The Malik Report
This is going to go over well...Via RedWingsFeed and MLive's Brendan Savage, NHL.com took a poll among 10 of their writers and NHL Network contributors, and Corey Masisak reports that the group deemed Red Wings coach Mike Babcock to be the league's best coach:
1. Mike Babcock (5 first-place votes) -- 68 points: Babcock is proof that a great coach can come from just about anywhere in hockey. His only playing experience as a professional came in England, though he was a captain at McGill University. He didn't have a ton of success at the Canadian junior level as a coach, reaching the Western Hockey League finals twice in eight years.
From the Red Wings' PR department:
WINGS TO HOLD WINGS FOR WISHES GAME THIS SUNDAY
… Mystery Puck Draw to Benefit Make-A-Wish® Michigan on April 7 …
Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings will host their Wings for Wishes game this Sunday, April 7, when the team takes on the St. Louis Blues at 12:30 p.m. (NBC & 97.1 The Ticket) to benefit Make-A-Wish® Michigan.
The team will hold a mystery puck draw on the concourse behind Section 126 when doors open at 11 a.m. For $25, fans will have the opportunity to purchase from an assortment of 300 hockey pucks signed by members of the 2012-13 team and packaged in a black box to conceal the autograph. Each puck has been signed by a Red Wings player and comes with a certificate of authenticity. The fan who purchases and opens the puck signed in gold by defenseman Niklas Kronwall will meet him after the game.
This hasn't been confirmed, but it's an intriguing little tidbit from my search engine monkeys and chilly666 on Hockeyfights.com, the ever-reliable Renaud Lavoie reports that the Wings have signed another BIG prospect defenseman:
Nedomlel's a 6'5," 231-lb. defenseman who's played for the WHL's Swift Current Broncos for the past three seasons. RedWingsCentral and Hockey's Future accurately describe the 19-year-old and 175th overall pick in the 2011 draft as a stay-at-home defenseman with a mean streak, but Nedomlel did register 28 points in 72 games with Swift Current this past season.
Nedomlel and Lincoln Stars (USHL) captain and Western Michigan University-committed defenseman Mike McKee, who's another 6'4," 230-pound behemoth, represent part of the Wings' attempts to add some size and downright meanness to their pool of prospects.
The Detroit Red Wings caught a very late flight to Colorado to prepare for tonight's game against the Avalanche (9 PM EDT, FSD/Altitude/97.1 FM) having placed themselves in a particularly desperate situation thanks to their awful showing in a 4-2 loss to Phoenix on Thursday evening.
The Wings now sit in 7th place in the Western Conference standings with 41 points, but the 18-14-and-5 Wings are only 1 point ahead of the St. Louis Blues (who have 2 games in hand), are 2 points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets (no games in hand) and are 3 points ahead of both the Coyotes and Predators....
Contrary to what I'm sure will be suggested over the next 24 hours, the Detroit Red Wings' 4-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes was not the result of a team collectively and individually choosing to "screw the pooch" to "send a message" voicing their dissatisfaction with the team's management.
The Red Wings did not lose because the ghosts of Jay Bouwmeester, Jaromir Jagr, Jason Pominville or Robyn Regehr were haunting them.
Via Puck Daddy's Harrison Mooney, the Toledo Blade's Rachel Lenzi wrote a wonderful profile of Mr. Hockey's non-hockey-playing son, one Murray Howe, and the youngest of Mr. Hockey's son took a very different path to success in a tangentially hockey-related profession:
Though he hails from the first family of hockey, Murray Howe chose his own path. As the chairman of Toledo Hospital’s department of radiology, he helps solve a few medical mysteries involving sports medicine radiology and imaging. In his line of work, the pictures tell a deeper story.
“There’s a lot of things that X-rays don’t show, a lot of injuries,” said Dr. Howe, who also is the team radiologist for the Toledo Walleye at its imaging facility, Toledo Radiological Associates. “An X-ray may show that everything looks normal, but what you’re dealing with now and the mechanism of injury, it’s quite possible that it could be problem ‘X,’ and let’s consider an MRI to show something better,” Howe said.
Like his father, he is helpful in his own way.
“He’s very helpful, but he is not afraid to make a call,” said Dr. Roger Kruse, the medical director of sports care with ProMedica. “Murray will make the call and say, that’s it. But he’s always willing to look at someone else’s MRI, and he won’t get paid a cent for it. Even more so, he’s always willing to look at other people’s studies and he is always willing to learn. He understands that it’s teamwork.”
Continued, and the rest of the article's worth your time both for Lenzi's profile of Murray and Murray's statement that while his father may be suffering from dementia-induced memory loss, he remains "very much himself."
Updated 7x at 4:57 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will begin a two games-in-two-nights slate of games against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight (10 PM EDT, FSD/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM), and while the Wings possess a pretty dang solid record against the Coyotes, the Wings' remaining games aginast Phoenix (tonight's tilt and the teams' April 22nd meeting) have the potential to adversely impact Detroit's playoff chances, so the Wings can't overlook an opponent they'll play against for a sixth of their remaining 12 games.
The Arizona Republic's Sarah McLellan reports that the Coyotes may receive a significant addition to their lineup in the form of goaltender Mike Smith returning from his "lower-body injury"...
The Red Wings won't take to the ice to prepare for tonight's game against the Phoenix Coyotes (10 PM EDT, FSD/NHL Network U.S. and the Center Ice/GCL blackouts that come with an NHL Net game/97.1 FM) until around 2 PM EDT, but the Red Wings' website and DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose area already in game-day mode...
Pursuant to Sportsnet's John Shannon's statement that the 2014 Winter Classic will be officially awarded to Detroit on Sunday, I received this little tidbit in my inbox this morning (and I've removed the media RSVP part because it's not relevant):
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE TO MAKE ANNOUNCEMENT & HOST UNVEILING
AT JOE LOUIS ARENA IN DETROIT SUNDAY, APRIL 7 AT 10:30 A.M. ET
WHAT: NHL Special Event Press Conference, Jersey Unveiling & Media Availability
WHEN: Sunday, April 7 10:30 a.m. ET
WHERE: Joe Louis Arena
Television networks planning any live content from the arena must indicate those plans on RSVP.
Update: Whoops, I just got up (long couple of days), so I didn't know that MLive's Ansar Khan beat me to the punch.
And yes, as the Detroit News notes, it's very convenient that the Wings and Blues will tangle in an NBC game at 12:30 PM on Sunday. Free infomercial!
Update #2: The Wings will stream the presser.
The Detroit Red Wings find themselves in a particularly delicate situation heading into tonight's game against the Phoenix Coyotes (10 PM EDT, FSD/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM) and tomorrow's tilt against the Colorado Avalanche (9 PM EDT, FSD/97.1 FM).
The 18-13-and-5 Wings sit in 7th place in the Western Conference, with 41 points and 12 games to go, which places them only 3 points behind the 4th-place Wild and Canucks...But also only five points ahead of the 12th-place(!) Coyotes, who, despite selling off Raffi Torres, Matthew Lombardi and Steve Sullivan at the trade deadline, have no intention of wanderig into the haze of yet another possible springtime relocation saga easily.
The Wings defeated Phoenix 3-2 back on March 25th, but given the razor-thin margin for error in terms of playoff positionioning and the fact that the Wings will host the Coyotes on April 22nd, Phoenix can do quite a bit to play the playoff-spoiler's role if the Wings don't take their opponent seriously.
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.