The Malik Report
This is bad:
The Red Wings were dealt a serious blow Saturday afternoon when veteran defenseman Niklas Kronwall suffered what appeared to be a knee injury.
The 35-year-old Kronwall left the game against the New York Rangers midway through the second period after catching his left leg underneath goalie Petr Mrazek and falling backwards to the ice.
Kronwall, who was helped off the ice by teammates Brad Richards and Andreas Athanasiou, missed 15 games earlier this season after undergoing successful arthroscopic knee surgery.
He will not return to the game.
In his 12th NHL season, Kronwall is currently second among Wings’ defensemen with three goals and 20 points in 52 games.
Update #2: FYI:
Of note regarding today's Red Wings-Rangers game, from DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji...
And the New York Rangers:
Translated: Rick Nash, Henrik Lundqvist and Marc Staal will play for the Rangers today. Derick Brassard is out.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
- Andreas Athanasiou started Thursday's game on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar but logged only 8:51. "I didn't think he was quite as sharp defensively," Blashill said. "Certainly the four-on-four goal against (by Tyler Myers) was at a time where it gave him an opportunity to be in a big moment and he didn't execute to the level he needs to execute at. He did some good things, too, set up Tats on a back-door play. He's got to make sure with added minutes come added opportunities and not added negatives. He's been one of those players that in seven to 10 to 12 minutes can create lots of opportunities but then when it gets higher than that do you still continue to create more opportunities or do you give up more? There were moments of good and moments he needs to be better."
- Teemu Pulkkinen logged 3:04 on the power play Thursday but managed only one shot in the game. "He's got a weapon as a shot, he's got to make sure he gets himself open and shoots the puck and hits the net," Blashill said. "If he hits the net he's going to have opportunities to score goals. He's somebody I've seen as a weapon in the past, in the American League. He hasn't had tons of opportunity here; when he has he hasn't gotten the shots on net the way he needs to. He needs to get open, shoot the puck and hit the net."
more on the Wings...
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
Throw out the young stars on entry-level contracts, and Mrazek is arguably the NHL's best bargain. For just $737,500, the Red Wings have a goaltender who ranks in the top six in goals-against average (2.20), save percentage (.924) and shutouts (four).
By every measure, Mrazek — a fifth-round pick — has outplayed his counterpart since graduating from the Grand Rapids Griffins, stealing the crease before heading into the 2015 playoffs. Howard was on Team USA's 2014 Olympic roster; he'll watch Mrazek dress for Team Czech at the 2016 World Cup.
Surely, Holland wants Mrazek to be Detroit's goaltender of the future, not just the present, but he'll have to pay. Would Mrazek take less money than his backup?
Even if Mrazek — a pending restricted free agent — signs for, say, $5.2 million, Detroit will leapfrog Dallas and become the owner of the NHL's most expensive goalie tandem.
Holland asserted before February's deadline that he was not trying to make a trade in net. That could change at the draft.
The Red Wings aren't currently retaining salary on a traded player but may need to employ that option if they wish to move Howard this spring. Alternatively, they could save cap space by buying out the 31-year-old (here's how that would work finanacially) and go hunting for a more affordable Number 2.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The Detroit Red Wings enjoyed a casual Friday as they prepared to take on the New York Rangers in a Saturday afternoon game at Joe Louis Arena (2, FSD, NHL Network). A 3-2 rally over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday left the Wings in a good mood as they reaffirmed their footing in the playoff race.
"We played with a little more desperation in our game, more urgency, and that's kind of what we have to do here," defenseman Jonathan Ericsson said. "It's going to be a playoffs just getting into the playoffs, and we know that. It's time to step up."
That's especially key in the defensive zone.
"I don't think we've spent lots of time in our zone, but what we have done is given up too many easy goals," coach Jeff Blashill said. "Where, earlier in the year, there were times we played too much D-zone, right now, our chances against in our own zone are too big. I don't think we spend lots of time there, but when we do give up a chance, it's way too big.
"We've got to do a way better job of protecting our net front. There's been probably a series of I don't know how many goals or even plays where guys have ended up open in front of our net, so that's on us to make sure we get that corrected."
Any worthwhile news will be posted, other than that, enjoy your Friday.
Next game is 2pm ET tomorrow with the New York Rangers in town.
added 1:04pm, Khan tweet,
Blashill said everyone is available for tomorrow's game. Declined to reveal starting goalie or lineup decisions.
First up, extended game highlights of the4 Wings 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets...
Below, watch Blashill, Abdelkader and Mrazek post-game...
The Red Wings needed to have Thursday's game against the Winnipeg Jets, and they needed it badly. Sitting two points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers for the Eastern Conference's final Wild Card spot, the Wings needed to snap their 3-game losing streak as expediently and expeditiously as possible.
The Wings didn't choose the expedient route, giving up a 2-0 lead to the Jets before rallying in slow but steady fashion, tying the game over a 5:45 stretch in the 2nd period on goals from Larkin and Ericsson, and winning the game with under 5 minutes left in the 3rd thanks to a goal by Justin Abdelkader, who was a constant source of Jets aggression all night long.
Petr Mrazek was superb, got help from a crossbar with under 30 seconds left in regulation, and the Wings' special teams play was at least good on the PK as the Wings rebounded from a dreadful first period with better and better play against a surprisingly stout opponent.
Now the Wings have snapped their 3-game losing streak, they're 4 points clear of the Flyers and Hurricanes, and two big games against the Rangers and Maple Leafs loom this weekend.
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
• With 16 games remaining in the regular season, the Red Wings are holding down the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They're one point behind Pittsburgh in the wild-card race, trail third-place Florida by six points in the Atlantic Division and are eight behind division co-leaders Tampa Bay and Boston. They're two points ahead of Philadelphia and four in front of Carolina in the bid for a wild-card spot. Philadelphia has one game in hand on the Red Wings, who have one in hand on Carolina.
• The Red Wings will face 12 opponents in their final 16 games. They play the New York Rangers, Toronto, Philadelphia and Montreal twice apiece. Five of those 12 teams – the Rangers, Florida, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Boston – are currently holding down playoff spots. Eight of the 12 have records above .500. Five of those teams – Toronto, Columbus, Buffalo, Montreal and Winnipeg – appear to already be out of the playoff race. Four others – the Rangers, Tampa Bay, Boston and Florida – appear to be locks to make it.
read on for more notes...
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland joins the crew of Hockey Central @ Noon to talk about his club hanging on to a playoff spot, working with Jeff Blashill after several seasons with Mike Babcock, the ceiling for rookie Dylan Larkin, and his goaltending tandem.
Listen here, some interesting stuff, 12 minute interview.
If Sportsnet provides and audio/video embed, I will post it here.
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.