The Malik Report
Ten days after the Detroit Red Wings dropped a 2-1 lead to the Phoenix Coyotes, the Detroit Red Wings dropped a 2-1 lead to the Phoenix Coyotes and lost 5-2 to a predatory, hungry team receiving significant help from Smith.
Which Smith? Both of them. Mike Smith flopped to the ice as Brian Lashoff slid what should have been a 3-0 goal past him early in the second period, seemingly suffering a bad groin injury, but he popped back up after a commercial break, and after Smith flopped, the Wings never seemed to recover their killer instinct--and Smith of course scored an empty-netter..
And Brendan Smith's play yielded a Shane Doan penalty shot which Jimmy Howard stopped and poor coverage yielding three of the four goals Howard did not stop--though Howard had NO chance on ANY of the goals that were scored against him by the predatory Coyotes--as well as Mike Smith's historic empty-netter.
I've tried to keep the news regarding Niklas Kronwall's recovery from the concussion induced by Cody McLeod in the Red Wings-Coyotes game-day entry, but this video from the Free Press's Helene St. James merits its own entry as it encompasses Kronwall's media availability this "morning":
The Detroit Red Wings are very proud of the fact that they were the last team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions back in 1998, but the Chicago Blackhawks' status as having won 2 Cups in 3 years may be as close as one gets to a repeat in this day and age.
Former Wings coach and current Blackhawks advisor Scotty Bowman discussed difficulties of winning repeat Cups with the CBC's Tim Wharnsby, and Bowman believes that there are more than salary cap-related reasons as to why no team has been able to replicate the Wings' successes:
"You can't keep your team together," Bowman said. "The Los Angeles Kings managed to do it. But they still didn't win. When you win, you have players you have to re-sign. Most of those players deserve a raise. You can't keep everybody. If you lose a couple key players the cupboard gets bare."
But, Bowman says, it doesn't stop there.
"Teams are stronger," he said. "At least, there are more teams capable of winning. It just seems that teams have more younger players who make an immediate impact. There is more emphasis than ever on developing players and they make a bigger impact quicker than ever."
One could very well argue that the NHL took a full decade to recover from nine seasons and 9 teams' worth of 1990's expansion. I certainly believe that it took until 2008 or 2009 for the NHL to be able to boast that more of its 16 playoff-qualifying teams than not were capable of making a long playoff push.
Updated 7x at 4:33 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will have their hands full against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight (9 PM, FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM), and as Paul noted, the Wings' beat writers reported that Niklas Kronwall won't be available tonight:
It appears that the NHL's decided that Cody McLeod shouldn't have to wait until Tuesday to visit with Brendan Shanahan:
Update: From the Wings' morning skate:
Kronwall talks with media says he has to go through process but is optimistic he can return very soon— Ted Kulfan (@tkulfan) October 19, 2013
I've added more Kronwall news in the Wings-Coyotes game thread. He reports no post-concussive symptoms and hopes to return soon.
This post will be updated as need be...
The Red Wings find themselves in a situation very different than the one they were in prior to dropping a 4-2 loss to Phoenix ten days ago.
Ahead of tonight's rematch (9 PM EDT, FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM, and this is Detroit's only regular season to Jobbing.com Arena), Detroit's won 4 straight games, and while the Wings are highly unlikely to have the services of Niklas Kronwall tonight as he may or may not have a "mild concussion"...
Even as a team that's been out-shot by a silly margin over Jonas Gustavsson's three straight wins, Jimmy Howard will step back into the Wings' crease tonight in front of a team that's a world away from the one that was coming off a 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins and then a four-day break that resulted in an absolutely crappy performance against a Coyotes team desperate for its first win.
The Grand Rapids Griffins had the kind of night you'd expect from any championship-winning team raising a banner during their home opener--a night of mixed results.
The Griffins sent their banner to the rafters of Van Andel Arena, Triston Grant dropped the gloves 1:48 into the game, and the team took 1-0 and 2-1 leads over the Milwaukee Admirals...But they were out-scored 2-0 in the second period, and the emotionally-spent team couldn't manage to rally, eventually dropping a 3-2 decision to Milwaukee.
The banner-raising part? Well, the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner and WOOD TV8 (embedded in a story about the Griffins' very healthy bottom line) posted clips of the banner-raising, and it was pretty dang cool...
Baffling news, per NHL.com:
Colorado Avalanche left wing Cody McLeod will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety Tuesday at the League's New York offices after a boarding incident during Thursday's game against the Detroit Red Wings at Pepsi Center.
McLeod was offered the opportunity for an in-person hearing as required by provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for any suspension that can exceed five games.
At 2:13 of the first period, McLeod was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Detroit's Niklas Kronwall.
Kronwall remained down and was taken from the ice on a stretcher. He did not return. After the game, the Red Wings announced Kronwall sustained a concussion and cuts to his right ear.
The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: boarding. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.
Update: The Denver Post's Adrian Dater reports that McLeod is suspended in the interim:
I tried to keep as much of the post-game Niklas Kronwall-Cody McLeod incident stuff in the Red Wings-Avalanche tailings post as possible, but we're getting something of an update, albeit a bit of a sketchy one, on Kronwall's status.
MLive's Brendan Savage reports the following...
Defenseman Niklas Kronwall's status is "day-to-day" after he suffered a mild concussion Thursday night, Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said this afternoon.
And the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan squeezed a little more out of Holland:
"He's not ruled out for Saturday's game yet," said Holland, noting Saturday's game in Phoenix. "I would say (he's) day to day."
Kronwall left the game at 2:13 of the first period on a stretcher, the team later announcing he had a concussion and cuts near his ear. Kronwall was skating back to retrieve a puck when Avalanche forward Cody McLeod checked Kronwall into the boards, Kronwall's head hitting the area between the glass and dasherboards.
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.