The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings managed to hand the Anaheim Ducks their first set of home losses since January this past weekend, courtesy of a 5-1 win on Friday and a 2-1 grind-fest on Sunday night, but the Wings flew to Phoenix after Sunday's triumph to face off against the Phoenix Coyotes this evening (10 PM EDT, FSD/FS Arizona/97.1 FM), and if Sunday night's game was a task-and-a-half, Sunday's game will take two hands' worth of effort:
While the 16-11-and-5 Wings now have 37 points and are inching up the Western Conference standings, Phoenix is winless in 5 games, but hasn't played since last Thursday's 2-1 loss to Vancouver. Phoenix sits in 12th place in the West with 30 points, and with Edmonton (29 points), Calgary (28) and Colorado (26) close behind, and San Jose, Nashville and Columbus all sitting two points ahead of the Coyotes, all the legitimate media "experts" and "insiders" claimed that, should Phoenix lose tonight, their playoff hopes might be over, and with a week-and-two-days remaining until the trade deadline, they might become "sellers."
Updated 8x at 12:11 AM on Monday: Gustavsson starts vs. Phoenix, Brunner back in: My goodness. The Detroit Red Wings rope-a-doped their way to a Jimmy Howard-powered 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks, with Howard stopping a remarkable 33 shots--including 13 of 13 in the 1st and 12 of 12 in the 3rd--and the Wings building up a 2-0 1st-period lead via a net-front goal from Danny Cleary and a jam-job by Drew Miller...
And while the Wings faded over the second half of the second period, surrendering a power play goal to Ryan Getzlaf with all of 46 seconds left in the 2nd...And with the Ducks loading up Ryan, Getzlaf and Perry in the 3rd, Detroit was plain old under siege during the first half of the third...
Updated 3x at 10:15 PM: Holland tells Khan that Jarnkrok's ineligible to play in the NHL: Four days ago, Hakan Andersson told Aftonbladet that Calle Jarnkrok would visit Detroit during next weekend's games against Chicago and Anaheim, but plans have changed.
According to Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels, Calle Jarnkrok is flying to Detroit tonight, and he will join the Grand Rapids Griffins on Monday. He's not coming to Detroit for a look-see next weekend--he's coming over to play.
I'd imagine that the Wings will release Jarnkrok to Sweden for the World Championships in April as they take place in Stockholm and Helsinki this year, with the finals to be held in Stockholm, but it's great to hear that he's coming over to do more than take the customary rink tour.
MLive's Ansar Khan confirms both storylines:
Center Calle Jarnkrok, one of the Detroit Red Wings' top prospects, will arrive from Sweden on Monday and be assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Jarnkrok will play nine games for Grand Rapids and then return to Sweden.
The Free Press's Helene St. James is also confirming:
Via RedWingsFeed, here's a big surprise ahead of tonight's game between the Red Wings and Ducks--and perhaps a necessary move given Damien Brunner's struggles of late...
The Free Press's Helene St. James confirms...
The Detroit Red Wings face a task-and-a-half in following up their 5-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in attempting to hand a pissed-off Ducks team its second home loss (since January) in a row tonight (8 PM EDT, FSD/Prime Ticket/1270 AM)...
As of 3:45 PM EDT, it appears that neither the Ducks nor the Wings held morning skates due to the 5 PM local time start for Sunday's game. TSN reports that the Ducks have signed Radek Dvorak, who'll have to clear waivers before playing for the Ducks as Dvorak spent this past season in Switzerland...
And NHL.com's Curtis Zupke's confirming that neither team held a morning skate while offering prospective lineups for both teams:
Updated 5x at 3:23 PM: Over the last 24 hours, the Free Press's Helene St. James (having spoken with Ken Holland) MLive's Ansar Khan (having spoken with Jim Nill) and the Satellite Hotstove basically dissected the Danny DeKeyser sweepstakes, but TSN's Bob McKenzie posited a pair of Tweets which summarize what we've heard will take place at Newport Sports Management's offices in Mississauga, ON starting on Tuesday:
Facing a significant amount of public furor after having fired Red Wings analyst Larry Murphy, MLive's Ansar Khan reports that Fox Sports Detroit's released a statement that does little to nothing to explain why Murphy was so suddenly and summarily dismissed:
“We wanted our primary team of Mickey Redmond and Ken Daniels to call the remaining games as the Red Wings make a push for the playoffs. We thought it was only fair to let Larry know as soon as possible that he would not be scheduled for any more assignments. We thank Larry for his contributions to our telecasts over the years and we wish him well.”
Of course, this does not explain why Murphy wasn't retained to work between the benches at home games or in the studio.
FSD said this is the only statement it will make on the matter.
The Detroit Red Wings wrap up their back-to-back series against the Anaheim Ducks tonight (8 PM EDT, FSD/FS West/97.1 FM) and begin a set of literal back-to-backs as the team's going to play the Coyotes on Monday (10 PM EDT, FSD/NHL Network U.S.) facing the same task the Wings did before their 5-1 win over Anaheim: Detroit has to "keep up with the Joneses."
The 15-11-and-5 Wings have 35 points and sit in 7th place in the Western Conference, but a team with 3 games left on its 4-game West Coast swing (tonight, Monday and Thursday's game against San Jose) needs to get at least 2 points over the next 30 hours worth of hockey, if not 3, all because the 8th-place Stars sit 2 points behind Detroit, the Sharks, Predators and Blue Jackets sit 3 points behind Detroit, and Phoenix sits 4 points behind the Wings.
I know, I know, I can hear you saying, "We get it already, George!" but the fact remains that those blown games against the unbeaten-in-12(!) Blue Jackets, Wild, Flames, etc. can still bite the Wings' playoff hopes in the ass if the Wings don't find the kind of consistency they haven't displayed since the middle of February...
Updated 3x at 7:10 PM: For an "off day" and a Saturday, today's been incredibly busy in the Red Wings news department. We've received two takes on FSD's firing of Larry Murphy, Carlo Colaiacovo's been cleared to play, Danny DeKeyser watch has begun, and Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau vowed that his team would play better coming off last night's 5-1 Wings win.
It turns out that the Wings did not take Saturday "off" after all, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan...
This morning, MLive's Ansar Khan broke the news that Fox Sports Detroit fired Red Wings color commentator Larry Murphy before the Wings-Flames game, and this afternoon, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan spoke to Murphy about his firing...
"I certainly wasn't expecting it; I was surprised," said Murphy, who had been with the network since 2002-03. "I was shocked. I didn't know anything was up. I certainly didn't see it coming."
Murphy was told of the decision by Greg Hammaren, senior vice-president/general manager of FSD. An e-mail to Hammaren wasn't immediately returned.
"They said that ratings were down and they looking to make changes," said Murphy, who turned to broadcasting after a Hall of Fame, 21-year career in the NHL, ending with the Red Wings.
And the #bringbackMurph movement on Twitter and Facebook:
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.