The Malik Report
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. Here's the Wings' game-day preview video:
2. On the Avs' side of the ice, the Denver Post's Terry Frei reports that Colorado will start Semyon Varlamov, not Calvin Pickard, in the crease this evening:
With the Colorado Avalanche in town, it is getting people's appetites whetted for the Stadium Series outdoor game in Colorado in two weeks. Drawing perhaps even more attention than the Stadium Series game is the Alumni Game, which will be held the day before, on Friday, Feb. 26.
"It seems the closer it gets to the date, it's definitely exciting," said Kirk Maltby, a member of the Grind Line and a current pro scout for the Wings. "It's going to be fun to reminisce. I'm sure the pace of the game will be a little different and the physicality, but I expect it will get a little competitive as the game goes on, especially if it's close because at the end of the day, I don't think either team wants to lose."
The Wings' alumni have been practicing at Joe Louis Arena.
On Friday, with the Avalanche holding an optional skate because of their game Thursday night in Ottawa, current Avalanche coach and Patrick Roy and general manager Joe Sakic were on the ice in Detroit.
The Wings are scheduled to practice at Coors Field a few hours before the Alumni Game.
Some might stick around to watch.
"That will be a lot of fun," Danny DeKeyser said. "It’s good to see, you know, some of the names that are coming in to play in that game. I’m sure it will be a fun game to watch for anybody who is going to it."
Wakiji continues, speaking with Kris Draper, Jeff Blashill, Justin Abdelkader, Mike Green and Alexey Marchenko...
From the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:
Danny DeKeyser, who grew up in Metro Detroit, was just like every other Red Wings fan around here during the 1980s and 1990s. DeKeyser did not like the Colorado Avalanche. Hated the Avs.
“I wasn’t a big fan of them,” DeKeyser said Friday, when asked about the legendary Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry, ahead of Friday night’s Detroit-Colorado game at Joe Louis Arena. “Being a Red Wings fan, they had some good battles over the years, in the playoffs, and it was fun to watch. But being a Red Wings fan, I didn’t like (the Avalanche).”
It’s different now. The Red Wings and Avalanche are in different conferences, and they only meet twice in the regular season. But the videos are on YouTube, and most of the current Red Wings grew up following the rivalry.
It’s still special when the Red Wings and Avalanche play, even many years later after the bad blood was flowing.
“A lot of good battles,” DeKeyser said. “(Colorado goalie Patrick) Roy and (Mike) Vernon, some of those battles, and it was a lot of entertaining hockey, a lot of fun to watch.”
I've been answering more than a few questions regarding Jimmy Howard's trade status, and I've been blunt in my responses: I don't believe that the Red Wings are going to trade Howard before the draft, and I don't believe that the Wings can afford to trade Howard without getting a back-up goaltender in return, at least during the regular season. I've also tried to remind fans that Howard's $5.29 million cap hit comes with a full no-trade clause, so Howard gets to say where he might go.
ESPN's Craig Custance fielded a question about Howard as part of his Friday mailbag:
@CraigCustance asked you about DET moving Howard earlier in the season. Still think it won't happen? If not, where? #CustanceCorrespondence
— Joe Plaza (@jeplaza14) February 11, 2016
Here's Custance's answer:
Updated 4x at 3:14 PM: The Red Wings received good news from the morning skate ahead of tonight's game between the Wings and Colorado Avalanche: Detroit will welcome Mike Green back into the lineup, and Danny DeKeyser will play after suffering a bruised knee on Wednesday.
DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji Tweeted some comments from coach Jeff Blashill's morning skate remarks...
Updated at 11:25 AM: Green and DeKeyser are in, Mrazek starts:
The Detroit Red Wings hope to extend their home-ice winning streak to four games when the Colorado Avalanche visit this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD/Altitude/97.1 FM).
The Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena just before 10:30 AM for their morning skate, and DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose delivered good news on the injury front:
Niklas Kronwall (knee surgery) and Mike Green (groin) are on the ice for the #RedWings morning skate.
Danny DeKeyser, who left game in third Wednesday after taking shot to right leg from Phaneuf, appears fine this morning.
MLive's Ansar Khan checked in...
The Red Wings face the Colorado Avalanche this evening (7:30 PM EST start on FSD/Altitude/TVA Sports/97.1 FM) hoping to extend their home-ice winning streak to four games. They'll do so against an Avalanche team that's in the middle of a pack of Pacific Division teams that hover between Division and Wild Card spots.
The Avalanche are coming off a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, and their victory snapped a 4-game winless (0-3-and-1) streak; Jarome Iginla scored 2 goals and Semyon Varlamov stopped 26 saves for the Avs, who built up a 3-0 lead and, well, I'll let the Denver Post's Terry Frei tell the tale:
From Fox Sports' Tommy Chalk, who discusses Petr Mrazek's candidacy for the Vezina Trophy:
How great has Mrazek been? Just take a look at his last 13 starts. He's recorded a 10-2-1 record, with a .952 save percentage and a 1.31 goals against average. Those numbers have catapulted Mrazek to the very top of the NHL, where he now leads the NHL in goals against average and save percentage, with .934 and 1.94, respectively. Those totals make Mrazek, well, the best goaltender in the NHL.
"It's so hard to beat him," Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou said following Detroit's win over the Ottawa Senators. "He's a wall back there. It's an unbelievable thing to have. It's like having a third defenseman back there as well with his ability to play the puck. He's an elite goalie."
And if we look at Mrazek's numbers in comparison to Holtby, Crawford and Luongo, who are rightfully considered elite goaltenders this season, Mrazek's numbers stack right up against theirs in all aspects of the game.
At even-strength 5-v-5, Mrazek is well ahead of the three goaltenders in major goaltender statistical categories. If we look at save percentage, adjusted save percentage (adjusted for the volume of shots goaltenders face from different level of danger areas) and save percentage from shots taken in high-danger areas (click that previous link to see where "high-danger" areas are on the ice), there's a clear-cut winner in the categories.
The NHL released a 7,200 pixel-wide rendering of the Stadium Series game between the Avalanche and Red Wings. You can click on the image and make it your wallpaper if you wish:
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE UNVEILS ARCHITECTURAL RENDERING OF 2016 COORS LIGHT NHL STADIUM SERIES IN COLORADO
NEW YORK (February 11, 2016) – The National Hockey League® today unveiled an architectural rendering of the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game in Colorado, the outdoor match-up between the Colorado Avalanche® and Detroit Red Wings® at Coors Field on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/6 p.m. MT. The event will be broadcast live in primetime in the U.S. on NBC and on Hockey Night In Canada and TVA Sports in Canada.
Photo credit: NHL.
The Red Wings posted a 5:41 video chronicling Dylan Larkin's trip to Nashville to attend the All-Star Game:
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.