The Malik Report
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.
The Detroit Red Wings boarded Red Bird III and headed to Phoenix after a team-signature "spirited but brief" practice at Joe Louis Arena, preparing for back-to-back games against the Coyotes on Thursday and Avs on Friday.
The only people taking connecting flights to Phoenix to join the team were Brian Lashoff, who the team recallled after he played in the Grand Rapids Griffins' 5-1 win over Houston, and GM Ken Holland.
The Wings signed goalie Jared Coreau and, per Ansar Khan, demoted Joakim Andersson, Danny DeKeyser and Gustav Nyquist to Grand Rapids "on paper" so that the trio were eligible to play for the Griffins in the AHL playoffs if necessary, but other than that, the team made no trade deadline additions, and both Wings coach Mike Babcock and Holland told the Free Press's Helene St. James that they were okay with not making a move:
The Grand Rapids Griffins' wonderful video crew has posted another set of near-first-person-perspective videos giving fans an inside look at life as a professional hockey player, chronicling the team's back-to-back games against the Lake Erie Monsters on March 22nd (in Grand Rapids) and March 23rd (in Cleveland). The trilogy's more than worth 20 or so minutes of your time (and I really wish that the Wings would do something like this, hint hint):
Via RedWingsFeed, this was a nice little tidbit to wake up from a nap to reading:
I will say this: several Red Wings season-ticket holders have already told me that the prices have gone up for the 2014 version of the Red Wings vs. the Maple Leafs at the Big House, and that sucks.
If ever you needed a reminder that the Red Wings were not only completely committed to their youth movement this year, but are working toward a younger, bigger roster all the way around...
Here's the Wings' press release:
Updated 8x with more Holland comments at 4:37 PM:
Updated 11x at 4:22 PM: No surprise here:
The Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena before boarding a 2:30 PM EDT flight to Phoenix for tomorrow night's game against the Coyotes and Friday night's game in Colorado. Amongst today's practice news...
The Red Wings will take to the ice for a quick practice before boarding an afternoon flight to Phoenix for the team's two-game trip out West to play the Coyotes on Thursday and Colorado on Friday, but before they do so, here's a smattering of Wings-related news.
On the Red Wings trade front
And this is a "captain obvious" statement from the Sporting News's Jesse Spector:
I may not agree with Red Wings GM Ken Holland or the Wings front office's highly likely decision to stand pat at the trade deadline, but at least the organization has preached a consistent message about doing so over the past couple of weeks.
No depth moves, we were told, no moving the team's first-round pick, first we were told regarding the Bouwmeester trade, and then Holland confirmed, no rentals during what the team's acknowledged is a transitional and/or rebuilding year. We've more or less heard this refrain since, well, hell, since Joakim Andersson was given the provisional "get a place for now" over a month ago, if not since the that Sunday practice in Columbus when Jonathan Ericsson stepped on a puck and injured his shoulder...If not since the team missed out on Ryan Suter.
Would I like to see the Wings be more aggressive in terms of trades? You bet.
As you might expect, Red Wings GM Ken Holland gave MLive's Ansar Khan and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness a late-Tuesday-night interview, and as of the present moment, Holland told Khan that it's highly unlikely that the Wings will make a move at this point, though he and the Wings' management staff will remain bunkered down at the Joe for the next day...
“With the people that were moved the last couple of days, in most cases I talked to those general managers,'' Red Wings GM Ken Holland said on Tuesday. “I don't know that there's a lot out there. We'll see what happens (Wednesday).''
The Red Wings are interested in adding a top-four defenseman or a top-six forward, but not at the expense of their first-round pick or any top prospects. Holland said they will not acquire any depth players.
“We made some competitive offers on a couple of players,'' Holland said. “Some players we couldn't get in the mix on. I'll explore until the deadline.''
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.