The Malik Report
Updated 5x at 6:56 PM: The Detroit Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena skating with their tweaked lines as they prepare for a three-games-in-four-nights slate beginning with a game against the very grumpy (very, very grumpy) San Jose Sharks tomorrow night, and MLive's Ansar Khan reports that the team threw a bit of a curve ball...
Updated with Ken Holland's Fan 590 interview: Red Wings GM Ken Holland appeared on WDFN's Matt Sheppard show this morning, and Holland spoke at length to Sean Baligian about his team's playoff chances, their trade deadline philosophy about about essentially rebuilding on the fly.
WDFN's Twitter account posted some highlights from the interview:
Red Wings overnight report: Wings still believe they’ll make the playoffs, but lineup tweaks persist
Aside from prospect-related news, Tuesday was not a super fun "off-day" for Red Wings fans. The team announced that Darren Helm would continue skating but the team's no longer expecting him to return from what we've learned is a "slight tear" in one of his discs, and it is entirely possible that we'll hear similar news about Todd Bertuzzi soon.
With the Wings not playing until the team begins a three-games-in-four-nights slate against San Jose on Thursday, the team god bad news in terms of the Western Conference standings on Tuesday, too: St. Louis took a 3-point lead on the Wings via a 1-0 win over Nashville and the Columbus Blue Jackets snuggled right up to 2 points behind Detroit's 43 by defeating San Jose 4-0.
Talkin’ prospects: Khan confirms that Red Wings are bringing Alexei Marchenko, Teemu Pulkkinen to GR
The Grand Rapids Griffins somewhat inadvertently revealed that they'd not only signed Richard Nedomlel and Jake Paterson to amateur try-outs, but also that Alexei Marcheko was practicing with the team, and this evening, MLive's Ansar Khan is confirming Matias Strozyk's report that the Wings are also bringing Teemu Pulkkinen over for a look-see.
With Calle Jarnkrok scheduled to head back to Sweden after Saturday's slate of three Griffins home games played over the course of four nights (Wednesday vs. Chicago, Friday vs. Milwaukee and Saturday vs. Peoria), and Nedomlel, Paterson, Marchenko, Ryan Sproul and now Pulkkinen joining the mix, the Wings' AHL affiliate is becoming something of a talent evaluation machine.
Wings assistant GM Jim Nill tells Khan that, well, "that's the plan" given that the Wings want to determine whether players like Marchenko, Paterson and especially Pulkkinen are ready to make the jump to professional hockey---and Khan reveals that the Wings plan on bringing both Pulkkinen and Jarnkrok over to North America on a full-time basis next year, even if they don't make the Wings' roster:
Update #2: I believe that Alexei Marchenko's also in Grand Rapids based upon photographic evidence: As noted this morning, Capgeek.com's added Richard Nedomlel to the Red Wings' organizational chart, and while the Red Wings have yet to confirm whether they've signed Nedomlel, and Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins have yet to say thing about Jatkoiaka's Matias Strozyk's report that Teemu Pulkkinen will spend the balance of the 2012-2013 season with Grand Rapids...
The Griffins issued a press release confirming Ryan Sproul's Tweet that he joined Grand Rapids, and today, via RedWingsFeed, the Griffins are reporting that Nedomlel's joined the team on an amateur try-out, and that the same is true of Jake Paterson, who stated that he would be aiding the Grifins' cause as well:
From the Red Wings' PR department:
RED WINGS TO HOST FOOD DRIVE TO BENEFIT GLEANERS COMMUNITY FOOD BANK ON THURSDAY
… Fans who Donate Could Win an Autographed Jimmy Howard Puck and Photo …
Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings will host a canned food drive to assist in the fight against hunger with Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. The canned food drive will take place during the team’s home game on Thursday, April 11, when the Wings take on the San Jose Sharks at 7:30 p.m. (FOX Sports Detroit and 97.1 The Ticket).
All donations will benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank, which collects and distributes 45 million pounds of food annually to more than 550 local food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. With one in five metro Detroiters at risk of hunger, every pound of food collected and every dollar raised will provide relief to people struggling through tough times.
My Finnish is dreadful, but Jatkoaika's Matias Strozyk Tweeted the following...
Doing some incredibly rough translating of Strozyk's article on Jatkoaika's website, unlike Calle Jarnkrok, who has to return to Sweden to play in the World Championships on April 14th, Jokerit Helsinki has released Teemu Pulkkinen to play for the Grand Rapids Griffins for the remainder of the 2012-2013 season:
Updated 9x at 4:10 PM: The Red Wings took to the ice very early today--10:30 AM--and things rolled along pretty well...mostly...
I'm sticking with Fox Sports Detroit's Ken Daniels on this one. The reason I lost my temper after the Wings-Blues game, and the reasons that Wings fans have been so frustrated while watching their favorite team continue to consistently drop "must-win games" down the stretch, all boil down to 55.
During an 82-game season, teams tend to earn playoff spots if they win 94-96 points on their own, and sometimes less if they receive "help" in the form of higher-ranked teams defeating their playoff-pack peers. By way of multiplying 95 by 48/82nds of a season, you get 55.609756 (with the 609756 repeating infinitely).
So the 39-15-and-5 Red Wings, who possess 42 points and sit in eighth place in the Western Conference (thanks in no small part to the Vancouver Canucks defeating 40-point-holding Phoenix and Anaheim defeating 39-point-holding Edmonton on Monday night), have 9 games remaining, and to reach that magic 55-point number and not need significant "help" from the Chicagos, Anaheims, Vancouvers and Minnesotas of the Western Conference, the Wings need to earn 13 points out of a possible 18.
Red Wings mid-day mishmash: on Sheahan, DeKeyser, the Winer Classic presser and the bumpy ride ahead
Updated 5x at 4:16 PM: Jared Coreau's heading to Detroit to join the Wings and Jake Paterson's heading to Grand Rapids to join the Griffins: Amongst this morning/early afternoon's Red Wings-related news:
The Wings had recalled Riley Sheahan on an "emergency" basis as the team feared that Henrik Zetterberg (groin) might not be able to play during Sunday's 1-0 loss to St. Louis, so the press release the Wings sent out to their email list on Monday offered no surprise: