The Malik Report
The Detroit Red Wings' coaches and management have spent the past two days engaging in what I'd argue is the worst course of action for the representatives of a team in the middle of a vicous battle for its playoff life: they made repeated public statements insisting that the team's personnel have performed up to expectations (much to the ire of annoyed Wings fans), and that the team did not need reinforcements going into its final nine games in order to "control its fate" (much to the ire of annoyed Wings fans).
The Wings begin a slate of three games in four nights against the San Jose Sharks tonight (7:30 PM EDT, FSD/CSN Bay Area/97.1 FM: tonight the Wings are also holding a food collection drive to benefit Gleaners' Food Bank at the Joe). Then the Wings head to Chicago tomorrow (8:30 PM EDT, and the NHL Network's gobbled up that game, so cue the Center Ice/GCL blackout) and battle the Predators on Sunday (7:30 PM EDT), and given what's transpired in the Western Conference Standings over the Wings' three-day break, the Wings need to win at least two of the next three games.
Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front spoke with Jonathan Ericsson after practice regarding Brad Stuart returning tomorrow night as a member of the San Jose Sharks.
“I hope the fans know that he really liked it here, but he really didn’t have a choice because he didn’t want to be away from his family and kids,” Ericsson said. “I really hope they don’t boo him.”
A bit more from 'Big E' regarding Stuart.
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...
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.