings' Major Junior and NCAA-playing prospects know whether they're going to play playoff hockey or not (a certain Anthony Mantha finished his season with 57 goals, 73 assists and 120 points in 57 games played, and Andreas Athanasiou's 49 goals, 46 assists and 95 points in 66 games played placed him 5th in OHL scoring)...

But as I intimated and Paul duly noted, the bottom line regarding the Red Wings' probabily to making the playoffs is simple: it's bad.

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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.



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