The Malik Report
The NHL posted a press release letting Denver-area media know that Coors Field will be open for photos of the "rink transformation" today, and NHL.com reports that the refridgeration truck that will be used to make ice for the Stadium Series between Deroit and Colorado is in position:
The truck for the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings arrived at Coors Field in Denver on Tuesday.
The 53-foot trailer, the world's largest mobile refrigeration unit, houses state-of-the-art icemaking and ice-monitoring equipment used to create an NHL-caliber sheet of ice.
The Avalanche will face the Red Wings at Coors Field on Saturday, Feb. 27 (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports 2).
A star-studded 2016 Stadium Series Alumni game between the teams will take place at Coors Field on Friday, Feb. 26.
Updated 6x at 12:05 PM: The Red Wings hope to keep their home-ice winning streak going when they host the Ottawa Senators this evening (7 PM EST on FSD/Sportsnet/TVA Sports/97.1 FM). The Wings hit the ice for the morning skate just before 10:30 AM, and MLive's Ansar Khan reports that it was an optional skate:
Optional morning skate for #RedWings. Six skaters including Green, who's still out with groin issue.
It's still good to see Green on the ice, via Fox 2 Sports:
From MLive's Brendan Savage, asking Kris Draper whether he still harbors ill will toward Claude Lemieux:
MLive: Are there still hard feelings?
Draper: No hard feelings, no. It was a long time ago and I think a lot of what we went through as a team together kind of defined a lot of us. It certainly defined the rivalry that we had. It made for, every time you walked in the rink and it was a Colorado-Detroit game, people were excited to do it. I think from '97 to 2002 it was the most heated and most hated rivalry in all of professional sports and it made for some unbelievable hockey. Very unpredictable. You didn't know what was going to happen. You knew something was going to happen. You didn't know when it was going to happen. The bottom line is you look at those teams and there are guys that continue to go into the Hall of Fame. It was unbelievable hockey at an elite level.
from JC Reindl of the Detroit Free Press,
The Ilitch organization has yet to reveal the future name of the Red Wings' new Detroit arena.
But records show that the $627 million venue could officially be the "baddest" in all of hockey.
The Ilitches' Olympia Entertainment recently acquired two trademarks that could be applied to the arena that is under construction and scheduled to open by fall 2017: "The Baddest Bowl" and "The Baddest Bowl in Hockey," according to records with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The Red Wings take on the Ottawa Senators this evening (7:00 PM EST start on FSD/Sportsnet/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), with the Wings hoping to build upon a 2-game winning streak while facing a puzzling opponent:
Before the Dion Phaneuf trade, the 25-23-and-6 Senators were attempting to nudge itself back into contention for a Wild Card spot, and the Senators served notice that they were warming up over the weekend, defeating the Maple Leafs 6-1 on Saturday and the Lightning 5-1 on Monday.
Those victories serve as more than enough notice to the 3rd-in-the-Atlantic Wings that they're going to face stiff opposition this evening.
This is also the 4th game of 5 regular season meetings between the Wings and Sens this season: the Wings dropped a 3-1 decision to Ottawa on Friday, October 30th and defeated them 5-3 on Saturday the 31st, and Detroit defeated Ottawa 4-3 in ovetime on November 15th. These teams are familiar with each other, and they tend not to like each other very much.
All of that being said, the media spotlight will be squarely on Dion Phaneuf on Wednesday, and the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch breaks down the deal:
You may take this for what you will, from the Miami Herald's George Richards...
[Aleksander] Barkov was sent back to South Florida after being knocked out of Monday's game by Detroit's Justin Abdelkader. As part of the NHL's concussion protocol, Barkov was automatically out of Tuesday's game and is expected to miss Friday against St. Louis as well.
One member of the Panthers' front office said Barkov was sent back only because he wasn't playing Tuesday and isn't scheduled for any more neurological tests. The Panthers hope to have Barkov back Saturday against Nashville.
As for Abdelkader, not only did he not get a penalty for the hit on Barkov but he won't face any supplemental discipline from the league either. With no hearing scheduled, Abdelkader is expected to be in the Wings' lineup Wednesday against Ottawa.
"That's our best player and my good friend so maybe I'm looking at the situation differently,'' said Jussi Jokinen, who has had a beef with Abdelkader since last week. "But in talking to others around the league, it was a dangerous hit. He needs to be suspended. ... After seeing the replays, the league needs to do a better job."
Said Shawn Thornton: "My understanding of the rule is, if a player is vulnerable, it's the player's obligation to not throw that hit. He did."
And the Sun-Sentinel's Harvey Fialkov:
Of prospect-related note:
And in the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins filed their weekly press release:
from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,
Yes, he says snip in the video, not snipe (cut him some slack, he was 13).
Reporters caught up with Larkin following Tuesday’s practice at Joe Louis Arena to ask him about the video and his alter ego, D-Boss.
“When we were 13 we were hoping that it would blow up and get a bunch of views. So it's fun,” Larkin said, referring to the video. “Looking back, yeah, it's a little bit embarrassing, it makes me cringe a little bit but I was a kid. I was young.”
Larkin’s Red Wings teammates definitely had some fun at the rookie’s expense, of course.
“It's been funny, I guess,” he said. “They're all having fun with it. I guess I have to own it. It's already out there."
The beginning of the video, shot in his friend’s basement, shows Larkin draped in an American flag and wearing a rally cap (that’s a baseball cap turned inside out), as he introduces what’s about to go down.
From the Oakland Press's Pat Caputo:
Mrazek’s leads the NHL in save percentage (.933) and goals against average (1.97). No Red Wings’ regular goalie has been under two for a full season since Sawchuk in the ‘50s.
The Red Wings won four Stanley Cups between 1997 and 2008, and they were backstopped by three different goalies, Mike Vernon (1997), Chris Osgood (1998 and 2008) and Dominik Hasek (2002).
Perception is the Red Wings’ championship drives were fueled by overall team play rather than the goalie.
It’s why Osgood, despite posting obvious Hall of Fame statistics, hasn’t been inducted yet. Vernon isn’t in the Hall, either, Hasek is, but his resume was build primarily playing for Buffalo.
This is different. Mrazek is THE dominant force for the current Red Wings.
The Red Wings struggle to score goals. They will be without their best defenseman, Niklas Krowall, for an extended period.
Yet, they keep rolling – mostly because of Mrazek. He is their great elixir.
Updated 2x at 3:23 PM: The Red Wings practiced ahead of tomorrow's match-up against Dion Phaneuf and the Ottawa Senators (boy, that sounds weird) on Tuesday afternoon, and there were no surprises (thankfully).
Coach Jeff Blashill told the beat writers that the Wings won't make any lineup changes tomorrow, which means that Petr Mrazek is starting and Andreas Athanasiou, who had to leave practice to have a broken skate fixed, will remain in the lineup; Niklas Kronwall is apparently skating on his own as well, and the only "bad news" came in the form of finding out that Mike Green is still "day to day" with a sore groin.
The Senators are coming into town on a two-game winning streak, having defeated Toronto 6-1 on Saturday and Tampa 5-1 on Monday and as the game's being televised on Sportsnet and TVA Sports as well as Fox Sports Detroit, there will be a gigantic media push in town to cover Phaneuf's Senators debut.
That's usually not a good thing for Team Trips in the National Spotlight, but the Wings need to capitalize upon games 3-5 of their 5-game home stand, so defeating whoever the hell dresses for the Senators is of primary importance.
The Free Press's George Sipple spoke with Wings coach Jeff Blashill regarding Kronwall's status...
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