The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings face a nearly-must-win situation as they host the Boston Bruins tonight in Game 3 (7:30 PM on FSD in Michigan, NESN in Massachusetts, and NBCSN and TSN everywhere else, 97.1 FM as well).
After dropping Game 2 (and getting beaten up, as the Chief reminded us), the Wings flew home and "took an optional" Monday at the Joe, while the Bruins--reminding us that this isn't exactly a West Coast series--stayed in Boston to hold their own optional before flying to Detroit on Monday afternoon.
Both teams' players spoke with the press at length; I've already posted a video entry regarding the Wings' comments, and on Monday evening, the Bruins' website posted their off-day report...
In Red Wings prospect news...
In playoff hockey, in the OHL, Tyler Bertuzzi scored a goal and finished at +2 as his Guelph Storm defeated the Erie Otters 7-1, taking a 3 games to none lead in the OHL's Western Conference Final.
Red Wings color commentator Mickey Remdond appeared on Detroit Sports 105.1 FM on Monday afternoon, and he spoke about the Red Wings-Bruins series for the majority of his 21-minute interview...But around the 12-minute mark, he went on quite the tear regarding player safety, respect for one's opponents and the way that the NHL's culture of violence needs to change. He was quite eloquent, frankly:
Redmond says that he feels that the game's become, "Too bloody violent" and that the game is too good to not make players responsible for their actions regardless of their opponents' actions. He feels that the NHLPA needs to rally for player safety lest someone suffer a catastrophic injury...
And as a counter, I would argue that the coaches, GM's and owners need to inform their players that the kind of stuff we're seeing (Seabrook-Backes, Cooke-Barrie, etc.) is unacceptable.
It's got to come from both sides.
The Red Wings practice post is chock-full of quips, quotes and videos, but I didn't have space to add what I'll describe as an "interesting" interview. NBC's Eddie Olczyk spoke with Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Matt Dery today, discussing the Wings-Bruins series and the concept that precident = it's okay to not suspend people for spearing...
Somebody who has more of a rooting interest, Comcast Sportsnet Northeast's Joe Haggerty, also spoke about the Red Wings-Bruins series with WDFN's Matt Dery this morning...
Today's Red Wings-Bruins "optional" post is still going, but these videos merit their own entry.
Updated 14x at 3:56 PM: The morning after the Detroit Red Wings dropped a 4-1 decision to the Boston Bruins via a succession of self-inflicted wounds, we received reminders of two unique parts of this series:
1. There is only so much you can work out via practicing in late April, when "exam season" is taking place both at the collegiate and NHL levels...
2. And this ain't a West Coast series, when off-days are completely spent in the air, traveling from city to city:
The hardest part of what I'm about to do in surveying the media's takes on the Red Wings' 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 involves the fact that Claude Julien and the Bruins will likely receive oodles of credit for "adjusting," when the truth of the matter--to Red Wings fans like me, happily professional and biased--is that the Wings' fans, players and media are all on the same page this morning (I'm sure Chris Osgood will say things we've all heard when he chats on Freep.com at 11 EDT).
What happened? What Mike Babcock told us happened. The Wings stopped playing like themselves and started playing like the Bruins, and from Jimmy Howard's puck-flickering dimwit play on out to Brendan Smith's attempts to scale Mount Chara to the terrible penalty-kill (why did you reunite Quincey and Smith, coach?) and power play (aggravating fans' nerves: Olczyk and McGuire gushing about the standard of officiating as the Wings let themselves get suckered)...
I will try to cobble together a solid wrap-up later, but as I look back at the Red Wings' 4-1 loss to Boston in Game 2 (shockingly, Glendening and Miller were on the ice for 3 of the Bruins' 4 goals--2 at even strength--and Lashoff was on the ice for both PPGs against, so that may show you that the Bruins wanted Glendening to battle and lose against Krejci's line), some scribes are already chiming in with notebooks and recaps, and none speaks more succinctly to what ailed the Wings than the Boston Globe's Nancy Marrapese-Burrell's notebook.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock had this to say about his team going 0-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-4 on the penalty-kill:
“I thought we were ineffective period, to tell you the truth,’’ said the coach, whose team is 0 for 6 on the power play in the series. “I didn’t think we were very good. I thought they were better. I thought we were better than them in Game 1. I thought they were way better than us in Game 2. They were engaged, they won the battles. They were quick, we were slow. We didn’t execute.
The Detroit Red Wings had to know that the Bruins' comments were going to yield more strict officiating and more penalty calls--some spurious, some warranted, on both teams--coming into Game 2, but instead of coming into the game with composure...
The Red Wings tried to beat the Bruins at their own game, engaging an angry, mean alligator in a bite-fight. The Wings lost their nerve, lost their resolve, lost their game plan and, thanks to a TERRIBLE power play, a TERRIBLE penalty-kill, MEDIOCRE goaltending, and yes, some really shitty calls against them (to which the Wings did a shit-ass job of giving their beleagured goaltender any sort of help closing those squeaky pads).
Updated 4x at 2:25 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will battle the Boston Bruins later today (3 PM EDT on NBC, TSN and 97.1 FM), hoping to persist amidst accusations of "subtle interference" and Milan Lucic's attempts to play Feelyat with Danny DeKeyser's...Parts.
NESN, Bruins Daily, WEEI, Pro Hockey Talk (times two), the Associated Press, Reuters, MLive's Brendan Savage (with a "What They're Saying" antecedent), and as Paul noted, the Boston Globe's Kevin Dupont have penned game-day previews and/or "Spirit of the Thing" articles, as did the Toronto Sun's Rob Longley (via RedWingsFeed):
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.