The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings couldn't take Red Bird III to Chicago as the plane just ferried the Tigers to San Jose, so it's my (and Jones36 on Twitter's) best guess that the Wings took a Delta charter to the Windy City facing a must-win situation against the Blackhawks this evening (8:30 PM EDT, FSD Plus/CSN Chicago/NHL Network U.S. w/ blackout of Center Ice/GameCenter Live included/97.1 FM) after dropping a 3-2 shootout decision to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.
The Wings gained a point--and a point is good--but the Wings' point gives them all of 2 points of breathing room over the Coyotes and three over the Stars and Blue Jackets--and regardless of whether you or I are thrilled with the lineup on a given night, it's the fact that the horses the Wings do have in their stable aren't getting the job done that worries me.
They just can't score. I don't know how else to put it. The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the San Jose Sharks, and with four straight road games coming up, starting with tomorrow night's tilt against Chicago (8:30 PM EDT, FSD Plus), the Wings...
Either couldn't or wouldn't score. Despite a sterling performance by Howard, shootout excluded, and the Wings rallying from a 1-0 deficit to take a 2-1 lead 2:29 into the 3rd period, the Wings couldn't hold onto their lead, and really, aside from a 14-to-8-shot leading second period, they continue to struggle so incredibly mightily to score goals that it's infuriating, never mind frustrating.
I don't know what to say. I really don't. This could be truly devastating. It's not that the coach isn't doing enough (see: line and defensive changes), it's not that the goalie isn't doing enough...It's that the horses aren't getting the job done, and going 2-4-and-1 over the last seven is simply unacceptable.
Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist hasn't been playing in the AHL for almost a month now, but he was still named to the AHL's First All-Star Team. From the Griffins' PR department, here comes the tip of an iceberg worth of Red Wings pre-game stories:
NYQUIST NAMED TO AHL FIRST ALL-STAR TEAM
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Griffins right wing Gustav Nyquist on Thursday was named to the 2012-13 American Hockey League First All-Star Team.
Nyquist, 23, leads the Griffins with 60 points (23-37—60) in 58 games and ranks among the team’s leaders with 37 assists (1st), nine power play goals (1st), 25 power play points (1st), a plus-10 rating (7th), two game-winning goals (T5th), three shootout goals (2nd) and 169 shots (2nd). Despite missing 12 of Grand Rapids’ last 13 games while with the parent Detroit Red Wings, Nyquist still sits eighth in the AHL in scoring, as he was leading the league in scoring at the time of his recall. He also has 18 multipoint games, the most of any Griffins player, and had four three-point games over his last nine contests with the club (Feb. 23-March 19).
The Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau has announced the dates for the Detroit Red Wings' 2013 training camp, the prospect tournament which proceeds it and the Wings' summer development camp, too:
The Detroit Red Wings will be returning to Traverse City, MI to host their annual prospects tournament and training camp at Centre I.C.E. Arena in Traverse City, Mich. Additionally Centre I.C.E. will also host the Wings annual prospect development camp July 12th through the 20th.
Training camp will begin Sept. 12 and run through Sept. 18 with ticket prices expected to run between $10 – $30. Camp begins with morning practices on September 12th, 13th, and 14th. The red-and-white game will be held Sept. 15th. At the conclusion of the Red and White game, the Wings will then divide into two teams prior to the preseason games against the Pittsburgh Penguins on the 16th and the Chicago Black Hawks on the 17th. Players not involved in those games will remain in Traverse City for morning scrimmages on those days.
Continued with many, many more important dates and information, including news about an alumni game taking place at Centre Ice Arena. It might be wise to follow Lindenau and Red Wings Camps on Twitter for more updates regarding the summer development camp, prospect tournament and main camp...
Update: The Wings simultaneously issued a press release regarding training camp:
Updated 9x at 2:14 PM: The Detroit Red Wings are preparing for what is essentially a must-win game against the San Jose Sharks tonight (7:30 PM EDT, FSD/CSN CA/97.1 FM), and while I don't expect to hear much of anything regarding TSN's Aaron Ward's report that the Wings may be close to re-signing Jimmy Howard, I will say this: until it's done--and the Windsor Star's Bob Duff tossed some cold water on the report--all we can do is speculate, and sometimes that's counter-productive, especially given that the beat writers are saying, "Hold your horses there, folks."
Anyway, regarding tonight's game...Comcast Sportsnet California's Kevin Kurz has already penned a game preview...
Via RedWingsFeed, this is the kind of stuff that gets me a little teary-eyed: Vladimir Konstantinov is still "in there" despite suffering a severe traumatic brain injury sixteen years ago, and the Livonia Observer's Ken Abramczyk reports that Konstantinov spends most of his week continuing to recover from his injuries at the Recovery Project in Livonia, MI. I can't quote the whole article, but Konstantinov's mobility continues to improve, and, most importantly, so does his cognitive functioning, even if it's only a little bit at a time:
Konstantinov has developed a level of acceptance for what has happened, Swingle said. “He enjoys watching hockey,” Swingle said. He attends occasional games and visits with players. He enjoys going to restaurants with family and friends. “He knows what is going on,” Swingle said. “He definitely keeps up. The quality of his life has tremendously improved. He can walk by himself.”
After discussion of his recovery, here's...Well, the heartwarming part:
Updated 19x at 2:33 PM: This just popped up, and it's a bit of a doozy:
Update: Ah yes, but a report is a "report":
Update #2: Ditto, says the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:
I'm in the minority here, but I like ties in sports. I like ties in sports because there really are instances when neither team's performance has merited a "win," and, perhaps as in life, there ain't no shame in shooting for a tie.
However, as the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa suggests, the invention and adoption of the shootout does more than ensure that fans paying $50-250+ per ticket leave the rink with a result including a "winner" and "loser." The fact that a shootout win earns teams two points encourages teams to "shoot for a tie," playing incredibly defensively-oriented and plain old boring-to-watch hockey knowing that, should they nurse a tie for 65 minutes, they've got an even chance of earning two points via what is nothing more than a skills competition (cough five wins for Columbus this season cough).
The Detroit Red Wings' coaches and management have spent the past two days engaging in what I'd argue is the worst course of action for the representatives of a team in the middle of a vicous battle for its playoff life: they made repeated public statements insisting that the team's personnel have performed up to expectations (much to the ire of annoyed Wings fans), and that the team did not need reinforcements going into its final nine games in order to "control its fate" (much to the ire of annoyed Wings fans).
The Wings begin a slate of three games in four nights against the San Jose Sharks tonight (7:30 PM EDT, FSD/CSN Bay Area/97.1 FM: tonight the Wings are also holding a food collection drive to benefit Gleaners' Food Bank at the Joe). Then the Wings head to Chicago tomorrow (8:30 PM EDT, and the NHL Network's gobbled up that game, so cue the Center Ice/GCL blackout) and battle the Predators on Sunday (7:30 PM EDT), and given what's transpired in the Western Conference Standings over the Wings' three-day break, the Wings need to win at least two of the next three games.
Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front spoke with Jonathan Ericsson after practice regarding Brad Stuart returning tomorrow night as a member of the San Jose Sharks.
“I hope the fans know that he really liked it here, but he really didn’t have a choice because he didn’t want to be away from his family and kids,” Ericsson said. “I really hope they don’t boo him.”
A bit more from 'Big E' regarding Stuart.
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.